42 pages 1 hour read

Raymond Chandler

The Long Goodbye

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1953

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Important Quotes

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“The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers.”


(Chapter 1, Page 4)

The opening line of the novel creates an immediate juxtaposition between the wealth and splendor of the expensive car and the tragic alcoholism of Terry Lennox. Despite the cost of the car he drives, Lennox is not happy. Thanks to the accumulated trauma of his past and the alienated nature of his present, money cannot satisfy his needs. As becomes clear throughout the narrative, money and the capitalist system alienate people more than they make people happy.

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“I don’t read them often, only when I run out of things to dislike.”


(Chapter 3, Page 11)

Marlowe is a misanthropic figure who seeks out reasons to be miserable. The gossip columns in the newspapers aggravate him, so he actively reads the stories of the rich and the famous to fuel his dispassion for the world. For Marlowe, this is a form of discipline. He punishes himself for his perceived failures by reminding himself how he works to preserve a world and a system which he evidently dislikes.

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“Hard little men in hard little offices talking hard little words that don’t mean a goddamn thing.”


(Chapter 9, Page 36)

Marlowe’s cynicism strips away the thin veneer of sensibility which masks the true reality of the world. Everyone in Los Angeles is putting on a show, from the movie stars to the police to his clients.

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By Raymond Chandler

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