Read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler Online


"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid....He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. This is the Code of the Private Eye as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay 'The Simple Act of Murder.' Such a man was Philip Marlowe, private eye, an educated, h"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid....He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. This is the Code of the Private Eye as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay 'The Simple Act of Murder.' Such a man was Philip Marlowe, private eye, an educated, heroic, streetwise, rugged individualist and the hero of Chandler's first novel, The Big Sleep. This work established Chandler as the master of the 'hard-boiled' detective novel, and his articulate and literary style of writing won him a large audience, which ranged from the man in the street to the most sophisticated intellectual. Marlowe subsequently appeared in a series of extremely popular novels, among them The Lady in the Lake, The Long Goodbye, and Farewell, My Lovely." ~ Elizabeth Diefendorf, editor, The New York Public Library's Books of the Century, p. 112.Selected as one of Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Novels, with the following review: "'I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be.' This sentence, from the first paragraph of The Big Sleep, marks the last time you can be fully confident that you know what's going on. The first novel by Raymond Chandler at the age of 51....

Title : The Big Sleep
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140006520
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Big Sleep Reviews

  • Kirk
    2018-10-08 21:27

    She was the first thing I saw when I walked into the bookstore. Such a looker I damn near tripped over a stack of calf-high hardbacks set next to a stand of morning papers. "I'm sorry," she said. "We're not quite open yet." "That's okay," I told her. "Neither are my eyes." I could tell right away I wasn't going to win any hosannas by being a smart-aleck."I need a book," I continued by way of apology. "Something fun but dark. I'm looking at five hundred miles today, but I'm not in the mood for an epic. Noir, maybe. It takes a lot of plot to get through Tennessee." She went to the shelves and started looking at the books. I was looking at her looking at the books. I'm pretty sure I had the better view. "Try this." She handed me a trade paper---nothing flashy. Minimalist even. But I recognized it, and the title went down like a good steak. "You ever read it before?" "The Big Sleep? Sure. It's been twenty years, though. I don't remember much." "Literary hair of the dog," she nodded. "It should suit you. It's got a dead dirty books dealer, a nympho with a pistol, some scrape-ups, and a lot of snap-cracklin' wit. Maybe one or two too many jawbreakers, but there's no mush. My guess? You'll hit the FINIS before you make Cullman." Something caught my eye. Outside, three cruts piling out of a red pickup. I thought about the night before, the money at the casino one interstate exit up, the deal that didn't go down so straight. I looked at my scraped knuckles and licked the cut in my gums. I hoped I made it to Cullman. Hell, I hoped I could make it to a last page. "What about the sentences?" I asked. "What about them? You start with the big letter and follow the rest to the dot at the end. That's all you need to know about sentences, Jack." "I like mine short, but not stuttery. Any joe who speaks one-word ones is likely to get a smack upside the head from me. By the same token, I don't go for gabber.s Long, windy ones give me an ache. You know why? Because long sentences are a tough chew when you're sporting a busted rib or two." She saw the cruts outside. They hadn't spotted me, but I wasn't lucky enough to stay the invisible joe indefinitely. "You got a broken rib, do you?" She was watching the dufuses outside. "Not right now, but something tell me I will before I get to Chapter 2." An idea came to mind. "Hey, how about you give a dying man his wish and read me a paragraph or two of this Chandler guy?" She took the book back, not looking at it but looking at me, not a dab of fear in her eyes, but hard as a charcoal and twice as haughty. For a second I wondered what it would cost me for her and the book both, but what with the ride I was headed for, I didn't need any baggage.She opened the book and purred out the antepenultimate paragraph. You know the one: the one that explains the title. The big sleep. It had the kind of sentences a man could die for. With my luck, I probably would. "You better ring me up," I said. The cruts had spotted the bookstore and were headed for its door. They knew me too well. "I'll pay cash," I told her. "Because neither of us has time for credit." "If you ever get back to town, swing by. I stock noir like air. I'll hook you up." "Sure. If I make it back. Maybe then I can swallow a longer paragraph." I was on my way to head off the cruts when I nearly tripped again over the stack of hardbacks next to the morning papers."You sell many of these?" I asked. "Not a one," she shrugged. I looked at my name on the book jacket. "Figures," I shrugged back.I set it back on the stack---gently, because tossing it would've been ungentlemanly---and I stepped outside to meet my fate. Damn if the little livro pusher didn't do me right. The Big Sleep turned out pretty durable, especially for a trade paper. Just ask the first crut who came at me. He crumpled the second he took its spine upside the temple.

  • BillKerwin
    2018-10-10 20:17

    It is always a pleasure to revisit a good book and find it even better than you remember. But it is humbling to discover that what you once thought was its most obvious defect is instead one of its great strengths. That was my recent experience with Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep.I had read it twice before—once twenty years, once forty years ago—and have admired it ever since for its striking metaphors, vivid scenes, and tough dialogue. Above all, I love it for its hero, Philip Marlowe, the closest thing to a shining knight in a tarnished, unchivalrous world.But even though I recalled Chandler's metaphors with pleasure, I also tended to disparage them as baroque and excessive. Having read too many Chandler imitations and watched too many Chandler parodies, I had come to view his images as exotic, overripe things which could survive only in a hothouse—corrupt things like the orchids the aged General Sternwood raises as an excuse for the heat.This time through, I refused to let individual metaphors distract me, but instead allowed the totality of the imagery—including the detailed description of the settings—do its work. When I did so, I was not only pleased by the aptness of the descriptive passages but also surprised by the restraint of most of the metaphors. True, there are a few outrageous similes, but they are always used deliberately, for humor or shock, and often refer to the General's daughter Carmen, who deserves everything she gets. Overall, the sustained effect of the imagery is to evoke vividly and atmospherically the beauty and corruption of Los Angeles.But, first and foremost, the author's imagery is the narrator Marlowe's too—as is also the case with Joseph Conrad's narrator Marlow—and because of this it reveals to us the heart of Marlowe's personal darkness: his place in the world, the person he wishes to be, and the profound distance between the two. Chandler introduces us to Marlowe at the Sternwood's palatial mansion, a medieval gothic structure within sight of—but mercifully upwind from—the stinking detritus of Sternwood's first oil well, the foundation of the family fortune. Over the hallway entrance, a stained-glass window depicts a knight who is awkwardly—Marlowe thinks unsuccessfully—trying to free a captive maiden (her nakedness concealed only by her long cascading hair) from the ropes that bind her. Marlowe's initial impulse? He wants to climb up there and help. He doesn't think the guy is really trying.Thus, from the first, the despoliation of L.A., the corruption of big money, and a vision of chivalric romance complicated by sexuality—a vision which encompasses both the urgency and impotence of knight-errantry--reflect Philip Marlowe's character and concerns. As the book proceeds, the ghost of Rusty Reagan, an embodiment of modern day romance (Irish rebel soldier, rum-runner, crack shot), becomes not only part of Marlowe's quest but also his double, another young man with “a soldier's eye” doing General Sternwood's bidding, lost in the polluted world of L.A. At the climax of the novel, everything that can be resolved is resolved, as Marlowe, the ghost of Reagan and one of the Sternwoods meet amidst the stench of the family's abandoned oil well. Afterwards, though, all Marlowe can think about is Eddie Mars' wife, the captive "maiden" who cut off all of her once-long hair to prove she didn't mind being confined (“Silver-Wig” Marlowe calls her), who rescued him from killers by cutting his ropes with a knife, but who is still so in love with her corrupt gambler husband that Marlowe cannot begin to save her.

