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Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  18,891 ratings  ·  803 reviews
This is one of Chandler's most famous crime novels featuring the detective Philip Marlowe. The suspect in the case is Moose Malloy, a small time criminal who is looking for a girl he used to know. Marlowe enters the case out of curiosity, but soon becomes embroiled in a trail of corpses.
Paperback, 306 pages
Published 2005 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1940)
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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 m
Dan Schwent
Philip Marlowe is looking for a woman's missing husband when he encounters Moose Malloy, a brute fresh out of prison, looking for his lost love Velma. Moose kills a man and Marlowe gets corralled into looking for the missing Velma. In the mean time, Marlowe gets another gig as a bodyguard and soon winds up with a corpse for a client. Will Marlowe find Velma and get to the bottom of things?

As I've said before, noir fiction and I go together like chronic constipation and heroin addiction. Farewell
James Thane
It's impossible to think of anything that might be remotely fresh and interesting to say about this book. It's a classic of crime fiction; it was first published in 1940, and it's been reviewed thousands of times, mostly by people far more competent than I.

Suffice it to say that this is the second full-length novel featuring Los Angeles detective Philip Marlowe, following The Big Sleep, which had been published in 1939. Marlowe was the prototype for all the tough, wise-cracking P.I.s that would
Phillip Marlowe is one of the most famous and influential characters in detective fiction. He’s also a racist alcoholic, and after all the blows to the head he routinely takes, he’s almost certainly suffering from post-concussion syndrome so you gotta question his judgment.

But he’s also the guy that says things like this:

"It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window."

And this:

"He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake."

And t
During a boring routine case Philip Marlowe stumbles upon a huge (really huge) guy dressed the way which would make any peacock die of jealousy. He seems to be looking for a long-lost girlfriend doing this with a grace and persistence of a charging rhinoceros. Marlowe decides to stick with the guy having nothing better to do and as a result he keeps getting high level of entertainment, noir fashion: he gets shot at, people use his head for a drum set to knock him out, and tough guys try to beat ...more
I wish I had Lauren Bacall's looks and a mouth as salty as Phillip Marlowe's. The characters are such great throw backs to the days when men were Men and women were Dames. Chandler's writing is amazingly rich for this genre and the plot lines are just convoluted enough to keep you guessing. Phillip Marlowe is a great faceted character which contrasts nicely against the one-dimensional villains, cops and women who populate the stories. If authors like Sue Grafton are the gummi bears of the genre ...more
“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.”

While working a missing persons case, Detective Philip Marlowe finds himself drawn into a murder investigation. Jailbird Moose Malloy knocks off the proprietor of a local watering hole in his pursuit of a gal named Velma. While assisting the cops in hunting him down, Marlowe backs off the case when he realizes he
Some dithering on my part between 4 and 5 stars—but I am going for 5 because I so enjoyed the reading experience.

I fear that I will repeat myself a lot from my review of The Big Sleep. Chandler’s writing is awesome—very expressive, yet very spare. Each novel is a complete joy, but not padded with anything extra. Occasional, brief descriptions of surroundings paint a full picture with very few strokes. His vocabulary choices are spot on. A delight to read.

I very much receive the impression that P
Nancy Oakes
After reading two of his novels now, I'm beginning to like Raymond Chandler much more for his writing than for his plots. For anyone who thinks crime fiction has no place in the literary world, the Marlowe novels might make you change your mind. Chandler's an amazing writer when it comes to social commentary, the similes, metaphors and the sharp, electric prose he's famous for, and of course, his superb depiction of the city of angels of the 1940s that is so lifelike you almost feel that you're ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 18, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Thriller)
It took me awhile before I was able to grasp what the story was all about. I was expecting this to be a noir but basically it was a like a Sherlock Holmes short story expanded to a novel. And for that reason, despite my failed expectation, I liked this book.

The language is quite old. This is because the setting is in Los Angeles during the 20's and the characters belong to the city's dark underworld, i.e., nightlife, crimes, drugs, murder. Racial discrimination is still rampant. The murder of a
I have read two books in the Marlowe series so far and I love them both. But this book had a personally touch to it. I felt intrigued, captivated and amused by this unconventional character that by the time I finished Farewell My Lovely, I could only see Marlowe as a real person come to life, rather than a fictional character.

