Customer Reviews for

The Big Sleep

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Dated, Yes, Entertaining, Very Much

Nobody understood hardboiled language better than Chandler. Some of his sentences are blatantly bad in terms of grammar, but who really cares? I noticed someone mentioned the different ways of looking at the world. I imagine they are talking about the view of women a...
Nobody understood hardboiled language better than Chandler. Some of his sentences are blatantly bad in terms of grammar, but who really cares? I noticed someone mentioned the different ways of looking at the world. I imagine they are talking about the view of women and minorities. What the heck do you expect? Everyone's attitudes were different back then. Do we judge Greek plays for their atavistic features? No. Don't worry about stuff like that and I promise you you'll actually live longer! As for The Big Sleep, the one thing that has always sort of bothered me about Raymond Chandler books is that the mysteries don't quite add up. In The Big Sleep, there are actually murders that go unaccounted for. It makes it seem as though it was easy to shoot someone back in old L.A. Tht just wasn't true. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining read, like all of Chandler's books. Highly recommended.

posted by robcort on August 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Printing errors

My biggest gripe with this edition is that it has numerous printing errors -- misspellings, wrong punctuation (e.g. missing quotation marks), a blank page (but with header and footer), and paragraphs that end or begin mid-sentence. Even the back cover has the word "ava...
My biggest gripe with this edition is that it has numerous printing errors -- misspellings, wrong punctuation (e.g. missing quotation marks), a blank page (but with header and footer), and paragraphs that end or begin mid-sentence. Even the back cover has the word "availible" on it. I would recommend prospective buyers to buy another edition.

posted by 12650035 on May 27, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    Classic Detective Novel

    Raymond Chandler¿s The Big Sleep is an excellent detective novel. It centers on the escapades of Phillip Marlowe, a cynical private investigator with a cool head. Marlowe is hired at first to quash a straightforward blackmail threat, but he becomes entangled in a much more complex plot. Chandler lays out a riveting story of twists and turns much of the success of the novel, however, is due not to the plot, but in Chandler¿s enchanting hardboiled style. The dark 1930s Los Angeles underground that the author paints is the perfect arena for Marlowe¿s hardened street smarts to shine. Chandler¿s world is one of shady characters and little innocence, and Marlowe¿s hide continually relies on the quickness of his wits and a little bit of luck. Luckily, Marlowe¿s wits are considerable, because immediately upon taking a case from old General Sternwood, he is plunged into dangerous caper after caper. The action is gripping and sudden the writing is terse and witty. Marlowe, the story¿s narrator, comes off as a skilled veteran of too many alley fights to wear much of a smile. He has good intentions, but he is cold and world-weary. Many of the characters of the story are similar: weathered citizens of the underground. The emotional, in Marlowe¿s world, are for the most part, amateurs. They are also the largest perpetrators of errors in judgment. The professionals all seem to have seen enough to know that there is little worth getting excited about in their world. Much of the success of the novel is owed to the mood that Chandler is able to paint. The quick-thinking detective must navigate the shady underworld in classic fashion. Meanwhile, the plot develops at a quick pace. It thickens into seemingly endless complexities, but never loses its hold on the reader. The novel somehow manages to have a meticulous plot development with fast paced action. Marlowe troops fearlessly through the California streets, piecing together mystery solutions through use of both brawn and brain. Marlowe is unafraid of asking questions at gunpoint, or answering at same. The story is captivatingly told from his point of view the seemingly mundane is interesting, and the interesting is shockingly routine from his level-headed perspective. Marlowe¿s character allows the novel to develop into an excellent, hardboiled mystery tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2005

