Eight years ago Moose Malloy and cute little redhead Velma were getting married - until someone framed Malloy for armed robbery. Now his stretch is up and he wants Velma back.
PI Philip Marlow meets Malloy one hot day in Hollywood and, out of the generosity of his jaded heart, agrees to help him. Dragged from one smoky bar to another, Marlowe's search for Velma turns up plenty of dangerous gangsters with a nasty habit of shooting first and talking later. And soon what started as a search for a missing person becomes a matter of life and death....
Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and moved to England with his family when he was 12. He attended Dulwich College, Alma Mater to some of the 20th century's most renowned writers. Returning to America in 1912, he settled in California, worked in a number of jobs, and later married.
It was during the Depression era that he seriously turned his hand to writing and his first published story appeared in the pulp magazine Black Mask in 1933, followed six years later by his first novel. The Big Sleep introduced the world to Philip Marlowe, the often imitated but never-bettered hard-boiled private investigator. It is in Marlowe's long shadow that every fictional detective must stand - and under the influence of Raymond Chandler's addictive prose that every crime author must write.
©1940 Raymond Chandler (P)2014 Audible, Ltd.
"Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the first sentence." (Daily Telegraph)
"One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards others still try to attain." (Sunday Times)
"Chandler is an original stylist, creator of a character as immortal as Sherlock Holmes." (Anthony Burgess)
The Chandler stories are classic detective fiction, the origin of the private eye tropes we all know today. The narrator, Ray Porter, for the Audible recordings is absolutely PERFECT for reading Chandler - wonderful gruff, smoky American accent and can change his voice enough to distinguish the different characters' dialogue.
Completely brilliant on every count. The all-time classic genre-defining detective novel, and perhaps the best narration I've ever heard of any book ever here on Audible. Ray Porter delivers Chandler's glittering prose with style and panache. The voice and accent for every character is distinct and completely believable: listening was a joy from beginning to end.
Alcohol consumption, attitude to women and level of violence don't ring true, but a well crafted story which moves to unexpected places.
This second in Chandlers hardboiled series of books is easy reading as always.
the Big sleep is slightly better, but if you enjoyed it you'll enjoy this.
it's all read and a satisfying yet not epic length.
"A Fond Farewell"
This is a fabulous yarn and one can readily see how it cemented Chandler's place in the Pantheon of of the noir genre, a genre that he was creating, defining and championing as his own with each book that he had published. It is possibly my favourite Chandler, but they're each so good, it's hard to pick from among most of them. I think the reasons I am partial to this one are that, in addition to Marlowe (wiseguy with wisecracks), the femmes are so fatale, the nasties are so dispicable and the writing is so tight, that it is almost a blueprint for the imitators. They try so hard, and mostly fail, to reproduce its dangerous charm and magic.
As for Ray Porter, see my review of "The Big Sleep". He has Marlow down.
"In the bedroom of noir I haven't read many better."
“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.”
There is reason Chandler is part of my Hardboiled Crime Trinity (Cain, Hammett, Chandler). This novel was perfect in pace, pitch, and plot. Sometimes you wonder if he is going to make a stretched metaphor stick, and he nails it just to spite you. This might not be a five-star novel in the house of novels, but in the bedroom of noir I haven't read many better.
"Slow it Down! It plays better at 1/2 speed!"
This is my favorite Chandler book and I was really excited when it came out as an unabridged audio book. Ray Porter read this book like he was in a hurry to finish it, which is the last thing you want to be when reading Ray Chandler. However I decided to slow it down and played it at 1/2 speed and it was just about the right speed. It was an enjoyable experience at half speed. If you do download this book, set your device to play it at half speed and you will enjoy it a whole lot more. Ray Porter's performance is actually good if you slow it way down.
"Whoa! Not PC but awesome 40's mystery!"
He loved her.
I would have to say the book's climax but then I'm not likely to give that away.
The narrator does a great job bringing Mr. Marlowe and various other characters to life--even the female characters. I had no problem distinguishing one from another.
