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The Big Sleep & Farewell, My Lovely

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  42 reviews
These two classic novels featuring private eye Philip Marlowe made Raymond Chandler's name synonymous with America's hard-boiled school of crime fiction.The Big Sleep was an instant success when first published in 1939.It centers around a paralyzed California millionaire with two psychopathic daughters; he involves Marlowe in a case of blackmail that turns into murder.

Fare
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ebook, 544 pages
Published November 16th 2011 by Modern Library (first published 1939)
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(showing 1-30 of 825)
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Robert
Farewell, My Lovely was Raymond Chandler’s second novel, following The Big Sleep, and I suppose I wouldn’t have read it this week, having read The Big Sleep last week, if it didn’t come in a two-novel edition issued by the Modern Library. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely, I just tend to let a writer cool off a bit before picking up his or her next book.

But in this case I didn’t do that. Here’s what I thought: Farewell, My Lovely sustains Chandler’s uncanny gift f
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PK
I wasn't planning on reading both books, but since Chandler's novels are such quick reads, I plowed through The Big Sleep in a couple of days and was stranded without anything else to do but go on. The hardboiled, sarcastic dialogue of Phil Marlowe was the real treat of both of these noir mysteries. Being a fan of the genre of film, I was lured to check out one of the most influential writers of 50s pulp crime fiction. The Big Sleep was by far the best yarn, and one that takes the reader on the ...more
Elizabeth
The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely are both great mystery stories with beautiful writing. Well written crime novels are an unusual thing! The detective, Philip Marlowe, is such a funny and interesting character. The mystery thing keeps you guessing what's going to happen, but the visual descriptions are also surprisingly enjoyable. I remember an incredibly beautiful passage describing rain. I think Raymond Chandler is the best of his genre! (Hammett is also great, but his writing isn't as bea ...more
Benji
Didn't particularly feel concerned about the results of the plot, as the stakes didn't feel high, but the characterization made up for it to the point that I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Sat this down too often and never made a lot of sense, and I was Ok with that too. Lots of memorable scenes. Zippy reads l, but if these were long I'd be having doubts about whether it is worth it. The constant rain is never ending, and it's implausibility (for LA!) means that the novel has a surreal, Carnival of ...more
Jamie
Oct 11, 2007 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: favorites
Raymond Chandler seems to be everywhere. His style, his language, his worldview have been recycled so many times they've almost turned into a cliche: cynical loner navigating a diverse and morally ambiguous modern landscape with nothing but his wits and a biting sense of humor. So it's a total revelation to actually read him and find just how fresh, funny, exciting, appealing and beautiful his writing is.
Pamela
03May14- It's on Brundage's canon, and I see how Chandler became an icon of the boiler mystery, but the racism, sexism, and homophobia make it difficult to read. It's from a time when those isms were commonplace, and accepted, but great literature, or literature of any kind, usually rises above. He doesn't.

Wikipedia:
The Big Sleep (1939) is a hardboiled crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first to feature detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and again
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Eric
Chandler is one of my favorite all time authors. I still havne't read everything he's ever written, but I'm working on it. but of all his work, The Big Sleep was his first and best novel. Funny, with a characters you can't help but like, and not a word wasted anywhere. Too bad Chandler himself was reputedly a total bastard, and an alcoholic, too.
Jeremy
I find myself drawn more and more to detective stories. These are quite good. Detective Marlowe always seems to be a step ahead of the rest of the players and, even though he might get beat up a little, he always comes out on top. It's also great to see someone solve crime without a cell phone and DNA evidence.
Varad
Farewell, My Lovely was the second Philip Marlowe novel Raymond Chandler wrote, but it was the first to be adapted for the screen as a Philip Marlowe movie. This was the movie retitled as Murder, My Sweet (1944), the film which refashioned the image of crooner Dick Powell and turned him into a popular movie tough guy.

The movie hews closely to the plot of the book, with a couple of exceptions, though it leaves much out (as inevitably happens). Marlowe is working on a case that is going nowhere w
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Sara
The writing was fabulous! It was disappointing to not have one of the murders solved. Apparently Chandler thought he made it clear in the novel and when he went back and read it, he realized it was not clear.
Michael Battaglia
The noirish detective genre has been parodied so many times in so many ways that when someone is playing it absolutely straight you automatically start looking for an ironic angle or some kind of post-modern recontextualization, some wink toward modern times that seems to suggest "Isn't this silly?" while acknowledging the awesome parts of it at the same time. You wait for the rain to hit the roof like hammers and the dames to be dangerous and sexy, for all the most important conversational piec ...more
Devin Bruce
Wow. These books were great. I thought the hard-boiled style would seem dated, and I thought I wouldn’t be terribly engaged with The Big Sleep, as I’d seen the Bogart film version a few years before. But I was wrong on both counts. Chandler’s style is smart, funny, and shocking, and the story was changed so much for the movie that there were plenty of moments I was completely unprepared for. The world that Chandler creates is full of great characters that seem one-dimensional at first glance, bu ...more
Kate
Why on earth has it taken me so long to read Raymond Chandler? I love it. His detective, Phillip Marlowe, is funny and lovably fallible, and the edgy world Chandler creates is totally absorbing. I read The Big Sleep for our book club. And then I blew right through Farewell, My Lovely, (which I think was a little better.)

