The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler: Review (Book)


I’d heard how great this book was and that the film version was also supposed to be really good. So when scanning our bookshelves for something to read I thought I’d give it a shot.

Turns out that was a very wise move.

The Big Sleep is the story of gumshoe private detective Philip Marlowe. Available for 25 bucks a day (+ expenses) he’s the man to turn to if you have a problem you need investigated.

Written in 1939 the book still stands up today as a brilliant work of fiction – a short, sharp, concise story that flows throughout.

It’s the original from which most of our ideas of private detectives come and has certainly been a huge influence on scores of story-tellers and film makers.

Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich, elderly gentleman who has been blackmailed regarding some debts his daughter has run up.

This starts a chain of events leaving some dead, some in prison and some with their hands very dirty indeed.

The Big Sleep is written with a great sense of it’s characters – Marlowe of course shines but the supporting cast are also well formed and believable characters.

I found it amazing that Raymond Chandler had managed to squeeze so much into a story that spans only 250 pages!

I suspect The Big Sleep wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste but if you like a good mystery or enjoy a good gumshoe story (Louie Knight is always a favourite of mine) then you should most definitely check this one out.

Rating: 9/10

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