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The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  23,705 Ratings  ·  1,418 Reviews
Down-and-out drunk Terry Lennox has a problem: his millionaire wife is dead and he needs to get out of LA fast. So he turns to his only friend in the world: Philip Marlowe, Private Investigator. He's willing to help a man down on his luck, but later, Lennox commits suicide in Mexico and things start to turn nasty.

Marlowe finds himself drawn into a sordid crowd of adulterer
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Hardcover
Published June 1st 1953 by Houghton Mifflin (T) (first published 1953)
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s.penkevich
Jun 22, 2015 s.penkevich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: One and All
To say goodbye is to die a little.

There are some books that just feel good to have on your dashboard, never too far from your fingertips to read in the tiny gaps between obligations and responsibility. The type of book that rides shotgun and keeps you company through the darker hours, through lonely nights at a shady laundromat or booze-soaked rainstorms on your porch. Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye is that sort of book, that sort of friend. The past few months have seen some bleak times an
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jun 07, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not just hard boiled detective fans - anybody - give it a shot:)
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Edgar Award for Best Novel (1955)
Chandler’s known as the king of LA noir and word is this is his best. His writing is lean and clean, short staccato sentences with not a word wasted. Almost poetic in its brevity – not to be confused with lack of substance. Humour me, I’m trying it out on this review (view spoiler) Marlowe’s amazingly complex, a fast-talking P.I. surviving on tough cynicism. Deep down just a stand-up guy with a soft spot for underdogs. Got a moral core that e ...more
Henry Avila
Aug 06, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philip Marlowe, a cynical shamus, looks down at the parking lot of The Dancers Club, watching a drunk, be put into his car, a silver Rolls Royce, but the annoyed valet, has trouble, the left leg refuses to be moved inside, instead remains firmly on the ground. Where the rest of the intoxicated man, will soon be also. The pretty red- headed woman, sitting next to him, or was, in the automobile, is very angry, with good reason. Turns out she is Sylvia Lennox, ex- wife of this inebriated war vetera ...more
Dan Schwent
Aug 06, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A down and out friend of Marlowe's flees to Mexico with Marlowe's help, his wife dead under suspicious circumstances. Marlowe's friend soon turns up dead, an apparent suicide. But what does his death, if anything, have to do with a drunk writer Marlowe finds himself watching?

I'm not really sure how I feel about the Long Goodbye. It's Chandler so the writing is great, with Chandler's trademark similes and hard-boiled atmosphere. On the other hand, it's written a little differently than his other
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Evgeny
Philip Marlowe saves a drunken guy from being dumped in a ditch. He does it again another time. He does is yet again another time. And another. And another. Finally he gets into trouble for doing this: no good deed ever goes unpunished.

This book gives a very realistic gritty picture of US life in early fifties. It provides social commentary on the subject. It is considered by many critics to be the best Raymond Chandler novel, a classic of literature in general. It also happened to be unnecessar
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Anthony Vacca
When it comes to Raymond Chandler’s novels starring the smart-ass, misanthropic PI Phillip Marlowe, there’s The Long Goodbye and then there's everything else Chandler ever wrote—and it’s a long, lonely drive in-between. The Big Sleep, Farwell, My Lovely, and The Little Sister are all seminal works of the hard-boiled genre, too be sure; and on any other day of the week each is its own fuel-injected suicide machine; but in a bare-knuckled brawl, these books are packing wet noodles for arms when th ...more
Aubrey
Dec 05, 2011 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People. They pass through your life, your mind, your heart, bundled in their own worlds with their wants and needs and feelings. And they'll tangle you up and drag you with and leave you with a lump in your throat and a weight in your gut. That's the best case scenario. Worst case scenario you end up broken, in jail, dead. Philip avoids the latter case with an insight into the human condition so instinctive and accurate it is frankly terrifying. Doesn't help him at all with the former though.

