The Big Sleep

( 82 )

Overview

When a dying millionaire hires Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.

"Chandler [writes] like a slumming angel and invest[s] the sun-blinded streets of Los Angelos with a romantic presence."
—Ross Macdonald

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Overview

When a dying millionaire hires Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.

"Chandler [writes] like a slumming angel and invest[s] the sun-blinded streets of Los Angelos with a romantic presence."
—Ross Macdonald

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Raymond Chandler is a master." —The New York Times

“[Chandler] wrote as if pain hurt and life mattered.” —The New Yorker

“Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious.” —Robert B. Parker, The New York Times Book Review

“Philip Marlowe remains the quintessential urban private eye.” —Los Angeles Times

“Nobody can write like Chandler on his home turf, not even Faulkner. . . . An original. . . . A great artist.” —The Boston Book Review

“Raymond Chandler was one of the finest prose writers of the twentieth century. . . . Age does not wither Chandler’s prose. . . . He wrote like an angel.” —Literary Review

“[T]he prose rises to heights of unselfconscious eloquence, and we realize with a jolt of excitement that we are in the presence of not a mere action tale teller, but a stylist, a writer with a vision.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

“Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence.” —Ross Macdonald

“Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude.” —Erle Stanley Gardner

“Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.” —Paul Auster

“[Chandler]’s the perfect novelist for our times. He takes us into a different world, a world that’s like ours, but isn’t. ” —Carolyn See

Library Journal
Chandler is not only the best writer of hardboiled PI stories, he's one of the 20th century's top scribes, period. His full canon of novels and short stories is reprinted in trade paper featuring uniform covers in Black Lizard's signature style. A handsome set for a reasonable price. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Isaac Anderson
Most of the characters in thes story are tough, many of them are nasty and some of them are both. The language used in this book is often vile - at times so filthy that the publishers have neem compelled to resort to the dash, a device seldom employed in these unsquemish days. As a study in depravity, the story is excellent...-- Books of the Century; New York Times review, February 1939
New York Times Book Review
Raymond Chandler is a master.... [He] has given us a detective who is hard-boiled enough to be convincing. . . and that is no mean achievement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394758282
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/1988
  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 56,376
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Chandler

Raymond Thornton Chandler (1888 - 1959) was the master practitioner of American hard-boiled crime fiction. Although he was born in Chicago, Chandler spent most of his boyhood and youth in England where he attended Dulwich College and later worked as a freelance journalist for The Westminster Gazette and The Spectator. During World War I, Chandler served in France with the First Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, transferring later to the Royal Flying Corps (R. A. F.). In 1919 he returned to the United States, settling in California, where he eventually became director of a number of independent oil companies. The Depression put an end to his career, and in 1933, at the age of forty-five, he turned to writing fiction, publishing his first stories in Black Mask. Chandler’s detective stories often starred the brash but honorable Philip Marlowe (introduced in 1939 in his first novel, The Big Sleep) and were noted for their literate presentation and dead-on critical eye. Never a prolific writer, Chandler published only one collection of stories and seven novels in his lifetime. Some of Chandler’s novels, like The Big Sleep, were made into classic movies which helped define the film noir style. In the last year of his life he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died in La Jolla, California on March 26, 1959.

Biography

Raymond Thornton Chandler (1888 - 1959) was the master practitioner of American hard-boiled crime fiction. Although he was born in Chicago, Chandler spent most of his boyhood and youth in England where he attended Dulwich College and later worked as a freelance journalist for The Westminster Gazette and The Spectator. During World War I, Chandler served in France with the First Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, transferring later to the Royal Flying Corps (R. A. F.). In 1919 he returned to the United States, settling in California, where he eventually became director of a number of independent oil companies. The Depression put an end to his career, and in 1933, at the age of forty-five, he turned to writing fiction, publishing his first stories in Black Mask. Chandler's detective stories often starred the brash but honorable Philip Marlowe (introduced in 1939 in his first novel, The Big Sleep) and were noted for their literate presentation and dead-on critical eye. Never a prolific writer, Chandler published only one collection of stories and seven novels in his lifetime. Some of Chandler's novels, like The Big Sleep, were made into classic movies which helped define the film noir style. In the last year of his life he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died in La Jolla, California on March 26, 1959.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Raymond Thornton Chandler
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 23, 1888
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      March 26, 1959
    2. Place of Death:
      La Jolla, California

Read an Excerpt

ONE

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. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. 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. I was calling on four million dollars.