This case was a serious and dangerous one for Marlowe, HE was the one being targeted. It started when an escaped convict, looking for his girlfriend dragged Marlowe into a
Krok Zero
Farewell, My Lovely is my second Chandler. While I liked The Big Sleep I think the former is better. This novel's keyed me into how and where Chandler crosses that magic line between literature and the forgettable books lining the Mystery section shelves.

Farewell, My Lovely's storyline is solid but secondary to Chandler's whip-smart dialogue and top-notch inner monologues. Marlowe is less of a dick (I don't mean private detective) here, but he's not, well, hugging people or whatever. He goes de
Raymond Chandler's writing remains the absolute best thing about this book. It lends a lot of character to Philip Marlowe who, in the hands of another writer, wouldn't be nearly so interesting. It's funny reading Chandler and realising that a lot of books I've read before were influenced by him. There's racism and misogyny and it's kind of like a time capsule from times and places I'll never see, but what I read it for is the writing style: the crisp images, the lack of cliche, the precise choic ...more
Not as good as The Long Goodbye; it did a very good job as a hardboiled detective story, but didn't do much else. It is a very well-crafted crime novel with an amazing plot, and Philip Marlowe was as beautifully cunning and resourceful as he always is. Unfortunately, I am too easily wearied by mystery plots and characters who are never off their game. I enjoyed all of Marlowe's banter, but really, it gets boring when he's all 'oh I know exactly what I'm doing all the time aren't I amazing' and d ...more
Samantha Glasser
Raymond Chandler creates a world of grime and crime in his second novel Farewell, My Lovely. Protagonist and private detective Phillip Marlowe falls into a case when he's taken into an old nightclub with a large ex-con named Moose Malloy. Malloy is looking for his girl Velma, but it seems that the place has been taken under new ownership. Malloy winds up killing a man there, unable to control his temper, but that isn't Marlowe's only trouble. He goes along for the ride on a jewelry ransom deal w ...more
Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

I read 'Farewell, My Lovely' recently & it's my first reading of this second novel by Chandler to feature his private eye, Phillip Marlowe. I've read a couple of Chandler's novels before, most recently, I re-read 'The Big Sleep', which I first read some 30+ years ago. His novels seem to improve with age. The age of the reader, that is. Or at least, that is my experience. More about that later in this review.

Briefly, I'd like to touch on Raymond Chandle
Chandler is simply a joy to read. He’s the standard to which all other crime fiction writers are held. He’s a good model for all writers, if you ask me. If you don’t like it, you don’t like the genre. Every page is brimming with mood, setting and great dialogue. I like how he carefully describes each character as they are introduced, and he paints each scene remarkably well. I once told my kids that a great book can conjure up such vivid images in your head that it’s as if you’re watching a movi ...more
The main story was this: Moose Malloy was looking for the girl he loved, Velma. In the penultimate chapter he found her. But things didn't go well at the reunion. In between? Oh there was a fake psychic. Dirty cops. A crooked shrink. And a few murders being done.

If you were not a fan of those type of stories, this book is worth a try because it had these lines:

The voice of the hot dog merchant split the dusk like an axe.

I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin.

I thought his pea
Joe Barlow
Raymond Chandler's second novel, the highly regarded follow-up to The Big Sleep, continues the adventures of world-weary private investigator Philip Marlowe and his best friend, booze.

As much as I loved Marlowe's first adventure (bewildering as the plot might have been), Farewell, My Lovely is a slightly tougher book to adore. Although Chandler's gifts for description and characterization are just as sharp as they were the first time, Marlowe himself is less fun to spend time with. He's become
Chandler has this wonderful way of tossing seemingly unrelated incidents or even cases in Marlowe's path and slowly showing his tenacious detective find the links and connections between those incidents, like an island chain that, deep on the ocean floor, is really all part of the same land mass.

The first incident happens right away, when Marlowe accidentally crosses paths with a guy named Malloy who's just out of prison after eight years and is looking for a woman named Velma, a singer he's sti
Just started this one, but had to note this quote, "...the voice dragged itself out of her throat like a sick man getting out of bed." Who wouldn't enjoy reading a book with such specific and magnificent description! :) Had to note another doozie of a quote, "She's a charming middle-aged lady with a face like a bucket of mud and if she has washed her hair since Coolidge's second term, I'll eat my spare tire, rim and all."
More when I finish...