  • Alejandro
    2018-10-14 17:16

    A killing reading!PAINT IT BLACKA nice state of affairs when a man has to indulge his vices by proxy.That was the line that hook me when I watched the classic film adaptation, the one produced in 1946, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.While I loved the whole movie, that scene between Marlowe (Bogart) and the character of General Sternwood (Charles Waldron) at the glasshouse (in the beginning of the story) was what hooked me. It’s a wonderful dialogue, full of vices, smoking and drinking, and while I don’t smoke and I seldom drink alcohol in parties, I am not prude and I think that type of characters look cool while smoking and drinking. Maybe because I think new millenium society has become too sanctimonious about the topics. I know that they aren’t healthy conducts, but look at me, I like to watch characters doing both things and I don’t do them on my own.Funny thing that if some character uses a gun and kills some other character, nobody is shocked, but if some character smokes, everybody gets scandalized about it. I’m told you are a widower and have two young daughters, both pretty, both wild.It was a delicious dialogue between the detective Marlowe and the General Sternwood. Certainly when the bundle of stunning ladies, in those gorgeous 1940’s wardrobes and hairsyles, starting to fill the screen, the hook got me totally.I love Film Noir movies and I love detective novels, so reading Noir Detective novels is like something I should to begin many years ago.Obviously I have watched almost all the relevant Film Noir movies that they were inspired by the same iconic Noir novels, but even so, I want to read those original books, but also many others that they don’t have film adaptation and/or I haven’t watched the movie version. I am fan of movies and books, so I do like both formats and I have no preference of one over the other. I enjoy both ways to know stories.The Big Sleep is my favorite Film Noir movie of all, so I thought that it was the perfect choice to be the first fully Noir novel to read.And I enjoyed a lot since while I still love the movie, I enjoyed to read the differences on the book, to be able to appreciate a different approach to the basically same general story. It’s interesting that while the book is more open to show polemic issues (and quite impressive taking in account that the novel was published in 1939) but the book isn’t that packed of sexy scenes with lovely ladies as it was the movie version.A key angle to read the novel is that, while in the movie the identity of the culprit ( I won’t spoil it, don’t worry! ) is left in the air, on the book you will know quite clearly who did it. And obviously that’s the whole deal in a detective novel. (Still I love the movie version because is so much fun to watch it. I have it on DVD, and you can bet that as soon as it would be available on Blu-ray, I will order it at once!)BABY’S IN BLACKSo, you’re a private detective... I didn’t know they really existed except in books.Philip Marlowe, the detective in this novel, along with the character of Sam Spade (in its own book series) are like the role models to the rest of Noir detectives that came after them. Hat, raincoat, smocking, and a bit (if not lots of) cynical humor. You don’t want them to be something different!She was worth a stare. She was trouble.Femme Fatales. Love them, but be careful, because they may be as lethal as gorgeous! But you never be sure and that's part of the fun!The Sternwood Sisters, Vivian and Carmen, certainly are great characters and impossible to predict what they will do next.Hard-boiled Detectives and Femme Fatales do a dangerous dance during the whole deal of the stories where the outcome of those are as important as to know who did the murder.Noir Novels are hazardous beasts that have their own rules and they work in their own kind of universe where those rules have total sense, indeed the whole reason of why we love to read them.The Big Sleep is a prime example of the genre and also definitely one of the most relevant titles there. A smart story with punchy dialogues and one heck of narrative.

  • Brina
    2018-09-28 23:14

    Raymond Chandler first published The Big Sleep in 1939, introducing us to the world of Philip Marlowe. A modern, noir like detective story, The Big Sleep changed the genre from passive interactions to action packed thrills between the private eye and criminals. Set in 1930s Los Angeles, then a sleepy town controlled by the mob as much as the police, The Big Sleep is a non stop action thriller. General Sherwood has hired private eye detective Philip Marlowe to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of his son-in-law Terrance Regan. Marlowe takes the case because he usually subsides on $25 a day, and figures the case to be cut and dry. Then, he is introduced to the General's daughters, Carmen and Vivian, and Marlowe is roped into a world of crime. Instead of having to solve a missing persons case, Marlowe has three murders on his hands and multiple mob goons breathing down his neck. With little assistance from assistance district attorney Ohls and viewed as a nuisance by the Los Angeles Police, Marlowe is on his own. Questioning everyone from racketeers to pornographers, he slowly pieced together Regan's whereabouts. Adding to the thrill of the crime, both of Sherwood's vixen daughters desire Marlowe in a way that has nothing to do with detective work. All these facets of the book add up to nonstop fun. Before Chandler introduced readers to pulp detective books, crimes passively suggested whodunit. The detective went pawning around for clues and eventually solved the case. Last year I read a few modern mystery books set in the 1910s and they hold true to the time period. The action in the novel as well as short sentences in first person created changed the way mystery writers wrote detective and crime novels. Even though this book was published in 1939, it held my attention because of all the action packed into its pages. Marlowe eventually holds off the Sherwood sisters and finds out whodunit to all of the crimes. Smitten with the older of two sisters and in the good graces of the police and district attorney's office, the door is open for Marlowe to return for more detective work. A fun book full of crime, the mob, and fast women, The Big Sleep is a fun detective book that held my attention throughout. I look forward to reading more of Marlowe's cases and I rate this premiere 4 solid stars.

