Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Big Sleep (A Philip Marlowe Novel) Paperback – July 12, 1988
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"His thin, claw-like 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." Published in 1939, when Raymond Chandler was 50, this is the first of the Philip Marlowe novels. Its bursts of sex, violence, and explosively direct prose changed detective fiction forever. "She was trouble. She was tall and rangy and strong-looking. Her hair was black and wiry and parted in the middle. She had a good mouth and a good chin. There was a sulky droop to her lips and the lower lip was full."
From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Part of the problem is that the family poor Marlowe is trying to protect are some of the most unappealing characters in modern literature. Marlowe seems to feel sympathy for old General Sternwood, but I think he's an awful old bastard. As for his two crazy daughters, the less said about them the better.
Of course, being Marlowe, our hero doesn't stick to the job at hand, but branches off whenever an interesting side-line appears on the horizon. He can never resist a challenge and he can never force himself to stick to the task at hand (the one he's supposedly being paid for.) It's what makes Chandler's stories fascinating, but not terribly realistic. A real detective follows the money. Marlowe follows his nose.
Some critics say that Marlowe is a modern-day knight, battling the dragons of corruption. In 1930's Southern California, he has plenty to keep him busy. Prohibition has been repealed and rum-running is only a fond memory, but the enterprising types who made a good living at it have transferred their talents to drugs and illegal gambling and pornography. And the bad, beautiful Sternwood sisters are right in the middle of it all.
There are some good characters, including the Sternwood's forceful old family retainer Norris. Norris is an anomaly in the Sternwood household and you have to wonder how he hooked up with them and why he stays. I also liked gambler/racketeer Eddie Mars. He's a man who operates outside of the law, but with the law's full knowledge and cooperation. He's a crook, but an intelligent one.
Mars isn't bound by any code of ethics, but he knows that violence creates trouble and trouble costs money. He prefers negotiation over strong-armed tactics, which makes him more predictable (and therefore less dangerous) than the low-level grifters who hang around the edges of large-scale crime. They're hoping to pick up crumbs dropped by the big crime bosses, but stupidity and greed bring them down.
A jarring note is the introduction of the pornographer's boyfriend and Marlowe's heavy-handed reaction to him. It doesn't advance the plot and it's not in keeping with Marlowe's tolerant persona. I suspect that Chandler wasn't yet sure enough of his talents to step out of the shadow of Dashiell Hammett, whose MALTESE FALCON created a sensation by featuring the forbidden topic of homosexuality. I've read all of Chandler's books and I don't remember him ever returning to this topic.
It's Chandler and it's good. It's just not as good as his later books. However, it launched him as a legitimate novelist and paved the way for FAREWELL, MY LOVELY and his other great books. Everyone has to start somewhere.