    The original detective noir genre that started it all

    Raymond Chandler, the author, is the definitive writer of the detective genre. His wise-cracking, earthy detective Philip Marlowe constantly sticks his nose into dangerous places, sometimes catching the far end of a swinging fist for his troubles. And trouble is a euphemism for his working life. His books led to the creation of several famous films with Humphrey Bogart playing Marlowe. But having seen the movies, there is no comparison to the quality of Chandler's original prose. Here are a few witty samples full of imagery from his books: 'I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it.' 'I was as empty of life as a scarecrow's pockets.' '... he looked as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.' 'He looked as nervous as a brick wall.' Chandler's stories move fast and contain a lot of action, just like his protagonist. Marlowe's character is a bit of a blue-collar cynic, an occasional ladies' man, a rebel, and a steadfast (but sometimes puzzlingly) honest man. Marlowe is just an average guy who just happens to solve cases involving the rich and beautiful (and their dirty little secrets) in mid-twentieth century LA. And I suppose Marlowe's fast-talking, action-oriented character is one most of us average guys could identify with, which accounts for the success of his books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I don't usually like reading fiction - and highly recommend it. Chandler really is a pleasure to read. Why couldn't we have read something like this just once in my high school English lit classes!?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    My copy was solid and without issue on this edition; that being

    My copy was solid and without issue on this edition; that being said, this is a real treat of a novel, written b the hands of the quintessential Hardboiled novelist who more or less inspired the rest. Raymond Chandler's tough talking tough walking Phillip Marlowe is the stuff of movies, and was portrayed in film by Humphrey Bogart.

    There's not a better book to break one into the gloomy world of Hardboiled crime than Raymond Chandler's the Big Sleep!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    A classi

    Always a good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    One of the best

    One of the best of its kind. Twisty plot, compelling characters, very well written. Lots to read between the lines. I doubt there's much I can add to what is widely recognized about this excellent novel.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The original noir

    I love this book. The way the naritive lays out in first person like velvet. If you feel like youve heard this kind of narative before, you have, from every imitator that has followed in the original's footsteps.

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun Reading (pardon the redundancy)

    Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlow is an intoxicating character. As someone who wasn't a mystery fan, but who has recently become one, I have found Chandler second only to Dashiell Hammett.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Outstanding

    Whoowee!!! Just finished it. My first Raymond Chandler--but it certainly won't be the last. I have stayed away from this book for years because the movie with Bogey and Bacall is one of my all-time favorites. I shouldn't have done that. I loved the book just as much as the movie. Will certainly continue to both read it and watch it. Although I am a dyed-in-the-wool Christie fan, I found Chandler to be easier to read. He doesn't give you 25 characters to keep track of.<BR/>Chandler is a winner--no doubt about it. SQ

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2005

    Love this book!

    Raymond Chandler not only presents interesting characters in 'The Big Sleep', but he does it with thoughtful originality. I am getting tired of writers who can only present their characters thru swear words. Today's writers can take a huge lesson from Raymond Chandler. Do yourself a favor and read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2005

    MUST READ

    Wow! A graet mystery. This story is about murder, sex, and blackmail. The story keeps you guessing. If you like figuring out stuff, this one would be the one to read. A good plot. I was overwhelm with the characters. All were interesting. I couldn't put this book down. Chandler wrote a good mystery. I like his style of writing. I kept guessing and guessing, but I didn't figure out the suspect til right at the end. This was fun playing detective. I loved this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    The Best Marlowe Novel!!!!!

    This book is Raymond Chandler's first, and best. It introduces private eye Philip Marlowe to readers. Marlowe is a 'knight in shining armor' roaming the streets of Los Angeles protecting those who can't protect themselves. The Big Sleep is a joy to read and one of the best detective novels ever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2000

    A great read at a great price

    The Big Sleep belongs in every home library. This is my favorite if Raymonds Chandler's stories for the masterful similies and the Hard-Boiled language as well as a great, great read. If you've never taken in the Hard Boilded detective novel, I recommend this as your first. The voices and characters are amazing. You really get a taste of the 20th century detective novel here. The plot is superb. And if your're an expert, this will surely sharpen your literary detective skills.

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    Posted August 3, 2011

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