I love Philip Marlowe! He is just the right mix of har
I've been searching my whole life for a private detective whose ". . . method of approach is soothin' to a man's dignity" and I believe I may have found him. Although we aren't madly in love yet, our relationship is off to a pretty swell start. I had a hard time with finishing this book. There was too much going on & too many weird anachronisms - for example, you say, "You're a nice lad. Dartmouth or Dannemora?" and suddenly tough guys become your friends - what is that about? I took a break ...more
Caro Márquez
Now don't get me wrong - only 3 stars here are because I read this like ages ago, and I am sure I liked it, other way I wouldn't remember the title. But you can beat me with a stick and I still won't tell you what it was about... So yeah, I liked it, but not enough to remember.
It took me a long time to like this book. The writing was much better than Big Sleep, where it took half the book for RC just to find his voice -- his first book -- I mean, to really find it. The writing here was often gorgeous... and pointless... and so very modern. But it wasn't till ch. 25 that I started really to dig the writing, and even then I couldn't see why I was reading it -- till... it all fell together at the end... and made it all smooth and satisfying and worthwhile.

The great thing
I think I would rather read this than listen to it. My mind wandered some during this & I was backing up more than usual. I love audiobooks for traveling & working in the kitchen, but most of all, I love an actual book!
It's been a few days since I read this (listened to it). Elliot Gould was the narrator & while I love his voice, he did not change it for the various characters so at times I wasn't sure who was talking. That might have been easier to figure out if I had been reading
I was so happy re-reading this having not read it in over twenty years. Chandler's writing is superb, his characterisations and language taking you directly to life in LA circa 1940. One thing I picked up on this time around is how non PC his writing was giving it an even more gritty hardboiled edge.

As with all Chandler's work, Farewell My Lovely veers off occasionally plot wise in areas which are never fully fleshed out but, for mine, this captures the complex nature of solving a mystery and wo
It was a warm day, almost the end of March, and I stood outside the barbershop looking up at the jutting neon sign of a second floor dine and dice emporium called Florian's. A man was looking up at the sign too. He was looking up at the dusty windows with a sort of ecstatic fixity of expression, like a hunky immigrant catching his first sight of the Statue of Liberty. He was a big man but not more than six feet five inches tall and not wider than a beer truck. He was about ten feet away from me. ...more
Perversely, the strenghts of this novel may have inspired a movie I heartily dislike: A 1975 rendition starring Robert Mitchum. I found it to be a sappy, fawning ode to the "Golden Age" of Hollywood featuring an actor better suited to appeal to fans of that "Golden Age" than to readers of Chandler's actual detective, Philip Marlowe. I understand how this could have happened. If any of Chandler's novels succeeded in capturing the flavor of film noir in that "Golden Age" it was this one.

Every poss
Cathy DuPont
Hooked on Raymond Chandler and reading his books from beginning to end. Won't be long before I'm finished since he only wrote seven. And just love his connect or rather Robert B. Parker's connection to Chandler.

Apparently they met and Parker said (I read somewhere) that he missed Chandler's character Philip Marlowe so much that he had to come up with a character with a similar sensibilities. Parker did, too.

Chandler writes with such clarity and his use of the English language is so tight and c
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The lack of classic Crime Fiction books. 4 60 Jun 16, 2014 04:36AM  
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Boxall's 1001 Bo...: November {2012} Discussion -- FAREWELL, MY LOVELY by Raymond Chandler 16 224 Dec 30, 2012 05:52PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Farewell, My Lovely 1 4 Jul 17, 2012 05:49AM  
  • The Continental Op
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Raymond 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
More about Raymond Chandler...

Other Books in the Series

Philip Marlowe (7 books)
  • The Big Sleep
  • The High Window
  • The Lady in the Lake
  • The Little Sister
  • The Long Goodbye
  • Playback
The Big Sleep The Long Goodbye The Lady in the Lake The High Window Trouble is My Business

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“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.” 149 likes
“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.” 135 likes
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