Be
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Hadrian
Jan 09, 2011 Hadrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, mystery, fiction
Dammit, Raymond Chandler has style. He has finesse. His use of metaphor is so good that he is still an original, even after lesser noirists have copied or stolen from him outright for the past sixty years.

Yet for a hardboiled novel with the slickest of metaphors, Chandler is still a very sensitive writer. For a genre so easily stereotyped as gruff plastic machismo, this is an oddly meditative and melancholy book. You root for Marlowe, of course, but you admire his cases and his dedication, and h
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Darwin8u
May 08, 2011 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2015
“I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between stars.”
― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

Madison

Labels like genius and masterpiece get thrown around a lot in the arts. Certain writers are deemed to be brilliant and yet their stars fade quickly. Their notable books are soon forgotten, misplaced, unread and eventually pulped. Other writers seem to have the opposite trajectory. They are viewed as pulp or genre writers, but over time they seem to transcend the genre and even seem to dance on the graves
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Michael
I enjoyed the atmospherics and mood of this one, the last of Chandler’s detective stories featuring Philip Marlowe. This one is different in being more meditative and in having more of a focus on alienation among the wealthy residents of gated compounds. Chandler also restrains Marlowe’s use of colorful similes in his interior monologues, which became a cliché in many of his imitators. Compared to the earlier tales, Chandler is more judicious here in the playful, sardonic banter Marlowe uses for ...more
[P]
Aug 13, 2015 [P] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bitchin
Tom was a quiet, reserved kind of guy. Which at the time was unusual within my circle of friends. Most everyone I knew back when I first returned to Sheffield was a lush, a druggie or just plain crazy. I made friends in pubs and clubs. My friends didn’t exist in the daytime. Except Tom. He was 24/7. Normal. I was in a bad way myself, although I couldn’t see it. Perhaps the company I kept gave me a false sense of my emotional and physical well-being. When J is getting the sack because he has been ...more
Jason Pettus
Apr 08, 2008 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

So are you familiar already with the "One Book One Chicago" (OBOC) program? We're not the first city to do it (in fact, we stole the idea from Seattle), but are definitely now the largest city in America to do so; basically, roughly three or four times a year the Mayor's Office and the public library
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Terry
Sep 13, 2007 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Chandler wrote tighter, tougher books, but this one was his masterpiece. I'd been pulled into loving noir by Hammett & W. R. Burnett but they didn't write like Chandler. The Long Goodbye has all the best snappy dialog and constant menace, but it had something more. It was cynical poetry, it had the brittleness and immediacy of the "existential", as we used to call it.

It had a thoroughly adult, disillusioned worldview but it also had a hero who refused to renounce his principles, even when h
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Tfitoby
Slightly spoiled by having fallen for Elliot Gould in Leigh Brackett's adaptation, The Long Goodbye is still an overwhelmingly impressive piece of dark literature. When people talk about Chandler's influence on crime fiction it's always in reference to his hardboiled dialogue, his similes and metaphors but in reading this final entry in the Marlowe series you can draw a long powerful line from Chandler through Crumley, Sallis and Block, to name only three, writers who have taken the mantle of wr ...more
Sandra
Sep 02, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
“L’alcool è come l’amore. Il primo bacio è magico, il secondo intimo, il terzo un’abitudine. E poi si spoglia la donna”
C’è tutto quello che deve esserci in un romanzo del genere. Come principale protagonista c’è l’alcool, motore e spinta propulsiva della storia, che scorre a fiumi nelle case eleganti dei quartieri più esclusivi e nei bar silenziosi di Los Angeles; ci sono i bulli dal grilletto facile, grandi criminali tenutari di case da gioco in Nevada, messicani dal sangue caliente e con la vi
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Brandon
“Time makes everything mean and shabby and wrinkled. The tragedy of life … is not that the beautiful things die young, but that they grow old and mean.”

