10 books like The Long Goodbye

By Raymond Chandler,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Long Goodbye. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Frankenstein

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Book cover of Frankenstein

Okay, I know Frankenstein’s Creature is generally viewed as a Monster rather than zombie but hey, he’s built from graveyard flesh and bone. His creator is generally seen as a ‘man of science’ but he dabbled in the occult and alchemy, too, even if he abandoned those ideas to try modern alternatives. It’s an amazing book using The Creature’s plight to challenge our ideas and morals. These ideas of how we should treat people and the results remain poignant but it is the loneliness of the Creature and its battle to survive its rejection by its creator and society that holds the modern-day reader even now.

Frankenstein

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Frankenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…


In the Woods

By Tana French,

Book cover of In the Woods

I love Tana French’s books. She’s a master of mystery and suspense but her books are normally fairly straightforward, gather-the-clues-and-figure-out-the-secret procedurals. In the Woods has a different feel. It delves more into psychological territory and relies partially on an unsolved mystery from the past–of which one of the detectives Rob was the sole, amnesiac survivor–that affects how the mystery in the present unfolds. As the tension builds, the reader is never sure whether the past events tie into the present mystery, Rob is cracking up under the pressure of the investigation and the bits of memory that return to him, or some unseen force is steering the protagonists away from the solution. 

In the Woods

By Tana French,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).

"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." -The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only…


Money

By Martin Amis, Bert Krak (illustrator),

Book cover of Money: A Suicide Note

Money is a quintessential novel of the eighties, on a par with Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities. John Self is a director of ads, but also a drunk, addicted to porn, prostitutes, and food, and a spendthrift. Invited to shoot a feature film in the States, unlike the typical Englishman, he feels at home there. The hedonism, materialism, and excesses are second nature to him. Self goes from one scrape to another, but, as his name suggests, identity is a key theme, and it turns out that he is not who he thinks he is. There is even a character called Martin Amis. Money made me laugh non-stop, but also think. What is the point of living in a world as crass as this? And in what ways might I be like John Self?   

Money

By Martin Amis, Bert Krak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Time's 100 best novels in the English language-by the acclaimed author of Lionel Asbo: State of England and London Fields

Part of Martin Amis's "London Trilogy," along with the novel London Fields and The Information, Money was hailed as "a sprawling, fierce, vulgar display" (The New Republic) and "exhilarating, skillful, savvy" (The Times Literary Supplement) when it made its first appearance in the mid-1980s. Amis's shocking, funny, and on-target portraits of life in the fast lane form a bold and frightening portrait of Ronald Reagan's America and Margaret Thatcher's England.

Money is the hilarious story of John Self,…


The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

By Stephen Donaldson,

Book cover of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever : Lord Foul's Bane', 'Illearth War' and 'Power That Preserves

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is a fantastic tale of two worlds. There is the Land, a mystical place of good versus evil, with inhabitants who use supernatural means to summon help against the darkness, and our world where the writer Thomas Covenant lives as an outcast to keep his leprosy in remission and to avoid his hostile neighbors. When he is magically transported to the Land and its people beg him to fight the evil for them, he refuses, believing it is a suicidal delusion that will reactivate his disease and kill him. The troubled hero Covenant could not be more compelling, or his dilemma better written, especially as the true-blue inhabitants of the Land struggle to understand why he can’t do the right thing.

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

By Stephen Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The acclaimed fantasy epic, together in one volume.


The Silence of the Lambs

By Thomas Harris,

Book cover of The Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal Lector? Need I say more? But, okay, I guess I will. This was the first serial killer book I ever read, and I read it having already watched the movie way back in the day, so it visually popped with every word. The investigative FBI and police procedural material were top-notch. This version of using one serial killer to find another will never be topped. I’m also a big fan of never being in the killer’s head and finding out who it is right along with Clarice Starling.

The Silence of the Lambs

By Thomas Harris,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Silence of the Lambs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.

That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs--an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.


