The Long Goodbye
Vintage Books, 1988
First Line: 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 am perhaps doing myself a bit of a disservice by skipping Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, the 1930 novel originally serialized in Black Mask, which even Chandler admits helped throw open the doors on the hard-boiled detective novel. The focus of my project is on Chandler’s template for the hard-boiled detective a fact that invalidates Hammett’s Sam Spade. As such I am starting with Raymond Chandler’s own iconic detective Phillip Marlowe. My first exposure to Phillip Marlowe was in college where I took a class on American Crime Fiction and read the utterly fantastic The Big Sleep, probably the most well known of all the Marlowe books. This time around I went with The Long Goodbye a slightly more twisting tale that manages to squeeze in some social commentary amidst the murder, mystery and mayhem.
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