50+ Raymond Chandler Quotes From The Detective Fiction Writer

Raymond Chandler quotes are striking.
Share
Tweet

Raymond Chandler was an American-British author who wrote gripping detective fiction novels.

Raymond Chandler is known for his most famous fiction novel 'The Big Sleep'. He also worked in screenwriting and wrote the script of 'Double Indemnity'.

Philip Marlowe is the leading character of Raymond Chandler's detective novels, and he features in seven of his books. Here, you will find some of the best Phillip Marlowe quotes that make him such a memorable character. If you find these Raymond Chandler quotes intriguing, you can also check out these [Sherlock Holmes quotes] and [detective quotes] for more quotes all about detectives.

Famous Raymond Chandler Quotes

Raymond Chandler quotes are mysterious.

Let's get started with some great quotes from Raymond Chandler novels and other popular works. In this section you will also find 'The Long Goodbye' quotes from one of Raymond's best private detective stories. There are loads of great Raymond Chandler quotes. 'Down These Mean Streets' quotes are great for insights into his making of a detective, for example.

1. "The French have a phrase for it... To say goodbye is to die a little."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Long Goodbye'.

2. "Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor "

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Simple Art Of Murder'.

3. "From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The High Window'.

4. "He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Simple Art Of Murder'.

5. "A check girl in peach-bloom Chinese pajamas came over to take my hat and disapprove of my clothes. She had eyes like strange sins."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The High Window'.

6. "The story is this man's adventure in search of a hidden truth. "

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Simple Art Of Murder'.

7. "Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

8. "The white moonlight was cold and clear, like the justice we dream of but don't find."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The High Window'.

9. "It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Red Wind'.

10. "A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

11. "Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

12. "The streets were dark with something more than night."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Letter To Charles W. Morton'.

13. "He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

14. "If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

15. "The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

Quotes From The Best Raymond Chandler Books  

Here are some of the best Raymond Chandler quotes that he has produced through his numerous books.

16. "She had pewter-colored hair set in a ruthless permanent, a hard beak and moist eyes with the sympathetic expression of wet stones."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The High Window'.

17. "I decided I could lose nothing by the soft approach."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Lady In The Lake'.

18. "If I wasn't hard, I wouldn't be alive."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Playback'.

19. "A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Pearls Are A Nuisance'.

20.  "I smelled of gin. Not just casually... but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nosedived off the boat deck. "

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Lady In The Lake'.

21. "'Guns never settle anything,' I said. 'They are just a fast curtain to a bad second act.'"

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Playback'.

22. "A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. "

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Long Goodbye'.

23. "She looked playful and eager, but not quite sure of herself."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Lady In The Lake'.

24. "They live over-strained lives in which far too much humanity is sacrificed to far too little art."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

25. "I went out the kitchen to make coffee - yards of coffee."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Long Goodbye'.

26. "However hard I try to be nice I always end up with my nose in the dirt."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Lady In The Lake'.

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

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Long Goodbye'.

28. "An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence."

‒ Raymond Chandler.

29. "The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Simple Art Of Murder'.

30. "You talk too damn much and too damn much of it is about you."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Long Goodbye'.

'The Big Sleep Quotes' By Raymond Chandler

'The Big Sleep' is considered by many as the best work of Raymond Chandler, it portrays a realistic society and the detective's interactions with society while solving a case.

31. "Dead men are heavier than broken hearts."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

32. "I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

33. "It was about eleven o'clock  in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

34. "The soft wet heat was like a pall around us."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

35. "Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

36. "She lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain. "

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.  

37. "It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

38. "The pulse in his lean gray throat throbbed visibly and yet so slowly that it was hardly a pulse at all."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

39. "She was worth a stare. She was trouble."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

40. "I was as empty of life as a scarecrow’s pockets."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

41. "The room contained an odd assortment of odors, of which the most emphatic at the moment seemed to be the pungent aftermath of cordite and the sickish aroma of ether."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.

'Farewell, My Lovely' Quotes By Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler quotes are enigmatic.

Here are some quotes from 'Farwell, My Lovely', an iconic book by Raymond Chandler published in the year 1940.

42. "I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

43. "The big foreign car drove itself, but I held the wheel for the sake of appearances."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

44. "It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

45. "Dames lie about anything - just for practice."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

46. "She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

47. "Mr. Lindsay Marriott’s face looked as if he had swallowed a bee."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

48. "The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on. "

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

49. "You know what's wrong with this country, baby?... A man can't stay honest if he wants to."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

50. "She was a cute as a washtub."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

51. "He was a windblown blossom of some two hundred pounds with freckled teeth and the mellow voice of a circus barker."

‒ Raymond Chandler, 'Farewell, My Lovely'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Raymond Chandler quotes then why not take a look at these 'True Detective' quotes or Joe Kenda quotes too?

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.