Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Not as complicated as it seems or as Chandler would like you to believe. And that's a-okay! I love a little private dick action and this is perfectly satisfying!
This story of a thug getting out of prison and trying to find his girl is fairly straightforward, but Raymond Chandler throws a bucketload of red herrings into Farewell, My Lovely in an attempt to throw you, dear reader, off the trail. Stick to the yellow brick road, Dorothy, and you'll figure it all out in short order.
Fresh off The Big Sleep detective Philip Marlowe is at it again in this sequel to that highly popular and well-written mystery. Farewell, My Lovely is an admirable followup, but it would be tough to meet or top one of the best detective novels of all time.
Book two in the Marlowe series marches forward, doing its best to recreate the original with a bevy of interesting characters that are relatively well-drawn for the crime noir genre. All that good, whip-smart, wise-crackin' dialogue you know and love is in place. It's just the plot that's a little out of whack. Chandler attempts to confuse the situation, and generally succeeds, but not in a particularly clever way. It's like a muddied up pond, but a pond nonetheless, so you can swim fairly easily through the murky waters to the other side.
Don't get me wrong, Farewell, My Lovely is still really good reading and any fan of the genre will enjoy it. Just don't expect a masterpiece.
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