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I stumbled across The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler on kobobooks.com, when I was browsing for new e-books to download. I instantly downloaded it because I’m fascinated with crime and mystery, and more so with “hardboiled” crime, as I’ve never read any. The Big Sleep is also considered to be one of the best books ever written.

To give you a sense of what “hardboiled” crime fiction is, it’s pretty much a sub-genre of crime fiction that “unsentimental portrayal of violence and sometimes sex,” with maybe a hint of noir. If you’ve ever seen Chinatown or L.A. Confidential, those movies (and book) are along the same lines as The Big Sleep (or if you’ve seen The Big Lebowski, it was loosely based on The Big Sleep).

Set in the 1930s in Los Angeles, private detective Philip Marlowe goes to the mansion of General Sternwood, whose daughter has been blackmailed. As Marlowe goes throughout his investigation, people are double-crossed and murdered, and many dark secrets come to light.

Since this is the first book I’ve read in this sub-genre, I really had to get used to the jargon the author used. The book was originally published in 1939, so it’s a bit difficult to follow along. Otherwise, it was excellent. For some reason, I’m drawn to L.A. crime during this time. It’s something about the setting jutxaposed with the heinous crimes that make it even more compelling.

Rating:

{  } Pretty bad
{  } Tolerable
{  } All right
{x} Exciting
{  } Enthralling

Book 22 out of 60

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