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-10-04 22:03

    The 2011-2012 re-read...A paralyzed millionaire, General Sternwood, hires Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe to have a talk with a blackmailer with his hooks in his daughter. But what does his daughter's missing husband, Rusty Regan, have to do with it? Marlowe's case will get him entangled in a web of pornography and gambling from which he may never escape...For the last few years, me and noir detective fiction have gone together as well as strippers and c-section scars. When the Pulp Fiction group announced this as it's January group read, I figured it was time to get reacquainted with one of the books that started the genre.I'd forgotten most of the book in the past ten years so it was like a completely new one. One of the things that grabbed me right away was how poetic Raymond Chandler's prose seems at times. I'd intended on writing down some of the more clever bits but I quickly dropped that idea in favor of letting myself get taken along for the ride.For a lot of today's readers, the plot and Philip Marlowe himself might not seem that original. That's because people have been ripping off Raymond Chandler for decades! Marlowe is the real deal. Now that I've read a few hundred more detective books since my original reading, I can appreciate how influential Marlowe is as a character. The plot is a lot more complex than it originally seemed. I almost wish I didn't know the plot of the Big Leibowski was partly lifted from the Big Sleep. I kept picturing characters from the movie while I was reading. Hell, the plot is almost inconsequential. The atmosphere and language are the real stars of the show.Five stars. If you're a fan of noir and haven't read this, drop what you're doing and get started!

  • Evgeny
    2018-10-20 15:15

    Review updated on February 26, 2016A group read with the following people:Erin, Dan 2.0, Steve, Delee. Please let me know if I missed somebody. A crippled millionaire with rapidly failing health hires Philip Marlowe to investigate seemingly simple blackmail case involving one of his daughters. The cynical PI charges only $25 a day plus expenses. For this money he got shot at several times, was knocked out by a blow in his head, met quite a few dead people and helped some of them meet their early demise directly and indirectly. I would say he got a lot of excitement for a very low price. I really need to say a couple of words about Raymond Chandler. The guy took simple mindless entertainment called noir and made it an art form: simple as this. He was copied by practically every single writer who wrote noir since then. I am not talking about the books only - movies, theatrical plays, radio plays, TV mini-series involving a lonely PI have Philip Marlowe as original source of inspiration. Chandler's quality of writing still stands well above that of people who came after him. Add to this a very fast complicated plot with numerous twists and you have a true classic of genre which while aged somewhat is still as entertaining to read, or reread as it was almost eighty years ago when it was first published. It kept me on the edge of the seat despite the fact that I read it several times before. I would give six stars to this book if I could, but I have to settle for five.

  • Kemper
    2018-09-23 15:15

    There’s a story regarding the movie version of The Big Sleep that I love, and if it isn’t true, it should be. Supposedly, while working on adapting the book the screenwriters (William Faulkner & Leigh Brackett) couldn’t figure out who killed one of the characters. So they called Raymond Chandler, and after thinking about it for a while, Chandler admitted that he’d completely forgotten to identify the killer of this person in the book and had no idea who did it. Since no one complained about the flaw in the book, the movie just repeated it and didn’t bother answering the question either.And that’s the thing about The Big Sleep. The plot is overly complex, and it’s pretty clear that Chandler was making it up as he went. It’s still a crime classic because Philip Marlowe books weren’t about the plot, they were all about the character and the atmosphere.Marlowe is hired by wealthy and dying General Sternwood to see what he can do about illegal gambling debts that his daughter Carmen has incurred. The general’s other daughter was married to a bootlegger named Rusty Regan that has disappeared, and the old man was fond of Rusty and misses his company. Everyone that Marlowe deals with assumes that he’s been hired to find Rusty, and the detective is soon caught up in a web of blackmail and several murders.Chandler’s first book is a classic and would help redefine and reinvent the mystery genre. With Philip Marlowe, the prototype to the small time smart-ass private detective with an unbreakable code of honor would be established and it’s influenced countless fictional detectives since. Chandler’s no-nonsense, razor sharp cynical prose is still a delight to read.

  • Michael
    2018-10-13 15:17

    This is a classic noir novel, yet what elevates it above the ordinary, for me, is that it's also a song about Los Angeles, a place I once called home. LA presents many surfaces for many people--to see and be seen, to fantasize and be the objects of fantasy. But Chandler gets at the dark underside of it all in a way that few writers do. He sees the city in its stark white light and also in its shadows, he sees the glory and the rottenness and the flimsiness of the city's facades. It's a love song, a siren's song, and also a dirge, all rolled into an action-packed detective novel that carries you away in its own fantasies and hard-boiled lamentations. I love this book the way I love LA--not uncomplicatedly, but fully nonetheless.

