Patrick's Reviews > The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
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Feb 02, 08

bookshelves: 2008
Read in February, 2008

About 80 pages in, I realized I had lost the plot, but didn't really care because of how amazingly "rich" the inner and outer dialogue of Phillip Marlowe, Chandler's hero private detective, is. It was hard to keep track of all the characters and murders, but if you can get 70%, it's worth it for all the golden tossed-off simile/metaphors that make up the narrative voice that we now think of as noir cliche. One cool thing is that in Stephen King's "On Writing," he mentions how during the filming of the movie, starring Humphrey Bogart, the screenwriters couldn't figure out who killed one of the characters. They got in touch with Chandler, who said, "Oh, the chauffeur, I forgot all about him." That is how you write unapologetic and classy fiction. There's also some hilarious moments that are really offensive by today's standards, he slaps a girl in the face, calls a guy a fag, and when another girl asks if he thinks she's cute, he responds, "As cute as a Filipino on a Saturday night." I don't even know what that means, but at least now I have an answer next time someone asks me that. I am starting my fucking Private Eye business ASAP.
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