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Say Hello, if You Haven´t Already, to The Long Goodbye

November 13, 2010 by Reader's Connection

The Long GoodbyeYou may think that Raymond Chandler´s The Long Goodbye has already been read by everyone who wants to read it, and that I’m wasting a blogpost, and a newsletter post as well. I was in a spiritual predicament, however, when I began writing. I had just finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro´s The Unconsoled for an earlier post. I loved that book, but it left me in a state of cosmic embafflement, and I needed to indulge in the private-eye fantasy of being able to get to the bottom of things. (The Unconsoled was bottomless.)
Besides, there are probably a few eligible Marion County residents who haven’t read the Chandler novel, and know somewhere inside of themselves that they should.

Detective Philip Marlowe makes the acquaintance of two wealthy Los Angeles males. Roger Wade is a bestselling novelist. Terry Lennox married his money. Both are drinkers, both have problematic marriages, and they take Marlowe on a ride that he would rather have skipped. This is Chandler’s next-to-the-last Marlowe novel (1953), as dark in its own way as The Unconsoled but wonderfully satisfying. 

It may be my favorite Marlowe. Like a good detective, though, I’ll need to examine all the evidence. My next reread will be The Lady in the Lake.



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