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Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe #2)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  16,505 ratings  ·  691 reviews
Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.
Paperback, 292 pages
Published August 1992 by Vintage (first published 1940)
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Chad The Dick Powell version is far and away the better of the two films. But Mitchum plays a better Marlowe. So it's your call.
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Noir
4th out of 463 books — 508 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerCornered Coyote by Dianne HarmanThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Detective Fiction
14th out of 674 books — 757 voters

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Community Reviews

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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...more
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...more
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...more
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 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...more
Jun 05, 2007 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
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
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
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...more
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...more
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
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
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
I must read fifty books for every one I get around to even listing on goodreads. I'm not very consistent. Read several Chandler stories from the library some months ago. I found him fascinating. I obsessed a bit too much on (1) did people really say things like that, or did Chandler make that up? (2) What was the plot again?

Many things happen to the lonely, very lonely detective Marlowe. Poor guy.

But his (Chandler's) stories have a deliciously eccentric feel to them, as much as Chandler's own l...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Ian Tregillis
Oh, man, do I love me some Raymond Chandler. If I had a dime for every time the prose in this book rocked me on my heels, I'd have enough for a cup of coffee. (And not a cheapo 1940 cup of coffee, either. Something that came out of a polished chrome machine, with a name ending in "-cino".)

Although this is only the second Philip Marlowe novel, it's nearly the last for me. Each Marlowe novel is a gem, a delightful little gem, but Chandler only wrote 7 of them (not counting short story collections,...more
This was my introduction to the work of Raymond Chandler, and in fact it was also my introduction to the American hardboiled school of crime writing. Within a few pages I was totally hooked by Chandler’s prose. I also quickly became fond of Philip Marlowe, and was pleasantly surprised to find that he wasn’t a mere tough guy. In fact he’s a delightful mixture of tough guy and sensitive guy, of cynic and idealist. And Chandler makes that combination of qualities believable. The plot was fiendishly...more
Farewell, My Lovely reminded me of Cornell Woolrich in that Raymond Chandler's plot is at least as ridiculous as the plot of any (famously ridiculous) Woolrich novel. What is remarkable is how differently Chandler and Woolrich deal with their own absurdities. The Woolrich strategy is to build a novel whose narrative drive is so intense that readers (hopefully) never notice the plot's defects. The Chandler strategy is just the opposite: His characters spend much of the novel sitting around and tr...more
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...more
There's this skirt, see and she's got these jewels that would make a rich man cry. There's been a murder in a dive and the heat is on the trail of cheap hood who's bumped off the manager while looking for his dame Velma Valento. While on the trail of the bird, Marlowe is called by a sucker who is being blackmailed to provide some protection from some goons. The sucker is bumped off and Marlowe is left holding the bag. This leads him to the blond with legs all the way to Canada; the same dame who...more
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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
More about Raymond Chandler...
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.” 123 likes
“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.” 115 likes
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