  • Orsodimondo
    2018-10-14 22:16

    UNO CHE LAVA LA BIANCHERIA SPORCA DEGLI ALTRIQuesto è un libro che ho letto molti anni fa, nel periodo in cui iniziavo a realizzare un sogno coltivato a lungo.Un buon motivo per tenerlo nel cuore.Ma, certo, non l’unico: ancora prima del ricordo, conta che sia bello e prezioso. A suo modo, è un autentico capolavoro.Eterni e indimenticabili, Humphrey Bogart e Lauren BacallNoir. In versione hard boiled. Introduce Philip Marlowe, l’archetipo del detective privato, il prototipo del private eye. Marlowe è duro e idealista, un sognatore imbevuto di disincanto, solitario e disilluso, onesto e leale, testardo e audace.Marlowe e le donne: sembrano cascargli ai piedi, pare non gradirlo, si concede riluttante, è romantico e sentimentale. Scontroso ironico tagliente brutale, ma sempre malinconico. Un assaggio: Marlowe-Bogart chiede alla Bacall: Cos'hai che non va?, e lei risponde:Niente che tu non possa sistemare.Un eroe non eroe, un fallito che vince sempre, risolve tutti i casi ma la giustizia non trionfa mai, e il disincanto di Marlowe cresce, ogni gioia gli si soffoca nel bicchiere, perché il mondo proprio non riesce a cambiarlo. Il mondo è marcio e corrotto. L’unica difesa sono un paio di scarpe comode, quindi, lavoro di gambe (e ruote), e una lingua sferzante (che dialoghi!)Gran fumatore e buon bevitore, è incorruttibile, senza macchia e senza paura, un cavaliere del XX secolo.1947: ”The Lady in the Lake” di Robert Montgomery, regista e protagonista nei panni di Marlowe. Il film è tutto girato in soggettiva, dal punto di vista del narratore e protagonista Marlowe, che si vede solo tre volte, sempre riflesso su uno specchio, a inizio, metà e fine film.Lo leggo, o meglio, l’ho letto, provando tenerezza perché ho sentito Marlowe vicino, un amico, provando ammirazione, perché è meglio di me, ma anche compassione, perché qualcuno lo pesta sempre, e le donne lo tradiscono spesso, perché il Male contro cui lotta è più forte di lui.Il Grande Sonno, la morte, uscì nel 1939, e sette anni dopo giunse adattato sullo schermo, mettendo insieme un trio meraviglia: il regista Howard Hawks, lo sceneggiatore William Faulkner (insieme a Leigh Brackett e Jules Furthman), il protagonista Humphrey Bogart. Sì, c’era anche The Look, Laureen Bacall, che due anni prima aveva incrociato il suo destino con quello di Bogart nel suo film d’esordio, To Have and Have Not (“Acque del Sud” nella versione italiana), romanzo di Hemingway, sceneggiato sempre da Faulkner, e film sempre diretto da Hawks – a Laureen bastò dire Anyone got a match? e fu subito una star, letteralmente alla sua prima apparizione.Robert Mitchum è stato Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely-Marlowe, il poliziotto privato, 1975, regia di Dick Richards, e nel 1978, diretto da Michael Winner, che spostò l’azione a Londra, in The Big Sleep-Marlowe indaga. Preferisco nettamente il primoLa trama è paradigmatica quanto lo è il protagonista: così ingarbugliata che è difficile riassumerla, e ci si chiede come faccia Marlowe a dipanare la matassa.Siamo a Los Angeles alla fine degli anni Trenta. Marlowe racconta in prima persona, non potrebbe essere altrimenti, ha troppa personalità per lasciarsi raccontare da un narratore in terza persona, per quanto eccellente come Chandler (gran lavoratore della pagina, leggeva e rileggeva, correggeva, s’accaniva nella cura del suo stile). Incipit fulminante:Ero ordinato, pulito, ben raso e sobrio, e non me ne importava che la gente se ne accorgesse. Sembravo il figurino dell'investigatore privato elegante. Andavo a far visita a un milione di dollari.The Long Goodbye, 1973, regia di Robert Altman, Elliott Gould nei pani di Marlowe. Nel cast anche Sterling HaydenIl nostro eroe viene ingaggiato da un anziano milionario, per risolvere un tentativo di ricatto. Le indagini ben presto rivelano gioco d’azzardo (quisquilie), un traffico di pubblicazioni pornografiche (criminale per l'epoca), al primo omicidio se ne aggiungono presto altri due per un totale di tre morti, droga (illegale allora come ora), omosessualità. Una matassa ginepraio.Ma che importa seguire la trama, risolvere il caso insieme a Marlowe? Per me, nulla: per me conta lui e il suo sarcasmo che nasconde un’anima spezzata, le dark lady che incontra, l’atmosfera.IconaSecondo l’autorevole IMDb, Philip Marlowe è giunto sullo schermo 23 volte, la prima nel 1945 (Dick Powell), la più recente nel 2012. Dall’inizio della sua carriera cinematografica sono passati quasi ottanta anni, ma Marlowe è sempre pimpante.Tra i tanti, mi piace ricordare la sua versione secondo me più azzeccata, quando a impersonarlo è Robert Mitchum; la sua versione più ribelle in The Long Goodbye di Robert Altman interpretato da un indimenticabile Elliott Gould; e quello strano esperimento del 1947, Robert Montgomery regista e interprete principale, titolo The Lady in the Lake (uno dei migliori romanzi di Chandler-Marlowe, insieme a The Big Sleep per l’appunto, al già citato The Long Goodbye, a The High Window e Farewell, My Lovely) interamente girato in soggettiva, un tentativo che avrebbe dovuto spingere lo spettatore a identificarsi nel protagonista, e che invece risultò piuttosto raggelante e rallettante.Da non dimenticare che Marlowe è protagonista del bel romanzo di Osvaldo Soriano Triste, solitario y final.MerchandisingNon m'importa se i miei modi non le piacciono. In confidenza, non piacciono neanche a me: ci piango su spesso, specialmente durante le lunghe sere d'inverno.Raymond Chandler

  • Madeline
    2018-10-08 23:17

    Okay, so it wasn't bad. There's lots of fistfights and shooting and dames, and our detective hero is appropriately jaded and tight-lipped. The bad guys are crazy, the women are freaks in both the streets and the sheets, and there's a subplot involving a pornography racket. Everyone talks in 30's-tastic slang and usually the reader has no idea what everyone keeps yelling about. It's a violent, fast-paced, garter-snapping (the Depression equivalent of bodice-ripping, I imagine) detective thriller, and you could do a lot worse. Chandler, like his contemporary Dashiel Hammett, has a gift for gorgeous description and atmosphere, and uses it well. But I just can't stomach giving this more than 2 stars. Here's my problem: while I understand that the 1930's were a very homophobic and sexist time and that books written during that era are bound to include some stuff that makes me uncomfortable, that doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy reading a book where the hero is homophobic and misogynist. Philip Marlowe, the hard-boiled detective of The Big Sleep, makes Sam Spade look like a refined gentleman in comparison. And I guess he is - Spade has pimp-slapped his share of the ladies, but never tried to assure the reader that "she didn't mind the slap...Probably all her boy friends got around to slapping her sooner or later. I could understand how they might." Spade never described a room's decor as having "a stealthy nastiness, like a fag party." Also, the female characters in this book are all loathsome. There's no Brigid O'Shaunessy, who was violent and evil and awesome; and there's no Effie Perine. Only a couple of psycho rich girls who Marlowe sneers at while rolling his eyes at their repeated attempts to sleep with him, the stupid whores. I'll admit, there can be certain guilty pleasure to be had from reading the perspective of such an unashamedly bigoted character. But it gets old fast, and eventually just left a bad taste in my mouth. Thank you for your time, Mr. Marlowe, but I'm casting my lot with Mr. Spade. He knows how to treat a lady. Read for: Social Forces in the Detective Novel

  • Stephen
    2018-10-06 18:05

    4.0 stars. This was the first noir crime fiction book that I ever read and I don't think I could have found a much better place to start. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the genre, but decided to test the waters with this classic that introduced the world to the iconic private detective Philip Marlowe. I am very glad I did. This is a fun, fast read and I was immediately sucked in by the superb dialogue, which was both politically incorrect and just slid off the page and into your head. The plot, while familiar now, is the root for so many of the standard "noir" plot devices that it was a real trip reading them as they were presented as fresh and genre-bending. Also, the characters were truly top-notch of the bottom drawer as they ranged from total scum to just really bad. This left Marlowe as the good guy by default. This was such a terrific experience that I became an immediate fan of the genre and intend to remain so in the future. Highly Recommended!!

  • Jason Koivu
    2018-10-08 16:14

    What style! Holy Moses! Chandler writes with a purpose: to put you right in the shit. In The Big Sleep he writes with the economy of biting words that surrounds Philip Marlowe, a detective whose seen the hardbitten world, with the street's lexicon. Hardboiled? Certainly. But I've read some hardboiled stuff that was boiled down to a tasteless mass. This stuff's full of flavor, bitter and sometimes bittersweet. You've seen the movie, now read the book. They're similar in style, but the story differs enough to make each quite enjoyable on its own. I was urged to read Chandler by a Goodreads friend or two, and boy I'm glad I did. However, since this is my first go 'round I'm going to close the dam on this review. The Big Sleep has a twisty, complicated plot and Chandler's writing is good enough that both deserve further reading to give them their due.

