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The Big Sleep (1939)

by Raymond Chandler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Philip Marlowe (1)

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9,238258671 (3.98)643
Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse ...… (more)
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» See also 643 mentions

English (246)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (258)
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
Classic, Mt Rushmore of noir ( )
  jimifenway | May 22, 2022 |
Per certi versi, per me la lettura de Il grande sonno è stata difficile. Se da una parte ho trovato il giallo coinvolgente e il personaggio di Philip Marlowe intrigante, dall'altro non ho potuto fare a meno di storcere il naso di fronte al sessismo del romanzo.

Mi sono ripetuta che è sciocco applicare la mia sensibilità del 2014 a un libro pubblicato nel 1939, ma non sono riuscita a convincermi. Che posso dire a mia discolpa? Sono un essere umano e non sempre reagisco con razionalità. Quindi il mio giudizio non è positivo come sarebbe stato altrimenti.

Comunque sia, come dicevo all'inizio, il giallo è ben costruito ed è difficile per il lettore immaginare quale sia la soluzione del mistero finché Marlowe non ce la svela. Non guasta nemmeno lo sguardo attento del detective alle personalità con le quali deve avere a che fare.

Mi è piaciuta anche l'ambientazione molto dark entro la quale si muovono i personaggi di Chandler: un mondo a tinte fosche dove senza compromessi non si va da nessuna parte e dove anche i “buoni” devono sapersi sporcare le mani. ( )
  Baylee_Lasiepedimore | May 13, 2022 |
Absolutely archetypal and still a great read after 70 years. The prose is incredible, it's been mimicked so many times it should seem clichéd but it never does. Beautifully lean and effective, many a writer would have taken twice as many pages to tell the same tale. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
The Big Sleep (1939) (Marlowe #1) by Raymond Chandler. The first and very possibly the best of the seven Philip Marlowe novels. With this book Mr. Chandler took modern mystery fiction in a direction it had not yet seen. Here the hero is not a brilliant mind, pondering the clues to a mystery, smoking a pipe, discussing the case with a close comrade, or any of the other tropes that came before. Here is Marlowe, a singular being faced with his own limitations and ambitions. He has a past but that doesn’t matter very much. There is a future for him but he won’t dwell on that either. Instead he takes his moral code and goes out to slay the evil dragon, or perhaps only protect the beautiful dame in the case.
When a rich man hires Marlowe to help with with family matters it is the start of a steep incline, throwing Marloe, and us, into a swirl of a mystery that even the author couldn’t figure out. But that is no matter as we are here for the scenery of the story, the display of characters and the unwavering dedication of Marlow himself.
With this one book, to say nothing of the others, Mr. Chandler rewrote the story of the mystery, and all authors who followed him down this road owe him a debt that can only be repaid by writing honestly about their characters and their actions and fitting both into the reality of the world. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Dec 13, 2021 |
I recently read this novel again. I concede dated and politically incorrect, however it is powerfully evocative. ( )
  MichealJimerson | Dec 12, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 246 (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 (127 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chandler, Raymondprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono, OresteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gould, ElliottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidder, HarveyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marking, StevenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortlepp, GunarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rankin, IanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Virtanen, SeppoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Грънчаров, МихаилTranslatorsecondary 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


Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse ...

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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?

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140108920, 0141037598


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