Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What can I say? I absolutely loved the style and imagery. I mean, SERIOUSLY loved it. Marlowe is the quintessential hard-boiled detective who is suspicious of everyone, especially the dames, clients, cops, and thugs... but he has a pretty good understanding with the thugs.
The tale is fun and familiar, partly because Chandler paved the road for the best of what we know of Noir, but moreover, it's just GOOD. Snappy. Sarcastic. So VERY colorful.
And because -- let's be fair -- this came out in 1940, we need to adjust our sensibilities. Just a little. As a character, Marlowe is an alcoholic racist who lets his boredom rule his feet and his mouth.
I don't have to like his racism to think of him as the anti-hero that he is. He's an asshole in more ways than one. But he happens to hurt assholes, so that's viscerally okay. By today's standards, it's problematic, as are so many things that came out back then are, today, but the core and the style in this is totally brilliant. I'm often astounded by the turns of phrase. And so, for that, alone, I would totally recommend this.
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