Only Love Breaks Your Heart

Farewell, My Lovely

Raymond Chandler, 1940

My favorite part of this book is when I realized in the last 30 pages that the entire middle of the book had nothing to do with the resolution of the plot. You could have taken out the whole sequence with the Psychic, the corrupt cops, and the crooked sanitarium and with very little effort had reached the same endpoint. But its the sort of taking the plot for a walk that I like. It’s just Marlowe dealing with conflict, taking on pain, and keeping his smarts while almost losing his grasp. It’s powerful external conflict creating pulsating inner conflict (coming down from all the dope he’s been shot with) which is better than plot momentum when it’s handled as well as Chandler does it.

-Daniel Von Egidy, 2012

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