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100 Great Quotes By Raymond Chandler, One Of The Most Influential Crime Authors

Famous As: Novelist and Screenwriter
Born On: July 23, 1888
Died On: March 26, 1959
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died At Age: 70
Raymond Thornton Chandler was a famous American-British screenwriter and novelist. He lost his job during the Great Depression; he was forty-four and decided to become a detective fiction writer. In 1933, a short story titled ‘Blackmailers Don’t Shoot,’ written by Chandler, was published in a renowned pulp magazine named ‘Black Mask.’ Published in 1939, ‘The Big Sleep’ was his debut novel. Few of his renowned novels include ‘The Long Goodbye,’ ‘Farewell, My Lovely,’ and ‘The Little Sister.’ He was also appointed as the President of the ‘Mystery Writers of America,’ just a year before his death in 1959. We bring to you a list of notable quotes and sayings by Raymond Chandler, which have been excerpted from his writings, short-stories, screenplays, books, novels, etc. Following is a collection of quotes by Raymond Chandler on books, farewell, winds, love, detective, death, ideas, moment, advice, hero, habit, women, chaos, science, war, etc.
To say goodbye is to die a little.

To say goodbye is to die a little.

Raymond Chandler
There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.

There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself.

Raymond Chandler
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.

Raymond Chandler
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.

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

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

Raymond Chandler
Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.

Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.

Raymond Chandler
There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren't as good as others.

There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren't as good as others.

Raymond Chandler
Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.

Without magic, there is no art. Without art, there is no idealism. Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.

Raymond Chandler
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. I put them on and went out of the room.

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. I put them on and went out of the room.

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

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

Raymond Chandler
Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.

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

Raymond Chandler
It seemed like a nice neighborhood to have bad habits in.

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

Raymond Chandler
She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.

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

Raymond Chandler
The girl gave him a look which ought to have stuck at least four inches out of his back.

The girl gave him a look which ought to have stuck at least four inches out of his back.

Raymond Chandler
The streets were dark with something more then night.

The streets were dark with something more then night.

Raymond Chandler
You talk too damn much and too damn much of it is about you.

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

Raymond Chandler
As honest as you can expect a man to be in a world where its going out of style.

As honest as you can expect a man to be in a world where its going out of style.

Raymond Chandler
The French have a phrase for it. The bastards have a phrase for everything and they are always right. To say goodbye is to die a little.

The French have a phrase for it. The bastards have a phrase for everything and they are always right. To say goodbye is to die a little.

Raymond Chandler
He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.

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

Raymond Chandler
You're broke, eh?

You're broke, eh?" I been shaking two nickels together for a month, trying to get them to mate.

Raymond Chandler
I was neat, clean, shaved and sober and I didn't care who knew it.

I was neat, clean, shaved and sober and I didn't care who knew it.

Raymond Chandler
I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.

I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.

Raymond Chandler
In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.

In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.

Raymond Chandler
Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.

Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.

Raymond Chandler
A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled.

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

Raymond Chandler
I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin.

I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin.

Raymond Chandler
Mostly I just kill time,

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

Raymond Chandler
He was a guy who talked with commas, like a heavy novel. Over the phone anyway.

He was a guy who talked with commas, like a heavy novel. Over the phone anyway.

Raymond Chandler
Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all of the tricks and has nothing to say.

Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all of the tricks and has nothing to say.

Raymond Chandler
I'm all done with hating you. It's all washed out of me. I hate people hard, but I don't hate them very long.

I'm all done with hating you. It's all washed out of me. I hate people hard, but I don't hate them very long.

Raymond Chandler
Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.

Raymond Chandler
Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form inself on the edge of consciousness.

Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form inself on the edge of consciousness.

Raymond Chandler
I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.

I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.

Raymond Chandler
The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.

The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.

Raymond Chandler
Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.

Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.

Raymond Chandler
A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong.

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

Raymond Chandler
There was a sad fellow over on a bar stool talking to the bartender, who was polishing a glass and listening with that plastic smile people wear when they are trying not to scream.

There was a sad fellow over on a bar stool talking to the bartender, who was polishing a glass and listening with that plastic smile people wear when they are trying not to scream.

Raymond Chandler
You can have a hangover from other things than alcohol. I had one from women.

You can have a hangover from other things than alcohol. I had one from women.

Raymond Chandler
Don't ever write anything you don't like yourself and if you do like it, don't take anyone's advice about changing it. They just don't know.

Don't ever write anything you don't like yourself and if you do like it, don't take anyone's advice about changing it. They just don't know.