  • William1
    2018-09-27 23:08

    It struck me as horribly sad how homophobic the book is. "Faggot" is used liberally throughout. This runs counter to Philip Marlowe's otherwise bracing truthfulness. The two gay characters here are criminals: one is a pornographer, the other a murderer. Though they're not the sole wrongdoers, the relationship they share is viewed with untempered abhorrence. This will be upsetting to some readers, as it was to me, so be advised. I generally abhor the hardboiled clichés and corny deadpan humor of the detective genre, but Chandler's action is relentless and his humor usually effective. Most of the narrative is explication of past action, then the action shifts into the present, then there's another section of recapitulation/explanation. This as opposed to, say, action that moves steadily ahead as an end in itself. There will always be characters/narrators discussing and reflecting on the action, but the extent to which that is taken here for purposes of an airtight plot I find annoying and unnecessary. Philip Marlowe is not an unreliable narrator but he controls the narrative that will be presented to the fictional public. At several points it becomes necessary to determine precisely what the public narrative will be. Marlowe decides what details are to be included, which left out, which modified. This is connected to the idea of his underlying belief in "the system," though he often verbally disdains it, he views cops as basically honest, as he sees himself. No matter what happens he is confident that he can talk himself out of it with the truth. He always comes clean to the authorities. He is their enabler, solving mysteries they themselves have been flummoxed by, so they need him, are willing to grant him special dispensation because of his utility.

  • Duane
    2018-09-21 22:27

    Chandler's 1939 classic crime novel is the first that featured Phillip Marlowe, the famous private detective who would appear in 7 of Chandler's novels. Humphrey Bogart brought him to life on the silver screen in the 1946 production of The Big Sleep. Even though it was written almost 80 years ago, it's not dated, meaning it has an almost modern feel to it. Good writing almost always equals good novel.

  • Patrick
    2018-10-21 19:24

    Since I've been reading a lot of detective-type urban fantasy lately, I decided to pick up one of the original texts of the genre, just to see what it was like. Chandler wrote this back in 1939, and the book itself holds up remarkably well even though it's been 70 years. It's very readable. Some of the slang is a little opaque, sure, but not nearly as much as you'd think. And some of the intuitive leaps Philip Marlow takes are a little difficult to grasp. But I'm not sure if that's because 1) the cultural gap between now and the time the novels were written. 2) the fact that it was assumed that a reader then should be willing to work a little harder back then. 3) The fact that this was Chandler's first novel. Most interesting to me were the parts of the novel that didn't have anything to do with the story itself. Marlowe constantly laments how corrupt society and the government are, and I'd always thought of that as a relatively modern sensibility. And the racism and sexism in the book are moderately rampant. Marlow slaps a dame a couple times to bring her to her senses. And there's talk openly demonizing queers and fags. All of it is so matter-of-fact, it's almost inoffensive. Like when your old grampa who fought in world war two talks about the Japs and counts things "Eenie Meenie Minie Mo. Catch a Nigger by the toe." He's not being malicious, he was just brought up in a different time. And he doesn't have anything against the Japs.... Reading this now, I see how so many people have been following in Chandler's footsteps. Many of the tropes were obviously set down by him, and they carry forward to this day. All it all, a worthwhile read. But probably more informative that straight-up enjoyable.

  • Andrew Smith
    2018-10-14 23:22

    I’m late to this particular party. Very late. I’ve long enjoyed American crime fiction but my diet has mostly been that of contemporary novels. Writers like Lawrence Block, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke have kept me entertained for endless hours. But I’ve seldom delved further back in time to the heyday of the hard-boiled mysteries. I did try Hammett once but I confess I didn’t much enjoy the experience. So it was with a slight sense of unease that I set about exploring the world of Philip Marlowe.The first thing that struck me was the language, well the slang really. There were words and phrases that I recognised – many not used today – but lots I didn’t. It wasn’t hard to work out what they meant but it did accentuate the feeling that I’d been transported back into some ancient, alien place. The second thing was the attitude and behaviour of the men in this book: even Marlowe comes across as a homophobic misogynist, and he’s probably the only character with any kind of moral compass. As if that wasn’t enough, everyone (male and female) smokes and drinks hard liquor continuously. No wonder the old movies look so dark; you’re having to peer through the fog of their cigarette smoke to see the action. As for the story itself, it was ok. A bit over complicated really and I lost track of the large(ish) cast at one point. The star attraction is Marlowe himself, who despite his faults really is the sole good guy here. In truth, this book isn’t going to make a Chandler fan out of me – I’ll stick the modern stuff, thank you – but I did find it an interesting and not entirely unpleasant foray into the past.

  • Ɗắɳ2.☊
    2018-10-10 23:10

    ★★★☆☆½ “I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it.” Yeah, so? What do want a medal or something? Sorry to break it to you, Phil, but for rest of us that’s known as the status quo. Well, maybe not the shaved part, but damn, it’s not yet noon and you’re bragging about being sober? At least I now know who to blame for all those hard drinking, wise cracking PIs which followed. It’s no wonder future authors would attempt to emulate this guy. He’s the very definition of cool, and this is a story that just oozes style. All the more impressive a feat for a first novel, penned way back in 1939.The Big Sleep is the novel which started it all, by introducing the legendary Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe. It all begins when Marlowe is hired by General Sternwood, an elderly paralyzed millionaire, to investigate a blackmailer who’s gotten his hooks into the General’s youngest daughter. As they’re discussing the particulars of the case, it becomes evident that the General’s also concerned about the husband of his oldest daughter who’s recently gone missing. While he doesn’t specifically hire Marlowe to find him, he does sort of leave it unsaid.What follows is a surprisingly twisty tale involving blackmail, pornography, gambling, and multiple murders. With a cast chock-full of criminals, and two young daughters, “Still in the dangerous twenties” who like to throw around both their bodies and a lot of cash, and enough double and triple cross to give you whiplash, it’s really no wonder why Phil hits the booze so hard. I can’t fault Marlowe too much for coloring outside the lines and working around the law either. At one point even keeping a murder scene under wraps to serve his purposes. It’s not that he’s immoral; more that he’s only looking out for his client.Anyhow, the good news is that the writing was pretty terrific for a classic - at times even highly quotable. The bad news is that the mystery was overcooked. It was all a bit too convoluted for my taste, and the ending especially was rather weak. I couldn’t help but feel as though I were reading a couple of different stories roughly cobbled together. A brief Wikipedia search confirmed that was indeed the case, and I must say, it shows. There were also a few overly descriptive sections early on, but those seemed to diminish as the story began to hit its stride. There's no doubt The Big Sleep was a hugely influential work which set the tone for many noir detective stories to follow, but I’m sorry I don’t grade on a curve. 3.5 stars - A clear case of style over substance. “You’re as cold-blooded a beast as I ever met, Marlowe. Or can I call you Phil?”“Sure.”“You can call me Vivian.”“Thanks, Mrs. Regan.”“Oh, go to hell, Marlowe.”Read as part of another Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Buddy Read.One of the benefits that comes with age is an abundance of time to amass a vast wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorite jackets.

