The Big Sleep

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Big Sleep
Random House, Inc.
When a dying millionaire hires Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, 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.

"Chandler [writes] like a slumming angel and invest[s] the sun-blinded streets of Los Angelos with a romantic presence."
--Ross Macdonald

Baker & Taylor
Philip Marlowe, a private eye who operates in Los Angeles's seamy underside during the 1930s, takes on his first case, which involves a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder

& Taylor

When a case of blackmail involving the daughter of a California millionaire leads to murder, the inimitable Philip Marlowe is stirred into action as he becomes embroiled in a troublesome case of extortion complicated by kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder. Reissue.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books/Random House, 1992, c1939
ISBN: 0394758285
Branch Call Number: FIC C
Characteristics: 231 p. ; 21 cm.


From Library Staff

List - Mr. Mercedes Read-Alikes by: BCD2013 Jun 19, 2014

A pioneer of the hardboilded crime genre.

From the critics

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Jun 25, 2014
  • Angeleyes8 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I've never read a book like this and probably would not have read this one if I didn't see it on a list. Once I got into it it was pretty good.

Feb 12, 2014
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of my favorite Humphrey Bogart movie is “The Big Sleep” where he portrays Raymond Chandler’s private detective, Philip Marlowe. As Chandler expresses through his character Marlowe, the detective’s life is not at all what is portrayed in works of the period. Marlowe says the job is a lot grittier and more complicated than he’s read in novels with Philo Vance as the detective. This novel differs from the movie, for whatever reason so you get two different stories in many respects. The novel is listed as one of the best 1001 books that one should read before experiencing “The Big Sleep.” I agree.

Apr 17, 2013
  • JCLJoshN rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Overall, I liked The Big Sleep. It kind of drags at times, and the homophobia of the time is a little hard to take, but Chandler writes with blunt, dark poetry, and Philip Marlowe is a great tarnished white knight of a character. I'm a big fan of the movie, and it's nice to see the source is darker and grittier than the movie could be at the time.

Jan 28, 2013

I can not figure out how to order this book at the BPL. Incomprehensible app.

Jun 28, 2011
  • macierules rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Raymond Chandler's first book starring Philip Marlowe - and what a witty, tough detective he is. Very convoluted plot, you have to keep on your toes to figure it out. This is one great read!

Apr 26, 2011
  • sixtyfive rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This book was on Time Magazine's list of the 100 Best Books. If you want to get an idea of the late 1930s street vocabulary, this is a must read. But for a great story well told, this book doesn't really cut it.

Dec 08, 2010
  • e_long rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Chandler's best known novel. Skip the movie, this is the real deal!


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