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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep (1939)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (1)

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7,595222689 (3.98)567
1930s (5)
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» See also 567 mentions

English (210)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (222)
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
Raymond Chandler was probably responsible for half the detective cliches of the era. Dashiell Hammett was responsible for the other half.
Seriously - Chandler was an original with a fantastic knack for setting the "feel" of a scene. His style is easy to read but doesn't feel stripped down like Hemingway. Yes, reading it now, it does seem dated (his treatment of women, for example... and that everyone smokes) but it's not only a great read but an important mark for fiction of the 20th century. ( )
1 vote amandrake | Nov 4, 2018 |
Men are tough, no-nonsense, cool, women are beautiful, oversexed, damaged, and all of them are jaded and cynical in Chandler's world. The novel reads like a screenplay for a film-noir - decadent rich people lounge in sprawling villas, bored women throw around sex-appeal and their clothes, posturing men battle one another for dominance with smooth one-liners.

Glamorous smoking, butlers, crooked cops, guns, cars, a high body count, and a private detective who attracts murders and women in about equal measure. Marlowe has brains but his main department is action - he gets what he wants with smooth-talking and a gun. He stays a cool cat while doing it. Bogart would do him justice. Oh wait - he already did. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Dead men are heavier than broken hearts! ( )
  AaronJacobs | Oct 23, 2018 |
  ChatterMatters | Aug 10, 2018 |
The classic, deeply influential work of noir fiction which introduced Philip Marlowe, private eye. Quite famously, not all of the ends are tied up (who did kill the chauffeur?), but in Chandler's case, he vastly preferred to set a tone, and he does so highly successfully. One could read it for its landmark status, but it can be read for simple pure enjoyment, especially the large number of classic lines. ( )
2 vote EricCostello | Jul 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
Novela repleta de nervio y de ingeniosos diálogos. Es un caso de chantaje el que lleva a Marlowe a asomarse a las alcantarillas de una sociedad en apariencia espléndida.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond Chandlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono, OresteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gould, ElliottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidder, HarveyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortlepp, GunarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America) by Raymond Chandler

A Treasury of Great Mysteries [Volume 2] by Howard Haycraft

The Big Sleep and Other Novels by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep/Farewell, My Lovely/The High Window by Raymond Chandler

The Chandler Collection: Volume 1 by Raymond Chandler

Has the (non-series) sequel

Has the adaptation

Is expanded in


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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.
Such a lot of guns around town, and so few brains.
Whoever had done it had meant business. Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.
It had the austere simplicity of fiction rather than the tangled woof of fact.
What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell.
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Book description
Plot Summary: The decrepit General Sternwood hires Detective Marlowe to investigate Geiger, the man who is blackmailing him. Marlowe discovers Geiger is running a pornography lending library under the front of an antique book store. Marlowe tries to confront Geiger, but finds Geiger dead along with evidence that Geiger has been taking nude photos of Sternwood’s youngest daughter Carmen. While Marlowe takes the drugged Carmen home, Geiger’s body disappears along with the photographic evidence. As one murder leads to another, Marlowe must follow the clues to protect the Sternwood family from its own dark secrets.
Appeal Factors: Private investigator subgenre. Narrated in the first-person by Marlowe. Primary characters are complex. The atmosphere is dark and brooding. The frame highlights the dark underbelly of L.A. The language is succinct, but very descriptive; powerful, gritty and realistic. Action scenes are suspenseful and fairly fast-paced, with space for reflection in between. The reader is drawn in as Marlowe uncovers each new layer of clues. Violent, but not graphic.
Haiku summary
General's daughters
are handful for Marlowe...but
who did slay chauffeur?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394758285, Paperback)

"His thin, claw-like hands were folded loosely on the rug, purple-nailed. A few locks of dry white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock." Published in 1939, when Raymond Chandler was 50, this is the first of the Philip Marlowe novels. Its bursts of sex, violence, and explosively direct prose changed detective fiction forever. "She was trouble. She was tall and rangy and strong-looking. Her hair was black and wiry and parted in the middle. She had a good mouth and a good chin. There was a sulky droop to her lips and the lower lip was full."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:51 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

When a case of blackmail involving the daughter of a California millionaire leads to murder, the inimitable Philip Marlowe is stirred into action as he becomes embroiled in a troublesome case of extortion complicated by kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Average: (3.98)
0.5 3
1 11
1.5 3
2 73
2.5 14
3 367
3.5 144
4 828
4.5 100
5 570

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140108920, 0141037598

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