0153 | The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler

Context: Listened to this in a day or two while working in the Wycliffe kitchen.

REVIEW
The film is an absolute classic. In fact the book made me want to see it again. But the book made the film. Bogart was made for the book too. He even played chess like Philip Marlowe. Despite the plot being hard to follow at points, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

It isn’t that Chandler knows how to write a good detective story with twists and turns and then some more. It’s that he managed to create a complete world of fiction in which to set the story. His cynical humour, the backdrop of urban California and his lightly sketched but heavily complex protagonist Marlowe are all absolute genius.

Faulkner was involved in the screenplay for the film but it must have been money for nothing. Chandler had already done all the work. Throughout, Marlowe uses one-liners that are classics. And when he doesn’t, he finds other characters to play off so that the exchange becomes classic itself. I wish I’d actually had the physical book in front of me to write some down but it isn’t that easy to grab a pen and start writing when you’re chopping a bucket of onions.

Finally, I appreciated Marlowe’s coolness, seeming luck and stumble-upon method of solving crime. It’s a breath of air after the likes of Holmes and Poirot who are way too cerebral to be part of my universe.

Great book.

FIRST LINE
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.

CLOSING LINE
All they did was make me think of Silver-Wig, and I never saw her again.

RATING
rubbish | poor | mediocre | okay | good | very good | excellent | superb

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