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The Little Sleep
on 9 March 2014
Let's not beat about the bush, this short story is essentially the first draft for the first half of 'The Big Sleep' which was published four years later.
Many of the names are the same (Carmen, Agnes), as are the characters eg. Steiner/Geiger, as the dodgy bookseller. What is missing is the character of Marlow - although the narrator is the same private eye. Also missing are the one-liners that became Chandler's trademark. In fact, the novella contains only one similie of note, 'I thought he was as crazy as a pair of waltzing mice'.
The wonderful Penguin publishing house are pushing their luck to use the words 'Modern Classic' but they are right in using the word 'Mini'. I have often wondered whether 'The Big Sleep' is really two short stories welded together - here is the proof.
I strongly recommend you only read this out of curiosity once you've savoured the 1939 true classic.