I should mention that there are slurs and slights everywhere, on almost every minority you can think of. Also interesting are his women characters, many of whom privileged and/o
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Gary
Mr. Chandler is one of the great writers of suspense and mystery. Philip Marlowe is one of the best characters ever created. Pure genius of story telling. I love all his books.
Colleen
It's interesting to see the extreme racism depicted within the pages of "Farewell, My Lovely". It is a good reminder that California once had more Jim Crow laws than any other state.
Moses Potter
My star rating is based on the lumping-together of the two novels. The Big Sleep I would give four stars on its own- engaging, fantastic language, great characters and thematic nuances. Farewell My Lovely I would give two stars on its own- tired language, facile characters; it's like Chandler was tired of writing these novels and had a predictable formula, which didn't quite work with the strange cast of characters he'd assembled, none of whom were adequately examined in the course of the book. ...more
Joe
I could read Chandler write about anything and nothing always and forever.
Cal
Slogged through The Bi Sleep. No character development, uninteresting plot, weak ending. Cool old time slang. Didn't even attempt Farewell My Lovely.
MissLadyFemme
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ingrid
Great insight into 1930s lingo. Makes me wish we would bring some of it back and I can tell someone to "dust" if I want them to leave. Also paints a fantastic picture of LA during that era. Overall, a very good detective story - man without allies trying to survey in a dirty world and the women who throw themselves at him.

Should be noted that Farewell, My Lovely far more brutal then The Big Sleep.
Marcos
Two of the better examples of the hard-boiled genre. Both novels are a thrill ride full of tough men, corrupt cops and femme fatales. Chandler's prose really comes alive in the original language (I had read them both in Spanish years ago), to the point where you can almost smell the cigarrette smoke and taste the cheap whiskey after each reading session. Essential reading for fans of the genre.
matt
Chandler's prose is remarkable but I found myself never able to get going with this. I love Marlowe's snappy self-effacement but there was something about the long blocks of description that made my eyes glaze over. I'd read more once I'm done getting through Sin City. Too much noir can make an even keeled guy like myself feel a little less than jake.
Shelby
Chandler and Hammett are elevated from genre detective novels by the quality of prose and the great sardonic humor and wit. These two books are also great for their illustration of life on the wrong side of the tracks in L.A. in the 30s.
Kerry
A confusing, but highly entertaining and satisfying read. You don't even have to understand the mystery or the outcome of the case to enjoy Marlowe's wise-cracking, hard-bit existence as a private eye. A must read for everyone.
Holly
so far i really like it. it's hilarious.
the big sleep was good. all the cheesy PI talk... which i guess was made famous by this story and it's contemporaries. i quit in the middle of farewell, my lovely. must have been boring.
Jamie
I really liked both stories ("The Big Sleep" & "Farewell, My Lovely"). Mr. Chandler did an excellent job creating believable stories with Philip Marlowe as the main character. It made me want to read more of his works.
Adam
Farewell, My Lovely is full of remarkably pungent writing, with memorable characters and a somewhat wacky plot. Some really astute sketches of pre-war L.A., and a raw scene or two that'd fit in any post-modern play. A great read!
Allan Dyen-shapiro
Classic hardboiled private investigator stuff. The best the genre ever got. With all the humor and the crazy language, all the dark scenes, all the twisted plots. You have to read this at some point in your life.
Tom
Pretty good so far. I like these early hard-boiled detective thrillers. Pulpy.


Finished - Great book, great movie. Bogart rocks in this - no surprise - and the film runs impressively close to the book.
Harrison
The Big Sleep-4 stars--Classic but its descriptions are far outmatched by Farewell, My Lovely, whose prose is lyrical as well as sardonic.
Farewell, My Lovely- 5 stars. Fantastic
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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
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More about Raymond Chandler...
The Big Sleep The Long Goodbye Farewell, My Lovely The Lady in the Lake Trouble is My Business

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“It got dark and the rain-clouded lights of the stores were soaked up by the black street.” 2 likes
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