Raymond Chandler
I hung up. It was a good start, but it didn’t go far enough. I ought to have locked the door and hidden under the desk.

I hung up. It was a good start, but it didn’t go far enough. I ought to have locked the door and hidden under the desk.

Raymond Chandler
The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the single most valuable investment a writer can make with his time.

The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the single most valuable investment a writer can make with his time.

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

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

Raymond Chandler
I'm in a wild mood tonight. I want to go dance in the foam. I hear the banshees calling.

I'm in a wild mood tonight. I want to go dance in the foam. I hear the banshees calling.

Raymond Chandler
The wet air was as cold as the ashes of love.

The wet air was as cold as the ashes of love.

Raymond Chandler
The tragedy of life, Howard, is not that the beautiful die young, but that they grow old and mean. It will not happen to me.

The tragedy of life, Howard, is not that the beautiful die young, but that they grow old and mean. It will not happen to me.

Raymond Chandler
She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.

She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.

Raymond Chandler
He sounded like a man who had slept well and didn't owe too much money.

He sounded like a man who had slept well and didn't owe too much money.

Raymond Chandler
If I wasn't hard, I wouldn't be alive.
If I couldn't ever be gentle, I wouldn't deserve to be alive.

If I wasn't hard, I wouldn't be alive. If I couldn't ever be gentle, I wouldn't deserve to be alive.

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

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

Raymond Chandler
I had a funny feeling as I saw the house disappear, as though I had written a poem and it was very good and I had lost it and would never remember it again.

I had a funny feeling as I saw the house disappear, as though I had written a poem and it was very good and I had lost it and would never remember it again.

Raymond Chandler
Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare and tropical fish.

Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse; and with the means at hand, not hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare and tropical fish.

Raymond Chandler
She had eyes like strange sins.

She had eyes like strange sins.

Raymond Chandler
Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.

Some days I feel like playing it smooth. Some days I feel like playing it like a waffle iron.

Raymond Chandler
I belonged in Idle Valley like a pearl onion on a banana split.

I belonged in Idle Valley like a pearl onion on a banana split.

Raymond Chandler
I looked down at the chessboard. The move with the knight was wrong. I put it back where I had moved it from. Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn't a game for knights.

I looked down at the chessboard. The move with the knight was wrong. I put it back where I had moved it from. Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn't a game for knights.

Raymond Chandler
It was a cool day and very clear. You could see a long way-but not as far as Velma had gone.

It was a cool day and very clear. You could see a long way-but not as far as Velma had gone.

Raymond Chandler
The more you reason the less you create.

The more you reason the less you create.

Raymond Chandler
Shake your business up and pour it. I don't have all day.

Shake your business up and pour it. I don't have all day.

Raymond Chandler
When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.

When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.

Raymond Chandler
I'm killing time and it's dying hard.

I'm killing time and it's dying hard.

Raymond Chandler
California, the department store state.

California, the department store state.

Raymond Chandler
She bent over me again. Blood began to move around in me, like a prospective tenant looking over a house.

She bent over me again. Blood began to move around in me, like a prospective tenant looking over a house.

Raymond Chandler
The challenge is to write about real things magically.

The challenge is to write about real things magically.

Raymond Chandler
The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on.

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

Raymond Chandler
The actual writing is what you live for. The rest is something you have to get through in order to arrive at the point.

The actual writing is what you live for. The rest is something you have to get through in order to arrive at the point.

Raymond Chandler
Scarcely anything in literature is worth a damn except what is written between the lines.

Scarcely anything in literature is worth a damn except what is written between the lines.

Raymond Chandler
As it is she will probably turn out to be one of these acid-faced virgins that sit behind little desks in public libraries and stamp dates in books.

As it is she will probably turn out to be one of these acid-faced virgins that sit behind little desks in public libraries and stamp dates in books.

Raymond Chandler
A good title is the title of a successful book.

A good title is the title of a successful book.

Raymond Chandler
Down these mean streets a man must go who is neither tarnished nor afraid

Down these mean streets a man must go who is neither tarnished nor afraid

Raymond Chandler
One would think a writer would be happy here -- if a writer is every happy anywhere.

One would think a writer would be happy here -- if a writer is every happy anywhere.

Raymond Chandler
To hell with the rich, they make me sick.

To hell with the rich, they make me sick.

Raymond Chandler
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.

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
When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split.

When I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split.

Raymond Chandler
She jerked away from me like a startled fawn might,if I had a startled fawn and it jerked away from me.

She jerked away from me like a startled fawn might,if I had a startled fawn and it jerked away from me.