The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn't have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn't seem to be really trying.

There were French doors at the back of the hall, beyond them a wide sweep of emerald grass to a white garage, in front of which a slim dark young chauffeur in shiny black leggings was dusting a maroon Packard convertible. Beyond the garage were some decorative trees trimmed as carefully as poodle dogs. Beyond them a large greenhouse with a domed roof. Then more trees and beyond everything the solid, uneven, comfortable line of the foothills.

On the east side of the hall a free staircase, tile-paved, rose to a gallery with a wrought-iron railing and another piece of stained-glass romance. Large hard chairs with rounded red plush seats were backed into the vacant spaces of the wall round about. They didn't look as if anybody had ever sat in them. In the middle of the west wall there was a big empty fireplace with a brass screen in four hinged panels, and over the fireplace a marble mantel with cupids at the corners. Above the mantel there was a large oil portrait, and above the portrait two bullet-torn or moth-eaten cavalry pennants crossed in a glass frame. The portrait was a stiffly posed job of an officer in full regimentals of about the time of the Mexican war. The officer had a neat black imperial, black mustachios, hot hard coal-black eyes, and the general look of a man it would pay to get along with. I thought this might be General Sternwood's grandfather. It could hardly be the General himself, even though I had heard he was pretty far gone in years to have a couple of daughters still in the dangerous twenties.

I was still staring at the hot black eyes when a door opened far back under the stairs. It wasn't the butler coming back. It was a girl.

She was twenty or so, small and delicately put together, but she looked durable. She wore pale blue slacks and they looked well on her. She walked as if she were floating. Her hair was a fine tawny wave cut much shorter than the current fashion of pageboy tresses curled in at the bottom. Her eyes were slate-gray, and had almost no expression when they looked at me. She came over near me and smiled with her mouth and she had little sharp predatory teeth, as white as fresh orange pith and as shiny as porcelain. They glistened between her thin too taut lips. Her face lacked color and didn't look too healthy.

"Tall, aren't you?" she said.

"I didn't mean to be."

Her eyes rounded. She was puzzled. She was thinking. I could see, even on that short acquaintance, that thinking was always going to be a bother to her.

"Handsome too," she said. "And I bet you know it."

I grunted.

"What's your name?"

"Reilly," I said. "Doghouse Reilly."

"That's a funny name." She bit her lip and turned her head a little and looked at me along her eyes. Then she lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theater 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.

"Are you a prizefighter?" she asked, when I didn't.

"Not exactly. I'm a sleuth."

"A—a—" She tossed her head angrily, and the rich color of it glistened in the rather dim light of the big hall. "You're making fun of me."

"Uh-uh."

"What?"

"Get on with you," I said. "You heard me."

"You didn't say anything. You're just a big tease." She put a thumb up and bit it. It was a curiously shaped thumb, thin and narrow like an extra finger, with no curve in the first joint. She bit it and sucked it slowly, turning it around in her mouth like a baby with a comforter.

"You're awfully tall," she said. Then she giggled with secret merriment. Then she turned her body slowly and lithely, without lifting her feet. Her hands dropped limp at her sides. She tilted herself towards me on her toes. She fell straight back into my arms. I had to catch her or let her crack her head on the tessellated floor. I caught her under her arms and she went rubber-legged on me instantly. I had to hold her close to hold her up. When her bead was against my chest she screwed it around and giggled at me.

"You're cute," she giggled. "I'm cute too."

I didn't say anything. So the butler chose that convenient moment to come back through the French doors and see me holding her.

It didn't seem to bother him. He was a tall, thin, silver man, sixty or close to it or a little past it. He had blue eyes as remote as eyes could be. His skin was smooth and bright and he moved like a man with very sound muscles. He walked slowly across the floor towards us and the girl jerked away from me. She flashed across the room to the foot of the stairs and went up them like a deer. She was gone before I could draw a long breath and let it out.

The butler said tonelessly: "The General will see you now, Mr. Marlowe."

I pushed my lower jaw up off my chest and nodded at him. "Who was that?"

"Miss Carmen Sternwood, sir."

"You ought to wean her. She looks old enough."

