- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Jun. 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140108920
- ISBN-13: 978-0140108927
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.7 x 18.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Big Sleep: A Philip Marlowe Mystery (Penguin Fiction) Paperback – 30 Jun 1988
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Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse.
About the Author
Best-known as the creator of the original private eye, Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and died in 1959. Many of his books have been adapted for the screen, and he is widely regarded as one of the very greatest writers of detective fiction.
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The exaggerated similes are amazing throughout. It's classic noir and originality will stand the test of time.
A classic in every sense.
I only started reading Raymond Chandler's books because they were next to Agatha Christie on the library shelves. But almost from the first paragraph of The Big Sleep I was hooked and I've read the entire series now.
I love the snappy dialogue, the memorable descriptions and the marvellous evocation of life on the Californian coast. In the first chapter here, we meet members of the rich, crazy Sternwood family and its patriarch, in an overheated glasshouse filled with orchids ('those nasty flowers'). More importantly, we're introduced to Philip Marlowe and his hard-drinking, wise-cracking, disrespectful ways.
Above all, I relish the moral subtlety of the book. Unlike most mysteries, the hero decides (like Miss Marple) that sometimes it is best to let sleeping murder lie and allow people to keep their illusions if the truth will do no other than harm them.
In short then, a fun, readable masterpiece.
The cover design is, IMHO, crap: clumsy & garish, and the lettering (one can hardly call it a typeface) barbarous.
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The best thing about this was its wonderful evocation of place and time. Also the dialogue was sharp.Read more