Read Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler Free Online
Book Title: Farewell, My Lovely|
Date of issue: June 10th 2002
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: Raymond Chandler
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 330 KB
Edition: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Read full description of the books Farewell, My Lovely:Definitely my favorite Chandler, beating out The Big Sleep by a star and more than a dozen memorable lines. This book is absolutely soaking in quotables and may have the best prose of any noir I’ve ever read. Add in a classic main character and a solid plot and you have a nice shiny bundle of win.
Chandler’s iconic PI is an arrogant alcoholic who fails every PC test you can formulate. He’s racist (from what I recall he insults African-Americans, Japanese and Native Americans and maybe others), homophobic and sexist enough that I would blackjack him on the braincase before he ever got within 10 yards of either of my daughters.
He’s also mesmerizing and fills up the page with his presence. His entertainment value is off the charts and he cracks wiser than anyone this side of Sam Spade. But whereas Hammett’s Spade is all slick, smoky quips and cat-like grace, Marlowe is the “other side of the tracks” version. He’s unkempt, rugged and surly and his words are crusty with barbs.
Whereas Spade’s every move seems coordinated and cross-referenced like a well-rehearsed play, Marlowe is all reaction, counterpunch and intuitive hunches.
However, like Spade, he’s also smart (much more than he usually lets on) and has a knack for clear thinking and being able to read people. Best of all though, the man is incapable of cutting slack or giving inches and is saltier than the Pacific Ocean.
A convoluted series of mini-mysteries all stemming from Marlowe’s search for the ex-girlfriend of a just released from prison man-mountain named Moose Malloy. Fairly typical noir stuff but very well executed and paced to perfection by Chandler.
Finally…the prose. The real star of the show. I would say Chandler’s writing is a masterful example of noir. There may be others as good but it is hard for me to imagine any better. I would put Chandler’s prose into 3 separate and equally impressive categories that you don’t usually see from a single pen. First, you have a whole host of “I have to remember that” lines that are just fun to read. Quotes like:
“The eighty-five cent dinner tasted like a discarded mail bag and was served to me by a waiter who looked as if he would slug me for a quarter, cut my throat for six bits and bury me at sea in a barrel of concrete for a dollar and a half, plus sales tax.”
“‘Who is the Hemingway person at all?’
A guy that keeps saying the same thing over and over until you begin to believe it must be good.”
“I didn’t say anything. I lit my pipe again. It makes you look thoughtful when you’re not thinking.”
“It was a nice walk if you liked grunting.”
“She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.”
“I like smooth shiny girl, hardboiled and loaded with sin.”
“A Harvard boy. Nice use of the subjunctive mood. The end of my foot itched, but my bank account was still trying to crawl under a duck.”
Second, Chandler has a wonderful facility for painting descriptions so that you feel like you’re walking right beside Marlowe and he does it in such sparse, efficient style. 1644 West 54th Place was a dried-out brown house with a dried-out brown lawn in front of it. There was a large bare patch around a tough-looking palm tree. On the porch stood one lonely wooden rocker, and the afternoon breeze made the unprunned shoots of last year’s poinsettias tap-tap against the cracked stucco wall. A line of stiff yellowish half-washed clothes jittered on a rusty wire in the side yard.
I was looking into dimness at a blowsy woman who was blowing her nose as she opened the door. Her face was gray and puffy. She had weedy hair of that vague color which is neither brown nor blond, that hasn’t enough life in it to be ginger and isn’t clean enough to be gray. Her body was thick in a shapeless outing flannel bathrobe many moons past color and design. Those descriptions materialized in front of me more than pages of less polished prose could accomplish. It felt like I was there.
Finally, there are the passages that aren’t just clever quips or snappy dialogue, but that convey a real sense of emotion.
“She hung up, leaving me with a curious feeling of having talked to somebody that didn’t exist.”
“…a sudden flashing movement that I sensed rather than saw. A pool of darkness opened at my feet and was far, far deeper than the blackest night. I dived into it. It had no bottom.”
“There was just enough for to make everything seem unreal. The wet air was as cold as the ashes of love.”
That is the trifecta of writing. Brilliant, sharp and fun….descriptive, informative and polished…and evocative, moving and powerful.
Yes, 5.0 stars and a definite must read for fans of noir, mysteries or just superb prose.
HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!
Read information about the authorRaymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.
In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.
Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Chandler's Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, are considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective," both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.
Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".
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