Blog Post - Favorite Lines From William Chandler's The Long Goodbye

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Dave

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I just stumbled upon this blog post and thought it was worth posting here.


Favorite Lines from The Long Good-Bye

Here are the lines that I liked best from Raymond Chandler's The Long Good-Bye:

"… as elegant as a fifty-dollar whore."

"What I'd tell him you could fold into a blade of grass."

"He read it carefully, the way lawyers read everything."

"For two people in a hundred [marriage] is wonderful. The rest just work at it. After twenty years all the guy has left is a work bench in the garage."

"'In the room the women come and go Talking of Michelangelo.' Does that suggest anything to you, sir? 'Yeah — it suggests to me that the guy didn't know very much about women.'"

"… like a cat teasing a half-dead mouse, trying to get it to run away just once more."

"… as calm as an adobe wall in the moonlight."

"I always find what I want. But when I find it, I don't want it any more."

"I'm just sitting here waiting for a soft buck to rub itself against my cheek."

"… the sandwich was as full of rich flavour as a piece torn off an old shirt."

"He looked very excited — about as excited as a mortician at a cheap funeral."

"[He] looked as if he had been caught performing an abortion."

"I felt like a half-digested meal eaten in a greasy spoon joint."

"… there is a kind of silence that is almost as loud as a shout."

"I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between the stars."

"… as calm as a custard."

"The queer is the artistic arbiter of our age, chum. The pervert is the top guy now."

"He had a grip like a pipe wrench."

"He looked at me like an entomologist looking at a beetle."

"… she was as naked as September Morn but a darn sight less coy."

"… as sympathetic as Georgia chain gang guards."

"Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had."

"… as motionless as a sleeping cat."

"He had a face like a collapsed lung."

"It was the same old cocktail party, everybody talking too loud, nobody listening, everybody hanging on for dear life to a mug of the juice."

"… as sweet as mountain lilac."

"He could have twisted the hind leg off of an elephant."

"He stared at me as unblinkingly as a fish in a tank."

"He went down as if shot through the heart."

"… wetter than a drowned kitten."

"An hour crawled by like a sick cockroach."

"I felt like a short length of chewed string."

"He looked like a tubercular white rat."

"Nothing ever looks emptier than an empty swimming pool."

"She had eyes that could count the money in your hip wallet."

"… the television commercials would have sickened a goat raised on barbed wire and broken beer bottles."

"Not one of them could hit hard enough to wake his grandmother out of a light doze."

"I belonged there like a pearl onion on a banana split."

"He had the two-by-six grin of the guy who never loses a sale."

"She gave him a lovely smile and he looked as if he had shaken hands with God."

"… as soft as a sidewalk."

"He sat listening with that plastic smile that people wear when they are trying not to scream."

"… a mouth like a fire-bucket."

"… as rare as a fat postman."

"He called it a violin concerto. I called it a loose fan belt and the hell with it."

"They say lust makes a man old, but keeps a woman young. They say a lot of nonsense."

"He was a guy who talked with commas, like a heavy novel."

"He was about as hard to see as the Dalai Lama."

"He didn't come to you for help. It would be like borrowing money from a whore."

"… as thin as the gold on a week-end wedding ring."

"… faster than a card sharp can stack a deck."

"In my book you're a nickel's worth of nothing."

"A dead man is the best fall guy in the world. He never talks back."

"They're all shapes and sizes when they come in here, but they all go out the same size — small. And the same shape — bent."

"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer."

"I puffed at the cigarette. It was one of those things with filters in them. It tasted like a high fog strained through cotton wool."

"I wouldn't tell you the time by the clock on your own wall."

"He gave me a stare that would have frozen a fresh-baked potato."

"He looked at me as if I was a cigarette stub, or an empty chair."

"… as bald as a brick."

"He hooked me with a neat left and crossed it. Bells rang, but not for dinner."

"You talk too damn much, and it's too damn much about you."

"Some people you have to crowd and keep off balance. Some people you just box and they will end up beating themselves."

"Drunks with money are just heavy drinkers."

"Mostly I just kill time, and it dies hard."

"There was the usual scattering of compulsive drinkers, the kind that reach very slowly for the first one and watch their hands so they won't knock anything over."

"He looked like a guy who had learned to roll with a punch."

"They made hamburgers that didn't taste like something the dog wouldn't eat."

"His eyes were like holes poked in a snow bank."

"I don't know him from a cow's caboose."
 
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