Why did I love this book?
The Long Goodbye is a weird book and I like weird books. Although it’s cloaked as genre fiction, it is clearly influenced by the non-linear, experimental fiction of the modernist period. The book is full of carnivalesque characters who seem to loom out of the shadows, spinning Chandler’s hard-boiled detective Marlowe around and sending him off in new directions, characters that echo each other like multiplied images in a funhouse mirror, and bizarre detours where tangled subplots weave into the narrative, then unravel as Marlowe is sent caroming off again. In the end, I’m always left wondering how much of the hallucinogenic happenings were real, how much Marlowe even understood what happened, and who was really pulling the strings all along.