Confession the first: I took a film noir class at university and, for the most part, hated it.
Crime fiction has never grabbed me. I forget characters’ names (particularly if they have nicknames or their first and second names are used interchangeably); I inevitably lose track of who is on which side; and by the time a character is reintroduced, I seldom remember why they were involved in the first place. And what’s with the constant descriptions of every piece of furniture?!
Confession the second: It took me about 3 reads of the first 2 chapters before I decided not to give up on this book.
Enough of my shortcomings as a reader. Admittedly, I’m glad I stuck with it.
Farewell, My Lovely is the story of Philip Marlowe, a private detective who is corralled into the company of the less-than-obsequious Moose Malloy, who, in search of his lost love Velma, shoots and murders a black man in a bar. While in search of Malloy, Marlowe digs his teeth into a case involving jewel thieves. Inevitably, the plots merge.
Despite my resistance, Chandler’s descriptions, replete with stunning metaphors and turns of phrase, allowed me to cast aside my issues with over-exposition and enjoy the ebb and flow.
The verdict? I’m glad I gave it a whirl. Since Farewell, My Lovely is widely considered Chandler’s best work, however, I’m in no rush to delve further into his bibliography.