My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Truly a long goodbye, this book. Plot-wise, I mean.
As a first Chandler, I have to say I much prefer Hammett’s stories. However, writing-wise it’s easy to see why people list Chandler a little more often than Hammett. While Hammett wasn’t too bad, Chandler’s prose sticks out. His writing pops and punches.
The Long Goodbye wasn’t as noir as the two Hammett’s I’ve read, Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, offering a story that offers an almost-glimpse into the daily goings-on of a private eye, with the myriad cases that comes across his desk, but the motley crew of cases seemingly tied up in a neat circle in the end.
Also, something that bothered me throughout is Marlowe’s seemingly high personal ideals. It’s very black-and-white of this chap, with no grays in between. He refuses payments from clients at almost every turn, because he was ‘helping a friend’ or some such nonsense, and I wondered more than once how he could have possibly survived with that sort of blasé attitude towards payment for services rendered.
* edit: I wanted to note here that Chandler mentions Malaya in the text. “I thought it was more a tropical drink, hot weather stuff. Malaya or some place like that.”
** I take note of all works that I read that mentions either Malaysia or Malaya.