A Wild Sheep Chase

By Haruki Murakami,

Book cover of A Wild Sheep Chase

Murakami is a master of misdirection and foreboding. He’s clearly influenced by the hard-boiled detective fiction of Hammett and Chandler. His books often echo elements of the genre. The protagonist of A Wild Sheep Chase finds himself caught in an impersonal system of crime and corruption and driven down strange pathways on a quest he does not fully understand. Murakami takes the hazy, dream-like atmosphere of Chandler’s work and develops it into a kind of magical realist form that leaves the reader with a solved mystery but still wondering what exactly happened.

A Wild Sheep Chase

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Wild Sheep Chase as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Features a cast of bizarre characters, including a sheep with a mysterious star on its back, caught up in a Nietzschean quest for power.


The Getaway

By Jim Thompson,

Book cover of The Getaway

The Getaway by Jim Thompson and the film directed by Sam Peckinpah is a gritty slice of noir and the classic story of a bank heist gone wrong. It’s a beautifully pulpy showcase for the twisted marriage of Doc and Carol, played by Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw with perfection in the film. It plunges you into the very core of moral ambiguity and the ending of the book is unexpected, sublime, and a sledgehammer to the head. A great first book and film to introduce a reader to noir styles.

The Getaway

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Getaway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work presents a new and important paradigm modification in psychology that attempts to incorporate ideas from quantum physics and postmodern culture. The author feels that the current diagnostic model of the mental health establishment is too entwined with political and economic factors to represent a valid method for healing psychological problems. The predominant model is too linear, reductionist, normative, and based upon an abnormal view of behavior. Exacerbating this problem is our highly accelerated present-day lifestyle in which new processes and interactions are constantly emerging. The postmodern self is evolving into a manipulative, situational self with no authentic core…


L.A. Confidential

By James Ellroy,

Book cover of L.A. Confidential

Again, this should cover the whole LA Quartet. Crime novels that ooze the sleaziness, despair, and hypocrisy of the city of dreams that Hollywood built. Perfectly formed sentences, amazing characters, a story that twists and turns more than a rollercoaster and Ellroy’s savage wit. What more could anybody want? Except more Ellroy books….

L.A. Confidential

By James Ellroy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked L.A. Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals. Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers. The novel takes these cops on a sprawling epic of brutal violence and the murderous seedy side of Hollywood. One of the best (and longest) crime novels ever written, it is the heart of Ellroy's four-novel masterpiece, the LA Quartet, and an example of crime writing at its most powerful.


The Grifters

By Jim Thompson,

Book cover of The Grifters

Another Jim Thompson classic, The Grifters is about a trio of con artists trying to move up from being small-time crooks. They add love and a mother/son relationship into the mix which only makes things worse. The film directed by Stephen Frears is a master-class in acting from Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, and John Cusak. The scene at the end couldn’t be more shocking as a way to wrap up a noir film. Money is paramount in the world of the grifters, everything else secondary. What could be more noir than that?

The Grifters

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Grifters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roy Dillon is young, good-looking and devastatingly charming. He's also a completely amoral con man. Lily, his mother, works for the mob. Moira Langtry, Roy's mistress, is always looking for the main chance, and so is Carol Roberg, the nurse brought in to look after Roy when a bad choice of mark means he has an unfortunate encounter with a baseball bat and a bad case of internal bleeding. Together they make up a perverse quadrangle of love and greed in a coruscating novel of corruption.


Devil in a Blue Dress

By Walter Mosley,

Book cover of Devil in a Blue Dress

Mosely’s debut is drenched in barrooms and none better than John’s Place, a speakeasy behind a convenience store that has to stay a speakeasy in 1948 because the owner has trouble with the law. A perfect metaphor for the Black experience: even when it's legal, it’s still illegal for Black Americans. I love this book for its voice: it just sounds so cool. “They didn’t have many groceries, and no fresh produce or dairy goods, but she’d sell you what was there and if you knew the right words, or were a regular, then she’d let you in the club through the back door. But if you though that you should be able to get in on account of your name, or your clothes or maybe your bankbook, well, Hattie kept a straight razor in her apron pocket.”

Devil in a Blue Dress

By Walter Mosley,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Devil in a Blue Dress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.


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