Monday, December 7, 2009

The Big Sleep

by Raymond Chandler

This was my first delving into the world of Raymond Chandler and Hard Boiled Crime Fiction, and what fun!

The Big Sleep is the first of the Private Investigator Philip Marlowe books, and he is working for the Sternwood family, dealing with a blackmailer that old man Sternwood would like to go away. Unfortunately for Mr Sternwood, he has two daughters who redefine the world trouble, and Marlowe is left wondering what he's got himself into.

I knew Chandler was the King of evocative description, but I was still grinning to myself at the unique way he puts things. Little statements like...

"He wore a blue uniform coat that fitted the way a stall fits a horse."

or this wonderful description of Carmen Sternwood:

"The girl and I stood looking at each other. She tried to keep a cute little smile on her face but her face was too tired to be bothered. It kept going blank on her."

I enjoyed my first outing with Philip Marlowe immensely and will most definitely be back for more.

1 comment:

Chris Well said...

Good pick, Vanda - BIG SLEEP is a lot of fun! Even with some of Marlowe's clumsy similes, you just can't help but be pulled in. (And frankly, I was so mesmerized by the narrative that I didn't give much thought to the "clumsy" until some members of the local Sisters in Crime mentioned it at a book discussion.)

A true crime fiction classic.