Marlowe befriends a down-on-his-luck war hero roaming the streets of California. A few months after Marlowe cleans him up and sets him on his way, the man is standing on Marlowe’s doorstep, holding a gun and asking for a ride to Mexico. While Marlowe refuses to hear out the reason for this request, it’s revealed that the man’s wife has been murde
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Julie
The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers.

I’m adding this to my list of favorite opening lines. Twenty-three words that set up a story with precision and punch. This sentence is why I decided to read my first Raymond Chandler.

Chandler’s crime noir characters and images are iconic: Philip Marlowe, the embittered, enigmatic private eye; the long-limbed blonde, elegant, cunning and in need of rescue; the corrupt and bru
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AC
Nov 16, 2013 AC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
What follows, of course, is just my (generally worthless) opinion. As genre (the crime/detective novel), High Window is Chandler's peak. It's a perfect specimen. His next book, Little Sister, though good, ran into trouble (see my review). It was somewhat deeper, more ambitious, a little literary..., but Chandler didn't know how to get an increasingly bitter, frightened, alcoholic 62 year-old author, with great craft-skills, to continue to write a 38 year-old, hardboiled character. It was a crisi ...more
Nathan Alderman
Jul 25, 2007 Nathan Alderman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of pulp detective novels
Chandler's unabashed masterpiece, this novel is his only work to truly transcend the pulp genre and rank as first-rate literature. All of Chandler's books have gorgeous language and bafflingly labyrinthine plots, but this one stands out because of the author's poignant willingness to stare into his own soul. His stalwart, incorruptible hero Marlowe is hired to guard a washed-up, alcoholic, self-loathing writer who derides his own work as trash, and it's hard not to see the troubled Raymond Chand ...more
David Gustafson
Jul 26, 2015 David Gustafson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outside of a 1940's Hollywood nightclub, a congenial drunk falls out of a Rolls Royce and his lady friend drives away leaving him on the pavement. Surprisingly, Raymond Chandler's alter ego, the cynical, private detective Philip Marlowe, picks the lad up and takes him to his home to sober him up.

Within the first few pages the window has been opened from the stifling, antiseptic culture of political correctness that is suffocating us today and the reader encounters a refreshing noir breeze from
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Paul
Sep 13, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, Chandler regarded this as his best book and I can see why. It’s longer than his other Philip Marlowe novels and this gives the author space to look a little deeper into his characters.

Two of the characters, Terry Lennox (an alcoholic war veteran) and Roger Wade (an alcoholic author), are clearly proxies for Chandler himself. This, to me at least, makes this book the most personal of the series. He speaks through these characters, not only via their dialogue and actions but also by th
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Mohammad Ali

بین سه تا داستانی که از چندلر تا حالا خوندم - یعنی این کتاب، پنجره ی مرتفع و بانوی دریاچه - این داستان یکم پایین تر یا حتی هم سطح بانوی دریاچه است ولی از پنجره ی مرتفع بهتره - این مقایسه ام ترجمه رو هم در بر می گیره. اگر اواخر این کتاب رو نادیده بگیریم حتی می تونم بگم که بهترین کتاب چندلره که تا حالا خوندم

اینکه از اواخر کتاب چندان راضی نیستم کلیتش دلیه و نمی تونم منطقا بگم دلیلش چیه - شاید اینکه چندلر بعد از اینهمه گله گشاد کردن داستان تو جمع کردن عناصر یکم سمبل کاری کرده. البته اینو قاطعانه می
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Amin
Feb 19, 2016 Amin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
" هیچ تلهای به اندازه تلهای که خودت واسه خودت گذاشتی مرگبار نیست "

از نظر معمایی میتونم بگم کتاب جالبی بود. البته شیوه نقل قولش متفاوت بود. خیلی زیاد یاد "آوای فاخته" رولینگ افتادم و البته درستش به نظرم این بود که قبلا این کتاب رو میخوندم و موقع خوندن آوای فاخته یاد این میفتادم. دقیقا چرا یاد اون میافتادم؟ نمیدونم.