He looked at me with grave politeness and repeated what he had said.

TWO

We went out at the French doors and along a smooth red-flagged path that skirted the far side of the lawn from the garage. The boyish-looking chauffeur had a big black and chromium sedan out now and was dusting that. The path took us along to the side of the greenhouse and the butler opened a door for me and stood aside. It opened into a sort of vestibule that was about as warm as a slow oven. He came in after me, shut the outer door, opened an inner door and we went through that. Then it was really hot. The air was thick, wet, steamy and larded with the cloying smell of tropical orchids in bloom. The glass walls and roof were heavily misted and big drops of moisture splashed down on the plants. The light had an unreal greenish color, like light filtered through an aquarium tank. The plants filled the place, a forest of them, with nasty meaty leaves and stalks like the newly washed fingers of dead men. They smelled as overpowering as boiling alcohol under a blanket.

The butler did his best to get me through without being smacked in the face by the sodden leaves, and after a while we came to a clearing in the middle of the jungle, under the domed roof. Here, in a space of hexagonal flags, an old red Turkish rug was laid down and on the rug was a wheel chair, and in the wheel chair an old and obviously dying man watched us come with black eyes from which all fire had died long ago, but which still had the coal-black directness of the eyes in the portrait that hung above the mantel in the hall. The rest of his face was a leaden mask, with the bloodless lips and the sharp nose and the sunken temples and the outward-turning earlobes of approaching dissolution. His long narrow body was wrapped—in that heat—in a traveling rug and a faded red bathrobe. His thin clawlike 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.

The butler stood in front of him and said: "This is Mr. Marlowe, General."

The old man didn't move or speak, or even nod. He just looked at me lifelessly. The butler pushed a damp wicker chair against the backs of my legs and I sat down. He took my hat with a deft scoop.

Then the old man dragged his voice up from the bottom of a well and said: "Brandy, Norris. How do you like your brandy, sir?"

"Any way at all," I said.

The butler went away among the abominable plants. The General spoke again, slowly, using his strength as carefully as an out-of-work show-girl uses her last good pair of stockings.

"I used to like mine with champagne. The champagne as cold as Valley Forge and about a third of a glass of brandy beneath it. You may take your coat off, sir. It's too hot in here for a man with blood in his veins."

I stood up and peeled off my coat and got a handkerchief out and mopped my face and neck and the backs of my wrists. St. Louis in August had nothing on that place. I sat down again and I felt automatically for a cigarette and then stopped. The old man caught the gesture and smiled faintly.

"You may smoke, sir. I like the smell of tobacco."

I lit the cigarette and blew a lungful at him and he sniffed at it like a terrier at a rathole. The faint smile pulled at the shadowed corners of his mouth.

"A nice state of affairs when a man has to indulge his vices by proxy," he said dryly. "You are looking at a very dull survival of a rather gaudy life, a cripple paralyzed in both legs and with only half of his lower belly. There's very little that I can eat and my sleep is so close to waking that it is hardly worth the name. I seem to exist largely on heat, like a newborn spider, and the orchids are an excuse for the heat. Do you like orchids?"

"Not particularly," I said.

The General half-closed his eyes. "They are nasty things. Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men. And their perfume has the rotten sweetness of a prostitute."

I stared at him with my mouth open. The soft wet heat was like a pall around us. The old man nodded, as if his neck was afraid of the weight of his head. Then the butler came pushing back through the jungle with a teawagon, mixed me a brandy and soda, swathed the copper ice bucket with a damp napkin, and went away softly among the orchids. A door opened and shut behind the jungle.

I sipped the drink. The old man licked his lips watching me, over and over again, drawing one lip slowly across the other with a funeral absorption, like an undertaker dry-washing his hands.

"Tell me about yourself, Mr. Marlowe. I suppose I have a right to ask?"

"Sure, but there's very little to tell. I'm thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there's any demand for it. There isn't much in my trade. I worked for Mr. Wilde, the District Attorney, as an investigator once. His chief investigator, a man named Bernie Ohls, called me and told me you wanted to see me. I'm unmarried because I don't like policemen's wives."

"And a little bit of a cynic," the old man smiled. "You didn't like working for Wilde?"

"I was fired. For insubordination. I test very high on insubordination, General."

