The Big Sleep: A Novel

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jun 11, 2002 - Fiction - 240 pages
The iconic first novel from crime fiction master Raymond Chandler, featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times).

A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.
 

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Review: The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1)

User Review  - Tai - Goodreads

I think, to appreciate this book, I need to remember that at one point in time this was a fresh and interesting style of writing. I could barely contain laughter at times, the character interactions ... Read full review

Review: The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1)

User Review  - Woodrow McGee - Goodreads

Easy reading. A good writer, classic of this type. Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
17
Section 4
22
Section 5
27
Section 6
39
Section 7
43
Section 8
51
Section 14
119
Section 15
135
Section 16
153
Section 17
159
Section 18
180
Section 19
190
Section 20
198
Section 21
203

Section 9
68
Section 10
85
Section 11
89
Section 12
99
Section 13
104
Section 22
215
Section 23
221
Section 24
233
Copyright

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Popular passages

Page 3 - IT WAS ABOUT ELEVEN O'CLOCK in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.
Page 3 - Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn't have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair.
Page 10 - I'm thirty-three years old, went to college once and can still speak English if there's any demand for it. There isn't much in my trade.
Page 5 - Her eyes were slate-gray, and had almost no expression when they looked at me. She came over near me and smiled with her mouth and she had little sharp predatory teeth, as white as fresh orange pith and as shiny as porcelain. They glistened between her thin too taut lips. Her face lacked color and didn't look too healthy. "Tall, aren't you?

About the author (2002)

Raymond Thornton Chandler (1888 - 1959) was the master practitioner of American hard-boiled crime fiction. Although he was born in Chicago, Chandler spent most of his boyhood and youth in England where he attended Dulwich College and later worked as a freelance journalist for The Westminster Gazette and The Spectator. During World War I, Chandler served in France with the First Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, transferring later to the Royal Flying Corps (R. A. F.). In 1919 he returned to the United States, settling in California, where he eventually became director of a number of independent oil companies. The Depression put an end to his career, and in 1933, at the age of forty-five, he turned to writing fiction, publishing his first stories in Black Mask. Chandler’s detective stories often starred the brash but honorable Philip Marlowe (introduced in 1939 in his first novel, The Big Sleep) and were noted for their literate presentation and dead-on critical eye. Never a prolific writer, Chandler published only one collection of stories and seven novels in his lifetime. Some of Chandler’s novels, like The Big Sleep, were made into classic movies which helped define the film noir style. In the last year of his life he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died in La Jolla, California on March 26, 1959.

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