The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are designed to enhance your reading of this outstanding selection from the "hard-boiled" school of crime writing: The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. We hope that it will provide you with new ways of looking at--and talking about--the nature of detective fiction, as well as give you insight into how the hard-boiled style of writing emerged in the genre; how the style was shaped by twentieth-century American culture and by the lives of the men who created it; and how this form of writing has subsequently affected the way we view ourselves as Americans.
Erin Naillon, September 1, 2007 (view all comments by Erin Naillon)
The best of Chandler's novels. The crime - a spoiled socialite battered to death - takes second place to Marlowe's relationships with the only close friend he may ever have had (the mysterious Terry Lennox), his strong yet uneasy attraction to a married woman, and his particular code of ethics. Chandler takes unerring aim at the society of the early 1950s, with devastating and highly entertaining results.
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Vintage Books USA -
by The Boston Book Review,
"Nobody can write like Chandler on his home turf, not even Faulkner....An original....A great artist."
by Library Journal,
"Chandler is not only the best writer of hardboiled P.I. stories, he's one of the 20th century's top scribes, period."
by The New York Times,
"Raymond Chandler is a master."
by The New Yorker,
"[Chandler] wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered."
by Robert B. Parker, The New York Times Book Review,
"Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious."
by Los Angeles Times,
"Philip Marlowe remains the quintessential urban private eye."
by Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books,
"[T]he prose rises to heights of unselfconscious eloquence, and we realize with a jolt of excitement that we are in the presence of not a mere action tale teller, but a stylist, a writer with a vision."
by Ross Macdonald,
"Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence."
by Erle Stanley Gardner,
"Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude."
by Paul Auster,
"Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since."
by Carolyn See,
"[Chandler]'s the perfect novelist for our times. He takes us into a different world, a world that's like ours, but isn't."
by William F. Nolan,
"His finest, most mature writing achievement."
by Random House,
Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he's divorced and re-married and who ends up dead. Now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.
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