  • James Thane
    2018-10-22 19:20

    What can one possibly say about this book that has not already been said? When a dying millionaire needs help, Philip Marlowe answers the call and changes forever the course of crime fiction. This is the first of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels, featuring a complex plot with twists and turns so sharp that even the author ultimately couldn't figure them out, but so beautifully written that nobody cares. And at the heart of it all is the man who will become the prototypical P.I. with a code of his own that no mobster, cop, politician or beautiful dame can break.When asked by a cynical prosecutor why he's willing to risk so much for $25.00 per day plus expenses, Marlowe replies, "I don't like it. But what in the hell am I to do? I'm on a case. I'm selling what I have to sell to make a living. What little guts and intelligence the Lord gave me and a willingness to get pushed around in order to protect a client....I'd do the same thing again if I had to."Which pretty much says it all.

  • William
    2018-10-13 17:17

    This was an interesting experience, and I must admit that I enjoyed the Bogart & Bacall movie much more than the book. (It was fine-tuned by William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett, after all)The early chapters are a bit stilted and forced, but with an almost too-snappy dialogue identical to the movie. 20% ... After a while, Chandler loosens up a bit, and begins to shine. Great stuff now.Wow, I am witnessing Chandler find his true voice. What a feeling!"You—a—you—a—" her throat jammed. I thought she was going to fall on her nose. Her whole body shivered and her face fell apart like a bride’s pie crust. She put it together again slowly, as if lifting a great weight, by sheer will power. The smile came back, with a couple of corners badly bent.24% ... Wow, better than the movie now. What a thrill to see the change in prose! The descriptions flow and the pacing is very good.26% ...Hard Boiled wooohoooooo! In my mind as I read, Bogart is indelibly Marlowe, and Bacall is forever Vivian, but I see her as light brunette or blonde, not raven as written by Chandler....She took the photo out and stood looking at it, just inside the door. "She has a beautiful little body, hasn’t she?" "Uh-huh." She leaned a little towards me. "You ought to see mine," she said gravely. "Can it be arranged?" She laughed suddenly and sharply and went halfway through the door, then turned her head to say coolly: "You’re as cold-blooded a beast as I ever met, Marlowe. Or can I call you Phil?" "Sure." "You can call me Vivian." "Thanks, Mrs. Regan." "Oh, go to hell, Marlowe." She went on out and didn’t look back. I let the door shut and stood with my hand on it, staring at the hand. My face felt a little hot. I went back to the desk and put the whiskey away and rinsed out the two pony glasses and put them away. Trivia: In both this movie and To Have and Have Not, Bacall did all her own singing.Chandler wrote The Big Sleep in 1938 or so, but before the ending of the filming of the movie in 1945, Bogart and Bacall were married... They had fallen in love during filming of To Have and Have Not, which was released in 1944, and remained deeply in love until Bogart's death in 1957.when Bogart married Bacall... nice pics, too Oh, and the famous scene about racing horses, to evade the Hays Code (about sex on the screen), was the fabrication of screenwriters William Faulkner, Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett. It was added almost a year after filming was otherwise complete, in an attempt to inject the film with the kind of risqué innuendos that had made To Have and Have Not, and Bacall, so popular a two years earlier.Especially in the last half of the book, Chandler’s descriptive passages do have a wonderful noir rhythm to them, which I appreciated. 84% ... Hard. Boiled. Delicious...Her face under my mouth was like ice. She put her hands up and took hold of my head and kissed me hard on the lips. Her lips were like ice, too. I went out through the door and it closed behind me, without sound, and the rain blew in under the porch, not as cold as her lips. ... Not a kiss from Vivian, but from "Silver-Wig" ... What a surprise!Unfortunately, the final pages become more confused, almost a dissertation, with some small gems thrown in. The ending is very different from the movie, darker and with less clarity and resolution. Perhaps more true to life? You tell me.On the last page though, I did very much like the final paragraph: A surprising and poignant glimpse into Marlowe’s hidden heart ... (in bold below)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... On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn’t do me any good. All they did was make me think of Silver-Wig, and I never saw her again. .More trivia here

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-10-13 23:23

    599. The Big Sleep, Raymond ChandlerThe Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1), Raymond ChandlerPrivate investigator Philip Marlowe is called to the home of the wealthy and elderly General Sternwood, in the month of October. He wants Marlowe to deal with an attempt by a bookseller named Arthur Geiger to blackmail his wild young daughter, Carmen. She had previously been blackmailed by a man named Joe Brody. Sternwood mentions his other, older daughter Vivian is in a loveless marriage with a man named Rusty Regan, who has disappeared. On Marlowe's way out, Vivian wonders if he was hired to find Regan, but Marlowe will not say. ...تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه فوریه سال 2003 میلادیعنوان: خواب گران؛ نویسنده: ریموند چندلر؛ مترجم: قاسم هاشمی نژاد؛ تهران، کتاب ایران، 1382؛ در 299 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای پلیسی از نویسندگان امریکایی - ماجراهای فلیپ مالو کتاب 1 - قرن 20 مراوی داستان «فیلیپ مارلو»ی کارآگاه است، ژنرال «استرن وود» او را به خدمت گرفته، تا راز بدهی‌های دختر کوچکترش «کارمِن» را که گویا در قمار بالا آورده، دربیاورد. بدهی‌هایی که در طول داستان منجر به اخاذی از او می‌شوند. در این میان، «ریگان» داماد ژنرال نیز ناپدید می‌شود، و «ویویان» دختر بزرگتر ژنرال و همسر «ریگان»، به شک می‌افتد، که شاید دلیل استخدام «مارلو»، یافتن «ریگان» باشد. «آرتور گیگر» صاحب یک مغازه کرایه محصولات ... «کارمِن» را با مواد مخدر گیج و منگ کرده، و با گرفتن عکس‌هایی عریان از او، میخواهد اخاذی کند... ... از اینجا به بعد است، که ... انگار برای نویسنده گرهگشایی از قتلها و این که به خوانشگر بگوید: «کی، کی را کشته» اصلا مهم نیست. گویا اهمیت از نظرگاه او در این است که «قضیه‌ ی کی، کی را کشته برای کی مهم است». و... بهترین اقتباس سینمایی از این رمان را، در سال 1946 میلادی کمپانی «برادران وارنر» تهیه کرد، کارگردانی فیلم را «هوارد هاکس» برعهده داشت، و «همفری بوگارت» عهده دار ایفای نقش «فیلیپ مارلو» بود. ا. شربیانی

