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Chandler's Farewell My Lovely

Farewell, My Lovely - Raymond Chandler

I like Chandler but I don't love Chandler.  Chandler is rightfully most compared to Hammett, but unlike Hammett who has deep things to say, Chandler is all style.  I don't think that Chandler is anything more than magnificently written pulp detective fiction, although there is no doubt that it is that.  With both Fleming and Hammett I feel that there is more going on fundamentally and there is a stealth word view and ethics at play.  With Chandler there is no such thing, but the craftsmanship is certainly there.  The dialogue snaps and crackles, although Marlowe wise-cracks a little too much and in the end he is a lot less ambiguous a hero than he appears.

 

The only other Chandler that I have read is the Big Sleep, and I would say that this is better than that, although they are fundamentally very similar.  Chandler is a master stylist, but perhaps in the end just that.  Still, it was entertaining and enjoyable.