HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Loading...

The Big Sleep (original 1939; edition 2008)

by Raymond Chandler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,776193545 (3.98)498
Member:adithyajones
Title:The Big Sleep
Authors:Raymond Chandler
Info:Penguin (2008), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)

1930s (5)
Read (48)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 498 mentions

English (185)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (193)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)

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

It's been ages since I've read an older detective driven novel, but this one was a nice way to break the ice back into the genre. It was highly rated, but I'd never heard of it before it became a group read. Apparently there's a movie too; what rock have I been under?

Philip Marlowe is an "honest" guy - blunt and brash in the face of authority. Like many detectives, he goes by his own moral code and street system. He doesn't stick fully to the letter of the law, especially when it comes to revealing things he should, but he does right by his clients (if it fits to do so) and his conscience. The other key players aren't stereotypical exactly - we do get an ice-cold dame who wants to twist men around her fingers, but the older and ailing client who hires Marlowe has some uniqueness twisted in him. There's some crazy characters in here too that give it that bizarre touch. Characters suit the plot well but not really in cookie-cutter molds. If they are rather typical, I try to remember that since this is an older book, it was probably fresher then.

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

The mystery part isn't shocking, but it is well thought out and it takes creative, patient paths to get there. Marlowe does have to actually investigate - he seldom sits back and thinks about the case - he's constantly moving on his feet and interrogating, witnessing messes, avoiding sticky violence himself, and pushing all the right buttons. So, pacing isn't bad, somethings always going on so the book flies by.

Raymond Chandler writes well and it's easy to suck into the written world he conjured up. It's definitely not politically correct, especially when it comes to comments on homosexuals and a little bit with Jews, but this was common of the time period it was written. I just find it kind of funny now, but then again I rarely choose to get offended much anything.

A good hardboiled detective type, complete with mafia type thugs, rich clients, questionable police associations and femme fatales.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
I've seen the movie 'The Big Sleep', but I'd never read the book, so I chose this title for 'A classic from the 20th century'.
Synopsis: Philip Marlowe is hired to find out who is trying to blackmail the a wealthy General. Both of the General's daughters are rather wild and there is a long list of suspects. The General also mentions that the husband of his eldest daughter as disappeared and wishes he could be found; the General actually liked the young man. Marlowe uncovers all sorts of criminal acts, several of which the police are ignoring. His discovery of these crimes puts him in danger; eventually he discovers the culprits, their relationship to the daughters, and the location of the son-in-law.
Review: Although I realize that this is a classic from 1939, I still don't like the portrayal of females and the LGBT community. This is, however, the quintessential 'hard-boiled' detective story. The plot development with Marlowe as Everyman is compelling and the blueprint for many of the mysteries that have followed. ( )
  DrLed | Jun 12, 2016 |
Wonderful mystery. Togh as nails Phillip Marlowe is called to see General Sternwood to protect his daughter from a blackmailer and 4 bodies later he's buried in intrigue and still not sure what his case is. A bit racier than the Bogart-Bacall film with a twist ending makes you see why it's held up for so many years. ( )
  steve12553 | Jun 7, 2016 |
Private Detective Marlowe is hired by Colonel Sternwood to recover documents being used to blackmail his daughter. Along the way Marlow finds out what happened to Sternwood’s son-in-law who disappeared quite suddenly. The language is amateurish (“…she had her lip between her teeth and was worrying it like a puppy at the fringe of a rug”); the women mere cardboard cutout foils to Marlowe’s gentlemanly behaviour (“…she had enough sex appeal to stampede a businessmen’s lunch…”), the background descriptions are akin to grocery lists (“The Chinese junk on the walls, the rug, the fussy lamps, the teakwood stuff, the sticky riot of colors, the totem pole…...like a fag party”), and the premise of the book is murders committed for the sake of photos of consenting adults having sex. IMHO, if this is what passes for good literature in the U.S. then God help us all. I’m not a fan of seedy American detective novels. I've included examples of the groaner" language being used, the phrases that would elicit a deep sigh and an "Oh my God" and a shake of the head." ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
A supposed "must read" on a few lists, I did not find it to be be that interesting. An easy read, just not what I'd think would rate a "must read" in anyone's book unless you are a Raymond Chandler fan ( )
  Bauernfeind | Jun 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (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 (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

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/Farewell My Lovely/The Long Goodbye 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

Inspired

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
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.
Quotations
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

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?
(abbottthomas)

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 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
9 avail.
168 wanted
17 pay14 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.98)
0.5 3
1 9
1.5 3
2 70
2.5 15
3 332
3.5 128
4 748
4.5 92
5 522

Audible.com

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

See editions

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140108920, 0141037598

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 107,632,563 books! | Top bar: Always visible