Patrick O'Neil's Reviews > The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
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Jun 28, 10


A million years ago I saw the film version of The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and I don't remember it having half of the plot the book does. I remember liking the film. I mean who wouldn't? But the book goes much deeper. The characters much more defined, more real, much more demented, and way more interesting. I understand the time the movie was made and all. But damn, Raymond Chandler really explored some strangeness here: mental health, insanity, privilege, and entitlement – just to name a few – and the movie script completely ignored them. Chandler wasn't afraid to discuss how the privileged wealthy are above the law. How money makes its own rules, and the ruling class is so removed from it all. His language is beautiful, his images dark and bleak. His dialogue flows with the character's interactions. Noir at its best.
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