The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Review by Lauren
this is my copy, all opinions are still my own
Official Summary: 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, poronography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.
Review: Chandler has written various novels following the exploits of detective Philip Marlowe, but The Big Sleep is the first. This is another book that I was made to read in my Detective Fiction class this semester. While it's certainly dated in regards to Marlowe's attitudes about women and even homosexuals (though not stated quite outright), I did enjoy it. I don't always agree with the things that Marlowe says or does, but in the end, he does care about the job. He's honest to us, the readers, and doesn't hide facts or try to appear smarter than he is (and he is rather smart).
The Big Sleep is a world away from Sherlock Holmes. It's American, it's gritty, and it tries very hard to be realistic. I'm not saying it entirely succeeds, but then again, even crime novels that focus on real life can't always be 100 percent realistic. I did appreciate the high stakes involved and that not everything is wrapped up in the end, as often happens in everyday cases. But don't worry...the biggest points and the things that readers would most care about are wrapped up. I actually enjoyed the ending for the most part, because it did make Marlowe a bit more likeable than he is in other parts of the novel. It becomes less about lawful justice and more about solving the crime, but not to the detriment of those involved. I know, I know, hard to understand unless you read the novel.
I am curious to read more Raymond Chandler novels now, so I suppose that's the biggest endorsement you can give!
Make it a Gift
I knew I was taking this class since my spring semester, so over the summer, I found a journal at Half Price Books (the same one in the picture above). It has the cover for The Big Sleep and a bit of information on Raymond Chandler on the first page. Besides that, it's your typical journal. I'm using it as a notebook for my class and I love it! It's small, easy to carry, and since I'm a dork, I love that it features a book I read in class.
I got mine at Half Price Books, but Amazon sells it too!