42 pages 1 hour read

Raymond Chandler

The Long Goodbye

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1953

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Chapters 1-10Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

In the parking lot of a club called the Dancers, private detective Philip Marlowe meets a drunk man named Terry Lennox. After Lennox politely complains to his ex-wife Sylvia about his lack of money, she leaves. Marlowe offers to drive Lennox home to “sober him up” (5). He notices small scars on Lennox’s skin which suggest that Lennox has undergone cosmetic surgery. When Lennox is sober enough, he apologizes to Marlowe and returns to his “small and stuffy and impersonal” (6) apartment. Marlowe leaves, pitying the poor, alcoholic Lennox.

Chapter 2 Summary

A month later, Marlowe sees Lennox drunk on the street. He takes Lennox home and helps him fetch an expensive suitcase from the bus station depository. Lennox explains that he married Sylvia for her family’s wealth, but now he is too proud to ask her for money. Marlowe has “a feeling” (8) about Lennox, so he helps him arrange a bus trip to Las Vegas, where Randy Starr—Lennox’s friend from the Army—will find him a job. After Lennox leaves, Sylvia calls Marlowe. She is concerned about her ex-husband. After telling her Lennox’s plan, Marlowe criticizing her for not helping her husband when he was “down and out, starving, dirty, without a bean” (10).

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