"His thin, claw-like hands were folded loosely on the rug, purple-nailed. A few locks of dry white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock." Published in 1939, when Raymond Chandler was 50, this is the first of the Philip Marlowe novels. Its bursts of sex, violence, and explosively direct prose changed detective fiction forever. "She was trouble. She was tall and rangy and strong-looking. Her hair was black and wiry and parted in the middle. She had a good mouth and a good chin. There was a sulky droop to her lips and the lower lip was full."
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."
Phillip Marlowe in: The Big Sleep, August 6, 2003 Reviewer: Chris Fitzgerald from Rochdale, England Although the film noir genre may now be gone it is not hard to understand why it was once such a popular past time. Raymond Chandler created one of the genre's most famous anti-heroes in Phillip Marlowe; a tough talking, wise cracking alchoholic, private detective. His first case is depicted in this novel and he immediately becomes a likeable character. From introducing himself to general Sternwood's daughter as "Doghouse Reily" to cracking wise with the butler by claiming he has having fun working out what his duties are. Chandler uses Marlowe to narrate his way through this complex mystery of blackmail, pornography and even murder with aplomb. By the last few chapters the reader will be scratching their heads, a habbit quashed in the finale when Chandler masterfully ties up all the loose ends. Chandler and Marlowe defined the genre and The Big Sleep is proof of why. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title