He loved her...
Giving a heads up to those easily offended. This was a fun little mystery with great narration but it is a book of its time and place, hard boiled 1940 LA. I learned some new slang as well as some new racial slurs--well, at least they were new to me. If that's likely to bother you, you might wanna skip this one. That said, I liked "Farewell My Lovely" so well, I nearly finished it in one listen.
"Chandler upped the ante"
This is a masterpiece. As distinct as "a tarantula on a slice of angel food". While The Big Sleep is a classic, it is pretty obvious from beginning that FML is step up in both writing and performance.
"Iffy characterization for Marlowe"
The narrator didn't play Marlowe as hard-boiled as I'd like, though his other voices did well.
"REAL OLD-FASHIONED PI"
HARD HEADED INVESTIGATOR
As expected; however, all loose ends were tied up at one time.
He was excellent. He had the timing and rhythm of the tough PI.
Yes, but I couldn't.
"Great story, clumsy narration."
Chandler is great. I've read them all. It's nice to have an unabridged version.
Chandler was a master of the metaphor, so much so its become cliche for detective stories. But somehow Chandler's prose still holds up.
Its annoying how he mispronounces Riordan wrong. Its 'Rear-don' not 'Ree-oh-din.'
It would be an easy fix just to replace all the lines with the name 'Riordan' in it.
His Marlowe is ok but I would've been happier if he didn't even attempt a female voice. It always sounds like Monty Python skit or a bad female impersonator.
I'm glad they made it and the narrator is mostly fine.
I don’t generally read crime novels. Many years ago though someone I liked recommended Raymond Chandler’s books. So I immediately bought a Raymond Chandler compilation, but then never got around to reading it.
Recently I decided to try again with audiobooks. Wow. I’m really glad I did.
The two Raymond Chandler’s books I’ve read so far are exceptionally good. I tried Dashiell Hammett’s “Maltese Falcon” in between, but did not find it was in the same class as “Farewell My Lovely” and “The Big Sleep”.
I highly recommend “Farewell My Lovely” as a well-written and thoroughly engaging book, even if you are not into crime novels. It is, btw, also superbly narrated.
I’ve already bought Raymond Chandler’s “Playback” and will listen to it next.
"The father of an entire genre; an important writer"
If there could be some way to make the plot more coherent, that would be nice. Just like the movies that were made from Chandler's novels, if you just sit back and enjoy the ride, they can be a lot of fun. But if you look carefully at them, you soon discover that the plots make no sense. Some of the writing is masterful. Much of the humor is very witty, and so the book holds your interest for almost its whole length. But not quite.
Yes. I bought The Big Sleep, which I will read soon. I vaguely remember the movie, with the dying old rich guy who has two lovely daughters, one of whom is wild. I also like Ray Porter as the narrator, but further I really agreed with the comment that the books should be slowed down to half speed. That would make them twice the length, which would not work out well, but Mr. Porter's gifts would be more obviously apparent.
Ray Porter always does a fine job with this kind of material. He sounds like a terrific tough guy with a great sense of humor. If I didn't know better I would guess that Spenser was modeled on this guy. Reading Robert B. Parker is easy, though, and I never quit before the books are through. Marlow is a good character, but there is too much pure wise cracking to see him as an actual human being. Susan Silverman softens up Spenser very nicely. Marlow has a couple of female possibilities, but a genuine love interest would have ratcheted up my interest in the character and in the book.
These questions are just hard to answer, because there are so many fine actors around. Robert Downey comes to mind immediately as Marlowe. What I would really love, though, would be a total gender shift, with Cate Blanchett playing Marlowe and all the other changes being made to make it work. Personally, I find Cate to be the best actor of her generation by a long distance, and this is a radical thing which she, and only she, I think, could pull off as a masterful tour de force. But no one in Hollywood would spend a nickel on such a dumb idea, which is why I'm a psychologist and not a suit in Tinseltown.
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