Classic noir. If you like "tough guy" detectives, you'll love this.
I'm going to stop reading all these hard-boiled detective stories: now I want a gat--or a sap--or both
I've never read a book like this and probably would not have read this one if I didn't see it on a list. Once I got into it it was pretty good.
One of my favorite Humphrey Bogart movie is “The Big Sleep” where he portrays Raymond Chandler’s private detective, Philip Marlowe. As Chandler expresses through his character Marlowe, the detective’s life is not at all what is portrayed in works of the period. Marlowe says the job is a lot grittier and more complicated than he’s read in novels with Philo Vance as the detective. This novel differs from the movie, for whatever reason so you get two different stories in many respects. The novel is listed as one of the best 1001 books that one should read before experiencing “The Big Sleep.” I agree.
Phoebe calls Chandler the father of the "hard-boiled, noir detective". Maybe so but no one should forget a equally famous American writer, Dashiell Hammet. Although Chandler was born before Hammet I have always looked upon Hammet as the more interesting writer of the two. Hammet gave us Sam Spade and Chandler gave us Philip Marlowe. Tough to choose between them so it is best to read both writers. Each writer eventually ran out of steam, ideas, health or some combination of what gets us all in the end.
Overall, I liked The Big Sleep. It kind of drags at times, and the homophobia of the time is a little hard to take, but Chandler writes with blunt, dark poetry, and Philip Marlowe is a great tarnished white knight of a character. I'm a big fan of the movie, and it's nice to see the source is darker and grittier than the movie could be at the time.
Raymond Chandler's first book starring Philip Marlowe - and what a witty, tough detective he is. Very convoluted plot, you have to keep on your toes to figure it out. This is one great read!
This book was on Time Magazine's list of the 100 Best Books. If you want to get an idea of the late 1930s street vocabulary, this is a must read. But for a great story well told, this book doesn't really cut it.
Chandler's best known novel. Skip the movie, this is the real deal!
When private investigator Philip Marlowe is called to the massive mansion of paraplegic millionaire General Sternwood, he doesn?t expect to be plunged into a mess of blackmailers, gangsters, and drug dealers. But he takes it all in stride, because Marlowe is as hard-nosed (not to mention hard-drinking and chain-smoking) as they come. Sternwood?s wild-child daughter Carmen is a vivacious tease of a girl, and she?s being blackmailed. Marlowe is charged with putting a stop to the extortion and getting Carmen out of trouble, but the girl?and her drop-dead-gorgeous, tough-as-nails big sister Vivian?proves to be more than a handful. The sisters have agendas of their own and both know some shady characters. No one is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In fact, most of what comes out of their lips is about as far from the truth as you can get. Pornographers, gamblers, and murders all become part of the Byzantine plot as Marlowe scowls his way across the dark underbelly of 1940s Los Angeles. He may be surrounded by double-crossing bad guys and taunting femme fatales, but Marlowe is never outwitted, outpaced, or outmatched. Cynical and world-weary, Marlowe is an all-American anti-hero and the star of several of author Raymond Chandler?s trademark hardboiled noir thrillers. Lauren Bacall played Vivian to Humphrey Bogart?s Marlowe in the 1946 film adaptation, cementing The Big Sleep?s place in the detective lit canon.
"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts."
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