Raymond Chandler
Americans will eat anything if it is toasted and held together with a couple of toothpicks and has lettuce sticking out of the sides, preferably a little wilted.

Americans will eat anything if it is toasted and held together with a couple of toothpicks and has lettuce sticking out of the sides, preferably a little wilted.

Raymond Chandler
She looked playful and eager, but not quite sure of herself, like a new kitten in a house where they don't care much about kittens.

She looked playful and eager, but not quite sure of herself, like a new kitten in a house where they don't care much about kittens.

Raymond Chandler
I sat down on the edge of a deep soft chair and looked at Mrs Regan. She was worth a stare. She was trouble.

I sat down on the edge of a deep soft chair and looked at Mrs Regan. She was worth a stare. She was trouble.

Raymond Chandler
She was thinking. i could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother for her.

She was thinking. i could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother for her.

Raymond Chandler
There are two kinds of truth; The truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The fist of these is science and the second is art.

There are two kinds of truth; The truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The fist of these is science and the second is art.

Raymond Chandler
And the commercials would have sickened a goat raised on barbed wire and broken beer bottles.

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

Raymond Chandler
The most durable thing in writing is
style. It is a projection of personality and you have
to have a personality before you can project it. It
is the product of emotion and perception.

The most durable thing in writing is style. It is a projection of personality and you have to have a personality before you can project it. It is the product of emotion and perception.

Raymond Chandler
All men who read escape from something else into what lies behind the printed page; the quality of the dream may be argued, but its release has become a functional necessity.

All men who read escape from something else into what lies behind the printed page; the quality of the dream may be argued, but its release has become a functional necessity.

Raymond Chandler
She was the music heard faintly on the edge of sound.

She was the music heard faintly on the edge of sound.

Raymond Chandler
I certainly admire people who do things.

I certainly admire people who do things.

Raymond Chandler
Had my books been any worse I would not have been invited to Hollywood and if they had been any better I would not have come.

Had my books been any worse I would not have been invited to Hollywood and if they had been any better I would not have come.

Raymond Chandler
A really good detective never gets married.

A really good detective never gets married.

Raymond Chandler
Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.

Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.

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

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

Raymond Chandler
That's the difference between crime and business. For business you gotta have capital. Sometimes I think it's the only difference.

That's the difference between crime and business. For business you gotta have capital. Sometimes I think it's the only difference.

Raymond Chandler
It was a smooth silvery voice that matched her hair. It had a tiny tinkle in it, like bells in a doll's house. I thought that was silly as soon as I thought of it.

It was a smooth silvery voice that matched her hair. It had a tiny tinkle in it, like bells in a doll's house. I thought that was silly as soon as I thought of it.

Raymond Chandler
It’s so hard for women—even nice women—to realize that their bodies are not irresistible.

It’s so hard for women—even nice women—to realize that their bodies are not irresistible.

Raymond Chandler
There are places where cops are not hated, Captain. But in those places you wouldn't be a cop.

There are places where cops are not hated, Captain. But in those places you wouldn't be a cop.

Raymond Chandler
All language begins with speech, and the speech of common men at that, but when it develops to the point of becoming a literary medium it only looks like speech.

All language begins with speech, and the speech of common men at that, but when it develops to the point of becoming a literary medium it only looks like speech.

Raymond Chandler
There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that.

There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that.

Raymond Chandler
Tall, aren't you?
I didn't mean to be.

Tall, aren't you? I didn't mean to be.

Raymond Chandler
The dilemma of the critic has always been that if he knows enough to speak with authority, he knows too much to speak with detachment.

The dilemma of the critic has always been that if he knows enough to speak with authority, he knows too much to speak with detachment." (A Qualified Farewell)

Raymond Chandler
It's a swell theory,

It's a swell theory," I said. "Marriott socked me, took the money, then he got sorry and beat his brains out, after first burying the money under a bush.

Raymond Chandler
That's the trouble with cops. You're all set to hate their guts and then you meet one that goes human on you.

That's the trouble with cops. You're all set to hate their guts and then you meet one that goes human on you.

Raymond Chandler
Maybe I was tired and irritable. Maybe I felt a little guilty. I could learn to hate this guy without even knowing him. I could just look at him across the width of a cafeteria and want to kick his teeth in.

Maybe I was tired and irritable. Maybe I felt a little guilty. I could learn to hate this guy without even knowing him. I could just look at him across the width of a cafeteria and want to kick his teeth in.

Raymond Chandler
A city with all the personality of a paper cup. (On Los Angeles)

A city with all the personality of a paper cup. (On Los Angeles)

Raymond Chandler