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Farewell My Lovely” is a classic detective novel by Raymond Chandler, featuring his iconic private detective, Philip Marlowe.

For the 2024 A to Z Challenge, I am sharing favorite quotes from favorite books. Enjoy!

Why Should People Read Farewell My Lovely?

Farewell My Lovely” is a quintessential classic in the genre of hardboiled detective fiction, and there are several reasons why people should read it:

  • Iconic Protagonist: The novel features Raymond Chandler’s iconic private detective, Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is a complex character with a strong moral compass, sharp wit, and a knack for navigating the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles.
  • Engrossing Plot: The plot of “Farewell My Lovely” is gripping and full of twists and turns. Set in the gritty world of crime and corruption, it follows Marlowe as he becomes entangled in a web of deceit, murder, and betrayal while investigating a missing person case.
  • Rich Atmosphere: Chandler’s vivid descriptions bring 1940s Los Angeles to life, immersing readers in its smoky bars, dark alleys, and glamorous mansions. The novel’s atmospheric setting adds depth and texture to the story, enhancing the overall reading experience.
  • Masterful Writing: Chandler’s prose is renowned for its elegance, wit, and hard-hitting realism. His sharp dialogue, evocative language, and keen observations of human nature make “Farewell My Lovely” a pleasure to read for fans of well-crafted literature.
  • Exploration of Themes: While “Farewell My Lovely” is primarily a suspenseful crime novel, it also delves into deeper themes such as morality, justice, and the corrupting influence of power. Chandler’s exploration of these themes adds depth and complexity to the story, inviting readers to ponder larger questions about society and human nature.

Overall, “Farewell My Lovely” is a timeless classic that continues to captivate readers with its compelling characters, atmospheric setting, and masterful storytelling. Whether you’re a fan of detective fiction or simply appreciate well-written literature, this novel is definitely worth reading.

5 Interesting Facts About Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler led a fascinating life, and there are several interesting facts about him that shed light on both his personal background and his writing career.

Here are five intriguing facts about Raymond Chandler:

  • Late Start to Writing Career: Chandler didn’t start writing fiction until his mid-forties. Before becoming a novelist, he held various jobs, including as an oil company executive and an executive for a California-based newspaper syndicate. It wasn’t until he lost his job during the Great Depression that he turned to writing to make a living.
  • Creation of Philip Marlowe: Chandler’s iconic detective character, Philip Marlowe, made his debut in Chandler’s first novel, “The Big Sleep,” published in 1939. Marlowe’s character was partly inspired by Chandler’s own experiences and observations, as well as by his admiration for hardboiled detective fiction of the time.
  • Screenwriting Career: In addition to his novels, Chandler also had a successful career as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He worked on several film adaptations of his own novels, as well as on original screenplays. One of his most notable collaborations was with director Billy Wilder on the film “Double Indemnity,” which is considered a classic of film noir.
  • Tumultuous Personal Life: Chandler’s personal life was marked by turmoil and struggles with alcoholism and depression. He had a tumultuous relationship with his wife, Cissy, and they often lived apart for extended periods. Despite his literary success, Chandler grappled with feelings of insecurity and self-doubt throughout his life.
  • Influence on Detective Fiction: Chandler’s writing had a profound impact on the development of detective fiction as a genre. He helped to redefine the genre by introducing elements of psychological depth, moral ambiguity, and social commentary into his novels. His works continue to be studied and admired by writers, critics, and readers for their literary merit and lasting influence.

These facts highlight Raymond Chandler’s multifaceted career, his complex personal life, and his enduring legacy as one of the most influential figures in detective fiction.

Farewell My Lovely Movie Starring Robert Mitchum – Review

“Farewell My Lovely” has been adapted into film multiple times, with one of the most notable adaptations being the 1975 version directed by Dick Richards, starring Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe.

Title: Farewell My Lovely (1975)
Director: Dick Richards
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland

Dick Richards‘ adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s “Farewell My Lovely” is a stylish and atmospheric film noir that captures the essence of the hardboiled detective genre. Robert Mitchum delivers a compelling performance as Philip Marlowe, embodying the character’s world-weary cynicism and moral integrity with authenticity and charisma.

The film faithfully captures the gritty, urban landscape of 1940s Los Angeles, transporting viewers into a world of crime, corruption, and moral ambiguity. The cinematography, set design, and costume work evoke the period with remarkable detail, immersing audiences in the seedy underbelly of the city.

Mitchum’s portrayal of Marlowe is a highlight of the film, showcasing the actor’s natural charm and understated charisma. His chemistry with the supporting cast, including Charlotte Rampling as the enigmatic femme fatale, adds depth and nuance to the story, while John Ireland delivers a memorable performance as the sinister gangster, Moose Malloy.

The screenplay, written by David Zelag Goodman, effectively captures the essence of Chandler’s novel, maintaining the novel’s intricate plot, sharp dialogue, and dark humor. While some liberties are taken with the source material, the film remains faithful to the spirit of Chandler’s work, offering a compelling and entertaining adaptation for fans of the genre.

Overall, “Farewell My Lovely” is a stylish and atmospheric film noir that delivers on both style and substance. With Robert Mitchum’s iconic performance as Philip Marlowe and Dick Richards’ assured direction, it remains a standout entry in the canon of classic detective films.

Rating: 4/5

Famous Farewell My Lovely Quotes

These 8 quotes showcase Chandler’s distinctive style, his dry wit, and the vivid imagery that characterize his writing, as well as the cynical and world-weary perspective of his protagonist, Philip Marlowe.

  1. “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.”
  2. “It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”
  3. “She was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother to her.”
  4. “Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.”
  5. “It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.”
  6. “I belonged in Idle Valley like a pearl onion on a banana split.”
  7. “He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.”
  8. “She lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain. I was to get to know that trick. That was supposed to make me roll over on my back with all four paws in the air.”

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Raymond Chandler Quotes from FAREWELL MY LOVELY.

"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts." Quotes by Raymond Chandler from FAREWELL MY LOVELY.