  • Sidharth Vardhan
    2018-09-23 18:29

    This is your stereotypical crime Noir - all about people back-stabbing each-other. There is a detective who gets all the cool dialogues. Almost all the women fall in category of femme fatale who can be assumed to be wearing, if they are wearing anything, a deep cut dress or a night dress or better still a still a deep-cut night dress. They are all trying to seduce our hero, who may accept or reject their proposal as the case may be. You can be sure there will be drug dealers in there, somewhere - and everybody, without exception, is carrying guns. Everybody is morally deficient in one way or other and there are sure to be psychopaths. I just love psychopaths - they are the only characters I can relate to.One thing I hate in all crime books when in the rare case hero gets outnumbered or overpowered by villain(s). My problem is that villains are satisfied in knocking the hero to unconsciousness and then just tying him. Why won't they just kill him? They have killed other characters far less threatening than heroes and yet they are satisfied in captivating him, and in a place where they can easily get help. The least they could do is to break some limbs but no .... It is frustrating for someone like me who roots for them. I call it Brutus syndrome - after Brutus from Popeye the sailor man - you know how he is happy in just tying Popeye every time and whats more, around a place where he can easily get some spinach. It is worse in case of masked heroes - villains never unmask them, they are just too respectful of hero's right to privacy. It is high time that our villains should learn from their mistakes.For me, Chandler's problem is that of Austen and Wells; they were all highly and beautifully original - but the problem is after once they came up with the egg of Columbus, they get averaged out by the better and bad works inspired by them.

  • Steve
    2018-10-17 15:11

    This isn’t really a review so much as a quick word of appreciation for a book I read decades ago. I suspect before Chandler and his ilk came along, crime fiction was much softer boiled. It also seems to have been a precursor for some excellent contemporary crime drama. Might The Sopranos, The Wire, and countless others owe a debt of gratitude to books like this for their intricate plotting, their colorful language, their stylized writing, and that definitive noir feel?Over time I seem to have fused the book with the movie. I recall liking both, but can’t now separate their distinct elements. Certainly Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were great together, what with the real-life chemistry they had going. Which reminds me – have you ever wished for a postcursor? By that I mean what might have been, but was not, a precursor to something observed ex post. In this case I’m talking about the somewhat recent convention of melding couples’ names – ones like Brangelina, Benifer, or, while they were still attached, TomKat. Had the scribes of yesteryear been on to the same thing, Bogey and Bacall could have been HumpBac. Along similar lines, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton might have been known to us all as Lizard. And Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz could have been Ballsi. (Sorry. Some might perceive this anachronistic wordplay to have been the sole intent of this post, but I really did like this book, The, uh…, The Big Sleep.)

  • Paul
    2018-10-14 15:21

    The heat in this disreputable part of the old town was oppressive and anything but sultry. All I wanted to do was shed the sweat-clinging skin of the day and stand under a freezing shower for about a week. If I followed that up with a few slugs of bourbon with some ice cold cubes swimming in them, well, that was nobody's business but mine.She wouldn't have it, though. She stared at me from where I'd discarded her on the beat up couch with a burning reprimand sizzling in her non-existent eyes. She was wearing a lurid red jacket that fit her perfectly. She was small but I could tell she contained multitudes.She held intense action, calculating sleuthing that owed more than a little to hunches and dumb luck than I'd have liked to admit and some tantalising passion that threatened to consume me within her papery arms.She'd finished telling me her tumultuous tale on the long, hot drive back from my office this evening. Her words entering me as close as any lover's whisper as the hot air pummelled me through the open car windows without offering a shred of relief. I'd have to get that AC fixed...I knew what she wanted. She wanted what they all wanted in the end. She couldn't let me just relax and move on to another love when I was good and ready. No, she wanted me to review her; fast and dirty right there on the couch, the vixen. Why can't these chippies just leave me in peace?I guess peace is too much to ask for a broken down, half-dead bum like me. I'd show her, though. She thought she'd left me trapped in a corner on a hot night with no choice but to give in and review... but I'd been around the block a few times and knew a few tricks myself. The secret was to move fast, before she fixed me with another freezing glance. I feinted right, and she glanced at my piece just as I'd hoped, while my south paw clicked on 'Save' and I hightailed it outta there like Beelzebub himself was on my ass...Buddy read with Sunshine Seaspray. Now there's a gallon of trouble in a half-pint glass...

  • Julie Ehlers
    2018-09-22 21:24

    Reading a hard-boiled detective novel long past the point when I'd already learned lots of things about the hard-boiled detective novel was an interesting experience. Marlowe's blunt, quippy language, his day drinking, and his over-the-top descriptions of women delighted me, not just on their own merits but simply because it was fun to read something that was exactly the way I'd always heard it would be. On the other hand, there were some elements of the book that surprised me. How much of the action took place during the day, for instance—for some reason I'd always assumed Raymond Chandler novels involved a lot of skulking around after midnight. The Big Sleep was also much, much funnier than I thought it would be, which was obviously a good thing. Most of all, though, I was surprised—although really, I shouldn't have been—to recognize exactly how much of a debt contemporary authors of detective novels owe to Chandler, the father of them all. No, The Big Sleep didn't entirely match the set of expectations I had going in, but it certainly didn't disappoint me.

  • Forrest
    2018-10-12 18:02

    Will someone please purge Peter Falk's voice from my head? I swear the man learned how to speak by having this book read to him as a child.Again, shame on me for not having read yet another American classic. I've always been a fan of noir in movies or on television, but had not read much at all, until recently. So I set out to make up for my un-American pinko commie ways and read a red-blooded American mystery. Now I honestly can't tell whether Raymond Chandler loved or hated America.I can tell you that he's a great writer. His prose in The Big Sleep is sparse, almost blunt. But Chandler occasionally turns a phrase that grabs the reader by the throat. In that way he's like Wodehouse, but a dark, serious Wodehouse with only a glimmer of a grim sense of humor. I went the emotional rounds with Philip Marlowe, admiring him, then hating him, then admiring him again. He's clever, forthright, honest (except when he needs to be dishonest), witty, warm-hearted, then cold-blooded. He's a classic male chauvinist, bordering on a misogynist. Frankly, I really hated him when he interacted with women in such a condescending way. Yeah, I know, he's a product of his time, I get that. But it just got old. Outside of that glaring character flaw, I was fascinated with Marlowe. I think a good deal of my admiration of the detective had to do with watching Chandler's handling of his main character. It's almost as if the author let Marlowe run around and do what he liked, only to pull back on his leash when he was about to give away too much to the reader. I sometimes wondered if Chandler or Marlowe was "in control," which is a testament to the underlying liveliness of the text. The plot itself was as convoluted as a klein bottle. I often found myself re-reading certain sections to keep the "who's who" straight in my head. The apparent insanity of most of the characters kept things confusing, but also immersed me in the slightly paranoid world in which Marlowe lived. And that's what this book is really about: immersion in an atmosphere. It's a trip. A dark trip, but a fun trip. Just be careful. You never know who's waiting in the dark. Oh, there's always someone there. You might even get to know one of them. And just when you think you know that person in the dark, you just might not. Watch out.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-10-09 16:26

