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Raymond Chandler quotes (showing 1-30 of 274)

“There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.”
Raymond Chandler, Long Goodbye
“To say goodbye is to die a little.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ”
Raymond Chandler
“From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.”
Raymond Chandler, The High Window
“I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between stars.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.”
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
“Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.”
Raymond Chandler
tags: art
“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren't as good as others.”
Raymond Chandler
“A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can't predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”
Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
“I don't mind your showing me your legs. They're very swell legs and it's a pleasure to make their acquaintace. I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter nights.”
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”
Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
“Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.”
Raymond Chandler
“The girl gave him a look which ought to have stuck at least four inches out of his back.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.”
Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
“It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.”
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”
Raymond Chandler, Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories
“He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.”
Raymond Chandler
“As honest as you can expect a man to be in a world where its going out of style.”
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
“The streets were dark with something more then night.”
Raymond Chandler
“You're broke, eh?"
I been shaking two nickels together for a month, trying to get them to mate.”
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
“You talk too damn much and too damn much of it is about you.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
tags: jerks
“In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.

The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor -- by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things.

He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks -- that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness.

The story is the man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in. ”
Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder
“She lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain. I was to get to know that trick. That was supposed to make me roll over on my back with all four paws in the air.”
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
“I merely say that all reading for pleasure is escape, whether it be Greek, mathematics, astronomy, Benedetto Croce, or The Diary of the Forgotten Man. To say otherwise is to be an intellectual snob, and a juvenile at the art of living.”
Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of Murder
“The French have a phrase for it. The bastards have a phrase for everything and they are always right. To say goodbye is to die a little.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“I was neat, clean, shaved and sober and I didn't care who knew it.”
Raymond Chandler
tags: humor
“down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

“He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.

“The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”
Raymond Chandler
“A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.”
Raymond Chandler
“I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.”
Raymond Chandler, Philip Marlowe's Guide to Life
tags: dicks

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The Big Sleep The Big Sleep
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