Epub ¾ The Big Sleep 231 pages

Reader The Big Sleep

Epub ¾ The Big Sleep 231 pages Ò Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean who is neither tarnished nor afraidHe is the hero; he is everything He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man This is the Code of the Private Eye as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay 'The Simple Act of Murder' Such a maYe as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay 'The Simple Act of Murder' Such a man was Philip Marlowe private eye an educated heroic streetwise rugged individualist and the hero of Chandler's first novel The Big Sleep This “The game I play is not spillikins There’s always a large element of bluff connected with itWhen you hire a boy in my line of work it isn’t like hiring a window washer and showing him eight windows and saying ‘Wash those and you’re through’ You don’t know what I have to go through or over or under to do your job for you I do it my way I do my best to protect you and I may break a few rules but I break them in your favor The client comes first unless he’s crooked Even then all I do is hand the job back to him and keep my mouth shut” Raymond Chandler The Big SleepRaymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep is not the type of book I usually read I don’t really care for detective novels or multi layered mysteries or books in a series sharing the same protagonist Raymond Chandler’s classic novel a striking example of so called “hardboiled” fiction fits all three categories The Big Sleep features a private investigator – a “private dick” in the parlance – named Philip Marlowe who is hired by an old dying millionaire to deal with a blackmailer who has targeted one of his daughters In investigating this blackmail Marlowe – who would eventually figure into seven completed novels and numerous short stories – gets than he bargains for as the clues he follows leads him down a labyrinthian path strewn with an increasing number of dead bodies Nothing in my tastes have changed I still don’t really care for detective novels or mysteries and the last thing I need in my reading life is to start a new book series Rather I came to The Big Sleep based on its reputation as great literature I read it for the same reason I read War and Peace and Moby Dick and Les Misérables because of its lofty status Having finished there are two excellent things I discovered about The Big Sleep First its reputation is absolutely deserved Second it is only a fraction of the size of those aforementioned titles and is paced like a bullet train I could probably read this five times before finishing David Copperfield The Big Sleep begins at “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” Marlowe who narrates in the first person is looking dope and dashing with his suit tie and display handkerchief He has just arrived at the mansion of General Sternwood who has two troublesome daughters Vivian and Carmen Vivian is married to an ex bootlegger who has run off and disappeared Carmen is being blackmailed regarding some scandalous photos Marlowe is given the task of tracking down this blackmailer and keeping things hush hush That is the setup To say about the plot is impossible without spoiling the various twists turns and loop the loops Also to tell you would tax my callback abilities Even though I took extensive character notes I’m still not sure I caught everything even though Marlowe helpfully recapitulates the storyline on a couple occasions Suffice to say Chandler’s core design is satisfying It keeps you on your toes; it is tricky without being incomprehensible; and it is surprising without being implausible There are some glaring loose ends which I’ll touch on briefly below but it’s nothing that worried me The reason is that it’s not the plotting or the mechanics of The Big Sleep that make it a masterpiece It is the writing Chandler’s Marlowe is a droll deadpan tour guide of 1930s Los Angeles His descriptions are blunt and to the point; his dialogue – and the dialogue of everyone he meets – is stylized and peppered with marvelous jargon and idioms Next time you’re going to leave a room just tell people you’re “going to dust” Believe me it will lift you in the eyes of others While none of the characters including Marlowe have a lot of psychological depth they are all well drawn well described and memorable That is to say we may be dealing with pawns but the pawns leave an impressionHaving never read Dashiell Hammett or James Cain or their contemporaries I cannot make any claims as to what Chandler created himself or what he improved upon For that matter I can’t even tell you if he did it better than anyone else I can say however that The Big Sleep is a beautiful expression of crime noir with the various LA locations the crummy PI office the day drinking the constant smoking this should really have a Surgeon General’s warning and the ceaseless parade of low lifes mobsters and femme fatales It was a hoot and a holler to read even with its retrograde views on race homosexuality and women These views obviously are period appropriate; unfortunately as The Big Sleep was written in that period it might also be the author’s true perspective It’s hard to know what to make of Marlowe’s casual misogyny At certain points it seems played for laughs as in the famous line about how “you have to hold your teeth clamped around Hollywood to keep from chewing on stray blondes” At other times though Chandler Marlowe’s feelings on women seem much darker Originally published in 1939 elements of the The Big Sleep appeared in Chandler’s earlier short stories which he later “cannibalized” to create his novels In the process certain things got lost and some plot holes never got filled Being diligent with my notetaking I finished the last page with at least one big lingering uestion mark It took some sleuthing of my own to realize that the solution to that particular uery had gotten lost in transition The thing is I didn’t care Despite the occasional roughness The Big Sleep felt oddly perfect The final product accomplishes exactly what it sets out to accomplish and it does so with exceptional skill Chandler’s commitment to the bit is impressive and he nails the lexicon the highly polished one liners and Marlowe’s cynical world weary existence In form and function and execution it is a wonderful example of the dizzying heights to which genre fiction can rise

