I am a big Film Noir fan everyone in my life knows this. The Big Sleep is one of the few top rating Noirs that I have yet to see, but I was very interested in the book. This is the first in the Philip Marlowe mysteries and and begins with him being called onto a job. If you don’t know he is a private eye living in California in the 1940s.
He is called upon by General Sternwood an elderly man with two wild daughters to deal with a blackmailing problem and at the time he expresses how he missed his Son – in law he left a couple of months previously. There is something off about this family and Marlowe knows it. A number of blackmailers, pornographers and muders later he finally discovers what is really going on.
I honestly went into this expecting very little. I wanted to try it and see how it felt. I have historically had real problems with ‘classic’ novels and find them very difficult reads, however this was different. I was hooked from the very first page and read the entire book in a day (a work day I may also add). His writing style is gritty in a beautiful and the events and characters sound just like a film noir. This is hard-boiled at it’s best. I have also just finished number two Farewell my lovely, which I will write about soon.
This book was written in the 1940s meaning certain words and phrases are used as they were the social norms at the time. Some comments in the book may sound racist, feminist and homophobic in this book. Do not read if easily offended or upset by such words or comments.