کتاب زیادی توصیفات داشت. خیلی زیاد. البته نه از اون توصیفاتی که همیشه حوصله سر بر هستند. از اون سری توصیفات که بعضی وقتها آدم دوست داره بخونه و خودشو مشغول کنه و ذهنش رو رها کنه. نویسند
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Richard
Feb 12, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2011
I could not set this book down.

One of the many gems of dialogue:

"Alcohol is like love," he said. "The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."
"Is that bad?" I asked him.
"It's excitement of a high order, but it's an impure emotion-- impure in the aesthetic sense. I'm not sneering at sex. It's necessary and it doesn't have to be ugly. But it always has to be managed. Making it glamorous is a billion-dollar industry and it costs
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Nikki
Jan 11, 2010 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, mystery, crime
...And now I'm fresh out of Chandler.

Everyone's been telling me that The Long Goodbye is the best. I think they're right. Several people told me I should read it first. I think they're wrong. I think it's best when you know and love Philip Marlowe, and you know and love Chandler's writing, and he can come along and punch you in the gut and bowl you over all over again. Or shoot you in the head.

I loved this one the best. I loved Terry Lennox and I loved Marlowe for helping him and I kind of follo
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Eric
Jun 05, 2007 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say enough good things about Raymond Chandler. He took one of the lowest, scummiest, quick cash-in forms of writing, the private eye novel, and turned it into legitimate literature. Every paragraph boils over with some kind of allusion, metaphor, or analogy that you'd never imagine in your life, yet afterwards you don't know how you looked at the world in any other way. His cynicism is note-perfect- bitter and sad, but with plenty of humor and just the slightest hint of hope for human de ...more
Sean Wilson
May 12, 2015 Sean Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sean by: Bret Easton Ellis
Shelves: fiction
The Long Goodbye is one of those novels that you want to read with a strong cup of coffee, sipping with mindful pleasure, surrounded by varnished wooden furniture with an overall air of elegance. It's also one of those novels that happen to be a sublime example of American literature.
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Private investigator Philip Marlowe is 42 years old and does not exercise. His sport is chess yet he does not play against anybody. He just replays games of chess masters and solves chess puzzles. His brushes with danger and death he just narrates matter-of-factly. In one scene a rich, powerful, mean-spirited guy comes to his office. After some tough guy dialogue Marlowe slugs the visitor which made the latter double up in pain while his bodyguard--certainly armed--is just outside. When Marlowe ...more
amy
Apr 03, 2007 amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
At first The Long Goodbye seemed like a far more complex book than The Big Sleep because the character of Marlowe, heartless and invincible and infallible in the latter, in the former is fleshed out with various forms of weakness (subjectively defined). These include a tendency towards the romantic, bravado and braggadocio, insatiable curiosity (the bane of many existences, not least the young elephant's), and an inability to let well alone. A sharp contrast is drawn between his masterful and kn ...more
Tosh
Oct 23, 2007 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Raymond Chandler is the great Southern California poet of depair. The Long Goodbye is very much a sad look at relationships and how that affects one's psyche. I always felt Chandler is one of the great genius' of the sentence. You can tell how much he cares for the structure of his works - even when he sort of loses it at times. But it's part of the great car ride and he's the driver of course.
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How much it worth if i wana sell first edtion dusjacket one? 2 22 Oct 28, 2014 09:54PM  
Read before other Marlowe books? 11 356 Jun 16, 2014 01:45PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: The Long Goodbye 1 4 Jan 22, 2013 04:20PM  
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1377
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...

Other Books in the Series

Philip Marlowe (10 books)
  • The Big Sleep
  • Farewell, My Lovely
  • The High Window
  • The Lady in the Lake
  • The Little Sister
  • Playback
  • Poodle Springs
  • Tutto Marlowe investigatore Vol. 1
  • Tutto Marlowe investigatore Vol. 2

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“To say goodbye is to die a little.” 3256 likes
“There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.” 2000 likes
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