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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep (original 1939; edition 1988)

by Raymond Chandler

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7,051204511 (3.99)515
Title:The Big Sleep
Authors:Raymond Chandler
Info:Vintage (1988), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 139 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)

1930s (5)
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Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
I had never read anything by Chandler before and as I listened to the audiobook I was attracted to the snappy dialogue and quick pace of the plot. This book from the 1930s has all of the characteristics that later became clichés of the
hard-boiled detective genre, but they were new when Chandler wrote them.

The book doesn't waste any time. There's no padding with detective angst, soul searching, romance or social commentary. It's all tight plot, snappy dialog and action. Every woman in the book is a femme fatale. Marlowe is constantly peeling a woman off of him. There's also blackmail, pornography, murders, missing persons, many bad guys and a lot of wrestling over guns. In fact, although this is a short book, it may have a little too much plot, but I enjoyed it. ( )
  fhudnell | Feb 7, 2017 |
After reading the Grimnoir Chronicles I was inspired to see what all the fuss is about. I was not disappointed.

While some allowances must be made for when it was written, it is an exciting mystery with plenty of action and, above all, amazing dialog. The plot was slightly convoluted and a little choppy in places, but mostly easy to follow. The ending was satisfying, although not what I was expecting. I'll be reading more of the Philip Marlowe series. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
Classic gumshoe stuff. Best was, I think, The Long Goodbye.
  LeonardGMokos | Nov 22, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this story in the audio format. The story was interesting and makes me think of 'noir' classic detective movies. Ray Porter, as the narrator, does a fantastic job. I found that he really brought Marlowe to life. I also thought that he did an ok job with the female voices. This is the type of story, with this narrator, that I could listen to a number of times. It is now certainly on my wish list to buy, since I've only listened to the library copy to date. ( )
  FiLoMa | Oct 28, 2016 |
My mom is a reader of crime, mystery and detective storys as long as I can remember it and she slowly passed the love to her daugther. I grew up with Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie and now Lianne of Literarydiversion reminded me again of one series my mom used to love very much and it made her very happy that I started reading it. Knowing it is a hard boiled noir one, I didn't expected it to enjoy it as much as I did. One particular scene didn't turn out as I thought it would and that was such a delightful surprise. The dryness of humour made me smile even through some very dark moments. ( )
  SilkeMaria | Oct 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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


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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)

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140108920, 0141037598

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