Raymond Chandler È The Big Sleep Pdf

Work established Chandler as the master of the 'hard boiled' detective novel and his articulate and literary style of writing won him a large audience which ranged from the man in the street to the most sophisticated intellectua Okay so it wasn't bad There's lots of fistfights and shooting and dames and our detective hero is appropriately jaded and tight lipped The bad guys are crazy the women are freaks in both the streets and the sheets and there's a subplot involving a pornography racket Everyone talks in 30's tastic slang and usually the reader has no idea what everyone keeps yelling about It's a violent fast paced garter snapping the Depression euivalent of bodice ripping I imagine detective thriller and you could do a lot worse Chandler like his contemporary Dashiel Hammett has a gift for gorgeous description and atmosphere and uses it well But I just can't stomach giving this than 2 stars Here's my problem while I understand that the 1930's were a very homophobic and sexist time and that books written during that era are bound to include some stuff that makes me uncomfortable that doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy reading a book where the hero is homophobic and misogynist Philip Marlowe the hard boiled detective of The Big Sleep makes Sam Spade look like a refined gentleman in comparison And I guess he is Spade has pimp slapped his share of the ladies but never tried to assure the reader that she didn't mind the slapProbably all her boy friends got around to slapping her sooner or later I could understand how they might Spade never described a room's decor as having a stealthy nastiness like a fag party Also the female characters in this book are all loathsome There's no Brigid O'Shaunessy who was violent and evil and awesome; and there's no Effie Perine Only a couple of psycho rich girls who Marlowe sneers at while rolling his eyes at their repeated attempts to sleep with him the stupid whores I'll admit there can be certain guilty pleasure to be had from reading the perspective of such an unashamedly bigoted character But it gets old fast and eventually just left a bad taste in my mouth Thank you for your time Mr Marlowe but I'm casting my lot with Mr Spade He knows how to treat a lady Read for Social Forces in the Detective Novel

Book ☆ The Big Sleep È Raymond Chandler

The Big SleepDown these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean who is neither tarnished nor afraidHe is the hero; he is everything He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man This is the Code of the Private E It is always a pleasure to revisit a good book and find it even better than you remember But it is humbling to discover that what you once thought was its most obvious defect is instead one of its great strengths That was my recent experience with Raymond Chandler's The Big SleepI had read it twice before—once twenty years once forty years ago—and have admired it ever since for its striking metaphors vivid scenes and tough dialogue Above all I love it for its hero Philip Marlowe the closest thing to a shining knight in a tarnished unchivalrous worldBut even though I recalled Chandler's metaphors with pleasure I also tended to disparage them as baroue and excessive Having read too many Chandler imitations and watched too many Chandler parodies I had come to view his images as exotic overripe things which could survive only in a hothouse—corrupt things like the orchids the aged General Sternwood raises as an excuse for the heatThis time through I refused to let individual metaphors distract me but instead allowed the totality of the imagery—including the detailed description of the settings—do its work When I did so I was not only pleased by the aptness of the descriptive passages but also surprised by the restraint of most of the metaphors True there are a few outrageous similes but they are always used deliberately for humor or shock and often refer to the General's daughter Carmen who deserves everything she gets Overall the sustained effect of the imagery is to evoke vividly and atmospherically the beauty and corruption of Los AngelesBut first and foremost the author's imagery is the narrator Marlowe's too—as is also the case with Joseph Conrad's narrator Marlow—and because of this it reveals to us the heart of Marlowe's personal darkness his place in the world the person he wishes to be and the profound distance between the two Chandler introduces us to Marlowe at the Sternwood's palatial mansion a medieval gothic structure within sight of—but mercifully upwind from—the stinking detritus of Sternwood's first oil well the foundation of the family fortune Over the hallway entrance a stained glass window depicts a knight who is awkwardly—Marlowe thinks unsuccessfully—trying to free a captive maiden her nakedness concealed only by her long cascading hair from the ropes that bind her Marlowe's initial impulse? He wants to climb up there and help He doesn't think the guy is really tryingThus from the first the despoliation of LA the corruption of big money and a vision of chivalric romance complicated by sexuality—a vision which encompasses both the urgency and impotence of knight errantry reflect Philip Marlowe's character and concerns As the book proceeds the ghost of Rusty Reagan an embodiment of modern day romance Irish rebel soldier rum runner crack shot becomes not only part of Marlowe's uest but also his double another young man with “a soldier's eye” doing General Sternwood's bidding lost in the polluted world of LA At the climax of the novel everything that can be resolved is resolved as Marlowe the ghost of Reagan and one of the Sternwoods meet amidst the stench of the family's abandoned oil well Afterwards though all Marlowe can think about is Eddie Mars' wife the captive maiden who cut off all of her once long hair to prove she didn't mind being confined “Silver Wig” Marlowe calls her who rescued him from killers by cutting his ropes with a knife but who is still so in love with her corrupt gambler husband that Marlowe cannot begin to save her