    “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.”--ChandlerRaymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. He published some short stories, honing his craft, and finally made his debut; The Big Sleep was published in 1939, and made a justifiable name for himself. The real accomplishments include 1) clever dialogue, 2) some kinda ridiculous but wonderful noir “poetic” description and philosophizing and 3) a great hard-boiled detective, Philip Marlowe.The novel is deservedly renowned, but it may best be known perhaps for a film version with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall that is almost universally loved in spite of the critical claim of its incoherence. Everybody (but a few critics care) disdains coherence; they are looking at Bacall.I won’t say anything about the plot, which to my mind is not that remarkable here, but sort of beside the point. The point is Marlowe. I would describe him as a wisecracker, or glib quipper:“I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings.”One guy he describes as “hatchet-faced.”“Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You’re the second guy I’ve met within hours who seems to think a gat in the hand means a world by the tail.” “I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it.”And Marlowe falls for women: “She lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain. I was to get to know that trick. That was supposed to make me roll over on my back with all four paws in the air.” Dames, huh?“You can have a hangover from other things than alcohol. I had one from women.” And another:“I sat down on the edge of a deep soft chair and looked at Mrs. Regan. She was worth a stare. She was trouble.”But it’s not just detective Philip Marlow that is caustically clever; the women get their jabs in, too, as one says:“Such a nice escort, Mr. Cobb. So attentive. You should see him sober. I should see him sober. Somebody should see him sober. I mean, just for the record. So it could become a part of history, that brief flashing moment, soon buried in time, but never forgotten—when Larry Cobb was sober.” Some of the more “literary” writing that would more inform his writing later is here:“Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form itself on the edge of consciousness.”Now to resee the film, oh boy, but don’t ignore the book, this is the real deal. And it may not even be in the top three books he wrote!

  • Emma
    2018-10-12 18:09

    '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...You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now.'So concludes Philip Marlowe at the end of this case. I'm really glad I didn't know the story beforehand, having never watched the movie. I didn't see whodunnit until the very end.Fabulous original crime noir novel where no one is ever really innocent and every one has secrets to hide... I loved the style of writing and could have quoted from almost every page. Marlowe is an honest-ish , hard boiled gum shoe , fast-off-the-trigger-with-those-wisecracks, who's been around the block a few times. Foxy dames, chain smoking, cyanide, blackmail, extortion, murder, insanity. What more can you ask for? Fabulous!

  • StoryTellerShannon
    2018-10-21 21:22

    A masterpiece of flowing words.Marlowe investigates two daughters on the road to Perdition which leads to darker things than expected.There's a lot to say but many others have already said it. They're right. It's brilliant. I prefer the novel but I listened to the audio and Elliot Gould was truly awesome with his voices. He caught the spirit of the book. OVERALL GRADE: A minus.

  • Edward Lorn
    2018-10-05 18:30

    I'm always interested in reading books by my favorite authors' influences. Raymond Chandler played a major role in the molding of Stephen King's and Lawrence Block's work. You can see, line by line, where those two authors learned the ropes. King a little less so then Block, but it's there. Thing is, I didn't always find myself enjoying this book. As is the case with many heroes of my heroes, I tend to find the originator boring by comparison. Take H. P. Lovecraft for instance. His racist-ass paved the way for damn near every horror author who's ever had his sights on a Bram Stoker or World Fantasy Award. Every week there's a new Lovecraft-themed anthology. But dude's writing is plain and antiquated and boring. I'm sure he was the hottest shit since battery-operated back massagers in his day, but to read him now is like reading a car manual. No thanks. But, again, he was a major influence on several of my heroes. Chandler's nowhere near as bad as Lovecraft, but this book is dated as fuck. Some will call me a white knight for the next few words I write, but fuck 'em. I don't like males who strike women. I don't care if those women are doped or hysterical or whatever. Keep your damn hands to yourself. I'm not trying to impress anyone. I've been happily married for 16 years. Fuck I wanna make myself look good to you for? I just don't like it. Never have. That's me. But, of course, hitting women was all the rage in Chandler's day. Books like his make me think of those old painted adverts with the wife over her hubby's knee. He's got his hand raised and she's bawling. But he's gotta teach her a lesson because all women are emotionally-compromised children. That mindset never gelled with me. Because I'm attracted to women. Men who treat women like children and then fuck those same women... Man, I gotta say, there's something fucked in their heads. Last thing I'd want to do is fuck someone I also felt needed to be disciplined. But what do I know? This is why BDSM is a thing.In summation: Of course this book is dated. It was published in 1939. But it inspired some of my favorite writers and is still inspiring authors today so maybe it's worth a read, you know, in case you're one of the few who, like me, hadn't read Chandler. I'll likely continue on with the series solely on the grounds that these books are so short and easy to read. I just hope that, in the future, Marlowe keeps his grubby hands to himself.Final Judgment: A decent noir tale that inspired a generation or six.

  • Wanda
    2018-10-01 22:29

    OMG, how have I missed out on Raymond Chandler’s work for so long? From the very first sentence, I was hooked. The plot is pretty good, but where The Big Sleep excels is in characters and in atmosphere. Philip Marlowe is the kind of guy you want to have on your side if there’s something not-quite-above-board happening in your life. Not a guy you would want to date, but definitely a guy who you hope you can afford when you need his skills.I adored the dialog—Chandler had a real talent in that department. Marlowe is pitch perfect, letting the reader assess how much he knows and frustrating those that he is questioning/not answering. Working both sides of the law, friends with lawyers and with criminals, all of whom see him as a straight-shooter, he tries to be a decent guy. Decent or not, he’ll let something slide if it promises to complicate his life too much. It is easy to see how works like The Big Sleep have influenced modern crime fiction. The almost-burnt-out investigator who is world weary and cynical is pretty standard, although the more interesting authors find a way to give the stereotype a new spin. The omnipresent rain, making the whole investigation into an endurance test. The moral ambiguity of “bad guys” who are actually pretty likeable and “good guys” who are pretty despicable. For me, a wonderful introduction to the hard-boiled genre and a darn good read besides.