Thursday, August 1, 2019

TCCDM Dig and Flip: "The Big Sleep" - Raymond Chandler (1939)

"The Big Sleep"...Raymond Chandler (1939)
231 pages

NO SPOILERS:
"The Big Sleep" is a noir mystery that introduces us for the first time to Philip Marlowe...a tough, cynical detective hired by a dying millionaire to check up on one of his two beautiful 20-year old daughters.  And there are shenanigans afoot.  Taking place in Hollywood, CA circa the late 1930s, our detective narrates us through this wonderful fustercluck that involves double-crosses and blackmail.  Triple-crosses and murder.  Plus a host of not-so-nice characters that all have a bit of stink on their fingers.  Adding to the fun, Raymond Chandler has Marlowe tossing off one classic observation after another.  Gems like...

She lowered her lashes until they almost cuddled her cheeks and slowly raised them again, like a theatre curtain."
or
"The sunshine was as empty as a head waiter's smile." 

Even with all these delicious Marlowe observations and burns, "The Big Sleep" doesn't loiter. The pace is steady and all the cool noirish vibes made me feel a bit like a time-traveler.  I mean, I was right there.  "The Big Sleep"...it ain't no catnap, yo.
FWIW...In 1946, Humphrey Bogart brought Philip Marlowe to the big screen.

"Big Eyes" - Cheap Trick / "In Color" (1977)

Good stuff.

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