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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep (original 1939; edition 2008)

by Raymond Chandler

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Title:The Big Sleep
Authors:Raymond Chandler
Info:Penguin (2008), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)

1930s (5)
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English (167)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (174)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
I’m surprised I hadn’t read any Raymond Chandler before reading this one. His style is certainly effective with his Philip Marlowe being given many vivid ways of putting things such as ‘She gave me one of those smiles the lips have forgotten before they reach the eyes’ and ‘The coffee shop smell from next door came in at the windows with the soot but failed to make me hungry. So I got out my office bottle and took the drink and let my self-respect ride its own race’.

It is, in fact, Marlowe and the style which held my attention so well. I found the plot difficult to follow and was pleased I was reading an electronic version which allowed me to search for a name now and then when I couldn’t remember its original context. I did resort to looking online at one stage to clarify the plot and was relieved to find that it’s well known for its complexity and even Chandler himself couldn’t say who killed the chauffeur.

It must be one of the most effective novels in this genre, one which offers escapism to the reader as well as a measure of sadness as we recognize the isolated life of its impregnable hero, immune as he is both to any human frailties and attacks on him – i.e. if you care to think about it, as impossible a creation as he is. Still, you don’t read this sort of book for an insight into the human condition and I was well able to just enjoy the atmosphere as Marlowe yet again ‘thought about it most of the day. Nobody came into the office. Nobody called me on the phone. It kept on raining’. ( )
  evening | Aug 22, 2015 |
It was difficult to read it without Phillip Marlow's voice in my head...although he's a pretty sly character (and ethical in a time when many private eyes may not have been. ( )
  sraelling | Aug 12, 2015 |
I just want Phillip Marlowe to glance me over and sum me up with wit and irreverence...

( )
  mcquery123 | Jul 20, 2015 |
Didn't really like it. I wish I watched the movie instead, for once! I like noir movies with the PI's first person narrative. And dislike reading the same style in text. The beautiful spoiled damsels were boring and cliche to the style. The ending was somewhat interesting with no sense of Marlowe's need to please the old general's .. umm.. vanity.

I realized once more why I don't like reading Chandler. Just not my cup of tea. :-/ ( )
  PsYcHe_Sufi | Jul 12, 2015 |
My favorite of his books. I first picked it up in a second hand book store and had it for a few years before I tried reading it. I'm really not a fan of detective stories, but his writing is so beautiful it drew me in. Next thing I knew I was tracking down all his books, and they're all worth reading. The same thing happened to me with Robert Parker.. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jun 3, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (55 possible)

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

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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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)

» see all 5 descriptions

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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140108920, 0141037598

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