The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler is a classic hard-boiled detective novel, first published in 1939. The book features the iconic private investigator Philip Marlowe, hired by wealthy and retired General Sternwood to investigate a blackmailing case against his younger daughter, Carmen.
The plot of the novel is complex, with multiple twists and turns, and involves various characters, including gangsters, gamblers, and corrupt police officers. Marlowe’s investigation leads him down a dangerous path, where he is constantly in danger and has to use his wit and intuition to stay alive.
One of the strengths of The Big Sleep is Chandler’s vivid descriptions of the seedy and corrupt underbelly of Los Angeles, which is often contrasted with the opulence and glamour of the city’s elite. The novel is full of memorable characters, such as the tough-talking and seductive bookstore owner, Mona Mars, and the psychopathic gangster, Eddie Mars.
Chandler’s writing style is also a standout feature of the novel. His use of figurative language and metaphors creates a distinct and memorable voice for Marlowe, who is a classic example of the hard-boiled detective archetype. The dialogue is snappy and full of wit, and the descriptions of action are fast-paced and gripping.
Overall, The Big Sleep is a classic novel of the detective genre, and is a must-read for fans of hard-boiled fiction. Chandler’s writing style, complex plot, and memorable characters make this novel a true masterpiece of the genre. You can purchase a copy of The Big Sleep from Amazon here.