The Long Goodbye Book Summary - The Long Goodbye Book explained in key points

The Long Goodbye summary

Raymond Chandler

Brief summary

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler is a classic hard-boiled detective novel featuring private investigator Philip Marlowe. Set in 1950s Los Angeles, it delves into corruption, betrayal, and Marlowe's relentless pursuit of the truth.

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    The Long Goodbye
    Summary of key ideas

    The Start of a Long Goodbye

    In The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, we are introduced to Philip Marlowe, a private detective who is known for his integrity and his ability to navigate the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles. Marlowe's life takes a turn when he meets Terry Lennox, a charming war veteran with a troubled past. Lennox's wife, Sylvia, is a wealthy alcoholic who is emotionally abusive towards him. Despite the warning signs, Lennox is deeply in love with her.

    One day, Lennox asks Marlowe to help him flee to Mexico, claiming that he is in trouble with the law. Marlowe agrees, and the two men part ways. However, Marlowe soon learns that Sylvia Lennox has been found dead, and Terry has committed suicide in Mexico. The police are convinced of Terry's guilt, but Marlowe is not so sure. He begins to investigate the case, driven by his loyalty to his late friend.

    Unraveling the Mystery

    As Marlowe delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal. He learns that Terry Lennox was involved in a complex financial scam with a wealthy businessman named Roger Wade. Wade is a brilliant writer, but he is also an alcoholic, and his wife, Eileen, is struggling to keep him sober. Marlowe suspects that the Wades and the Lennoxes are connected in ways that are not immediately apparent.

    Marlowe's investigation leads him to a corrupt psychiatrist, a crooked lawyer, and a manipulative gangster. He also discovers that Terry Lennox was not the man he appeared to be. Lennox had a dark side, and his relationship with Sylvia was far more toxic than Marlowe initially realized. Despite these revelations, Marlowe remains determined to uncover the truth about Terry's death.

    A Twisted Conclusion

    As Marlowe continues his investigation, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the people he encounters. He is appalled by their greed, their cruelty, and their willingness to destroy others for their own gain. Marlowe's faith in humanity is severely tested, but he refuses to give up on his quest for justice.

    In the end, Marlowe uncovers the shocking truth about Terry Lennox's death. He learns that Terry did not commit suicide in Mexico; he was murdered. The real killer is someone Marlowe never suspected, and the motive is more twisted than he could have imagined. The revelation leaves Marlowe feeling bitter and defeated, but he is determined to see justice served.

    The Long Goodbye

    In the final chapters of The Long Goodbye, Marlowe confronts the killer and ensures that they face the consequences of their actions. However, the victory is bittersweet. Marlowe has lost his friend, his faith in humanity, and his innocence. He realizes that the world is a darker and more dangerous place than he ever imagined, and he is not sure if he can continue to be a part of it.

    In conclusion, The Long Goodbye is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of human nature and the darkness that lurks within us all. Through Philip Marlowe's eyes, we see a world of corruption, deceit, and moral ambiguity. Yet, we also witness the enduring power of integrity and the relentless pursuit of truth. In the end, Marlowe may bid a long goodbye to his illusions, but he remains committed to his principles, no matter the cost.

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    What is The Long Goodbye about?

    The Long Goodbye is a classic crime novel by Raymond Chandler. Set in 1950s Los Angeles, it follows private detective Philip Marlowe as he becomes entangled in a web of lies, betrayal, and murder. With Chandler's signature hard-boiled style and sharp dialogue, the book delves into the dark underbelly of the city and explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and the corrupting influence of power.

    The Long Goodbye Review

    The Long Goodbye (1953) by Raymond Chandler is a book that should definitely be on your reading list. Here's why:

    • With its complex and gripping plot, it keeps readers on the edge of their seats, making it impossible to put down.
    • Chandler's sharp dialogue and vivid descriptions create a compelling atmosphere that transports readers to the gritty and intriguing world of detective fiction.
    • The book offers thought-provoking insights into morality and human nature, making it more than just a thrilling mystery, but a commentary on society itself.

    Who should read The Long Goodbye?

    • Readers who enjoy classic hardboiled detective fiction
    • Fans of complex and intricately plotted mysteries
    • Those interested in exploring the seedy underbelly of 1940s Los Angeles

    About the Author

    Raymond Chandler was an American author known for his influential contributions to the hardboiled detective genre. With a career spanning the 1930s to the 1950s, Chandler's writing style and complex characters set the standard for noir fiction. Some of his notable works include The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, and The Long Goodbye. Chandler's gritty portrayal of Los Angeles and his iconic private detective, Philip Marlowe, continue to captivate readers around the world.

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    The Long Goodbye FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Long Goodbye?

    The Long Goodbye explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and the dark underbelly of Los Angeles.

    How long does it take to read The Long Goodbye?

    The reading time for The Long Goodbye varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is The Long Goodbye a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Long Goodbye is definitely worth reading. It is a classic noir detective novel that keeps you engaged from start to finish.

    Who is the author of The Long Goodbye?

    The author of The Long Goodbye is Raymond Chandler.

    What to read after The Long Goodbye?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Long Goodbye, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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