Ah, yes. Good ol’ Philip Marlowe. A tough private eye solving crimes in 1930’s Los Angeles. 

Marlowe is hired by an elderly man, General Sternwood, to investigate the blackmailing of his youngest daughter, Carmen, by a shady bookseller named Arthur Geiger. The General’s daughters are wild, often finding themselves in some kind of scrape. The eldest, Vivian, has a gambling problem and a husband, Rusty Regan, that is suspected to have run away with another woman. Then there is Carmen. Out of control Carmen. When Philip Marlowe begins to look into the case, he quickly realizes that this is more than just a simple blackmailing scheme. There is more going on. As characters double cross one another, and bodies seem to turn up around him, Philip Marlowe manages to conclude his initial investigation. But there is one piece of the puzzle that still bothers him. Where is Rusty Regan?

What puzzles me about this book, is who killed the chauffeur? It wasn’t a suicide, no matter which way the cops want to spin it. But while every death is accounted for, the chauffeur’s has no clear resolution. I suspect it was Eddie. Except I can’t for the life of me fathom why he would kill Owen. Unless Joe Brody lied? Which is a big possibility. Apparently not even Raymond Chandler knew who killed him. Which is frustrating. I need answers!

This is one of those books with a female fatale, a seedy city and a man with a completely cynical worldview. There’s also a nice dose of misogyny and rampant homophobia. (Despite that, it’s still a good book). Anyway, I think the movie adaptation with Humphrey Bogart is the best one out there. It captures the mood and atmosphere that Chandler was trying to convey in his writing. And well, it’s Humphrey Bogart!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I first read this book in high school. It was a required summer reading assignment. My task was easy.

My original notes

A typed, one page, single-spaced summary of the novel. These are all my original notes and rough draft of the assignment haha.​ Bear in mind, I was a sophomore in high school. That was at least 10 years ago. (Yikes!) 

My original rough draft (pt.1)

I wrote​ everything out by hand then. I could never sit at my computer and write. Something I still haven’t really outgrown. 

My original rough draft (pt.2)

Teenage me liked this book though. It was the grittiest book I had read up to that point. Since then, I’ve read it maybe a few times. (Look at the 10 year, wear and tear on my book). I should really move on and pick up another Philip Marlowe story.

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.

Prompt: A book by a local author

21/40 (*50)

11 thoughts on “The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

  1. This is not a perfect book, as you said, but it is a terrific read – the unsolved chauffeur murder notwithstanding.

    The film adaptation with Humphrey Bogart is a fave with many folks. Such beautiful cinematography, no? Especially if you get a chance to see it on the big screen.

    Liked by 1 person

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