"I always did myself, sir. I'm glad to hear it. What do you know about my family?"

"I'm told you are a widower and have two young daughters, both pretty and both wild. One of them has been married three times, the last time to an ex-bootlegger who went in the trade by the name of Rusty Regan. That's all I heard, General."

"Did any of it strike you as peculiar?"

"The Rusty Regan part, maybe. But I always got along with bootleggers myself."

He smiled his faint economical smile. "It seems I do too. I'm very fond of Rusty. A big curly-headed Irishman from Clonmel, with sad eyes and a smile as wide as Wilshire Boulevard. The first time I saw him I thought he might be what you are probably thinking he was, an adventurer who happened to get himself wrapped up in some velvet."

"You must have liked him," I said. "You learned to talk the language."

He put his thin bloodless hands under the edge of the rug. I put my cigarette stub out and finished my drink.

"He was the breath of life to me—while he lasted. He spent hours with me, sweating like a pig, drinking brandy by the quart and telling me stories of the Irish revolution. He had been an officer in the I.R.A. He wasn't even legally in the United States. It was a ridiculous marriage of course, and it probably didn't last a month, as a marriage. I'm telling you the family secrets, Mr. Marlowe."

"They're still secrets," I said. "What happened to him?"

The old man looked at me woodenly. "He went away, a month ago. Abruptly, without a word to anyone. Without saying good-bye to me. That hurt a little, but he had been raised in a rough school. I'll hear from him one of these days. Meantime I am being blackmailed again."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 82 )
Rating Distribution

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(37)

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(24)

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(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 82 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    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 "availible" on it. I would recommend prospective buyers to buy another edition.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2011

    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 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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    I liked this book, but I didn't love this book.  At first I was

    I liked this book, but I didn't love this book.  At first I was amused by the pervasive metaphors and similes.  I was even quite fond of the one in the middle of chapter eight:  Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.  But after a while, I found myself wading through them, and then swimming in them, and finally drowning from them.  (See?  I can do it, too.)  They made the narration feel like it was escaping through the side of the mouth, past a gasper. 
    I've never practiced legerdemain, but I do know misdirection when I see it.  If you take away the picturesque phrases and the gritty narration, you are left with an adequate, maybe even a good, but not a brilliant story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2009

    Still a classic

    It is an easy read, that keeps your attention. Perfect for late night in the Summer when you wish to escape in a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Dated but remember this brought the pulp noir mystery into

    classic literature and on required reading lists therefore a guarante that would be resisted by the young reader movie helped that but somehow the color rather than b/w dont work as well as these are noir

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    A classi

    Always a good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    These often do better as a b/w movie than tec color

    More than one actor did his books one was robert mitchel and early dick powell also one lady in the lake by montgomery you never saw him unless in a mirror paul newman did a revised sorta one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Great Easy Read

    this book is a great read. The metaphors are vivid and the I love how direct each person is. This books gives you a glimpse of what the past was really like and what people loved to read. I recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    Raymond Chandler's Novel The Big Sleep is a great novel if you l

    Raymond Chandler's Novel The Big Sleep is a great novel if you love detective stories. The whole novel is about this man this private detective Phillip Marlowe people call him Marlowe. He is requested by General Sternwood another major character to take care of Arthur Geiger a pornographer who has been blackmailing the General scandalous pictures of his eldest daughter Carmen Sternwood, but Marlowe ends up finding much more than he bargained for. Through a few twists and turns in the plot things become much more difficult for private detective Marlowe. The whole plot is very well developed and thought out. There are two themes in The Big Sleep cynicism and corruption. My beliefs on cynicism and corruption are that the amount of both was right for that time period the 1930's and that it fit the plot well. It's the many twists and turns that make The Big Sleep a great book to read if you love a good crime or detective story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Classic

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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 April 30, 2011

    a matter of time dating the mystery.

    I found Raymond Chandler's classic to be terrific but oh what a diffeerent
    way of looking at the world in his novel's day vs today. In spite of that
    I def recommend.

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    Captivating detective novel.

    You certainly can`t put this book down.It was my first novel by Chandler and now I have finished reading the third one.I normally wouldn`t read detective stories but this is original.Chandler has a distinguished style that stands out.I don`t think I will be buying more by the same author though after finishing the third book.It becomes a little too predictable.

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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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