A collection of similes, one-liners, and turns of phrase that could be written only by Raymond Chandler.


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"On the dance floor half a dozen couples were throwing themselves around with the reckless abandon of a night watchman with arthritis "---Playback (Chapter 8)

"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts "---The Big Sleep (Chapter 8)

"She's dark and lovely and passionate. And very, very kind."
"And exclusive as a mailbox," I said.
---The Little Sister (Chapter 19)

"It was a cool day and very clear. You could see a long way--but not as far as Velma had gone"---Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 41)

"I put the duster away folded with the dust in it, leaned back and just sat, not smoking, not even thinking. I was a blank man. I had no face, no meaning, no personality, hardly a name. I didn't want to eat. I didn't even want a drink. I was the page from yesterday's calendar crumpled at the bottom of the waste basket "---The Little Sister (Chapter 25)

"Eddie Mars wanted to see me."
"I didn't know you knew him. Why?"
"I don't mind telling you. He thought I was looking for somebody he thought had run away with his wife."
"Were you?"
"No."
"Then what did you come for?"
"To find out why he thought I was looking for somebody he thought had run away with his wife."
"Did you find out?"
"No."
---The Big Sleep (Chapter 23)

"Tall, aren't you?" she said.
"I didn't mean to be."
Her eyes rounded. She was puzzled. She was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother to her.
---The Big Sleep (Chapter 1)

"I never saw any of them again - except the cops. No way has yet been invented to say goodbye to them." ---The Long Goodbye (Chapter 52)

"Then he picked the glass up and tasted it and sighed again and shook his head sideways with a half smile; the way a man does when you give him a drink and he needs it very badly and it is just right and the first swallow is like a peek into a cleaner, sunnier, brighter world." " ---The High Window (Chapter 15)

"The minutes went by on toptoe, with their fingers to their lips." ---The Lady in the Lake (Chapter 1)

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight." ---The Little Sister (Chapter 12)

"I'm an occational drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard." --"The King in Yellow"

"The big foreign car drove itself, but I held the wheel for the sake of appearances." --Farewell, My Lovely (Chapter 9)

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