This was a really fun book. I am now a fan of hard-boiled detective novels. I've been meaning to read a classic of the genre for a while. I'm glad I finally did. Other than Sherlock Holmes I haven't read much in the form of detective fiction. The first Dresden Files book and The Case of the Singing Sword are the only other two I can think of. It was really cool to read one of the books that founded the genre. I just remembered that I also read The Cuckoo's Calling too, but I was pretty bored by that book even though I did like it.
The author had a powerful command of his prose. Everything was described in beautiful elegance but I was never bored because it was written in a way that kept me interested. Raymond Chandler was a very talented writer. I loved his style and authorial voice. It was gorgeous writing with a really cool swaggering attitude that was a blast to read. Right away you can tell that the main character, detective Philip Marlowe, has an awesome self-assured way about him. I liked him right away. I loved that it was a first person narrative through his eyes. It was really fun following him around on his investigation. I really felt like I was tooling around with Marlowe as he searched for clues, ran into scary bad guys, and combed over crime scenes.
There were some really intense scenes in this book. It was quite the page turner when Marlowe was in mortal danger or a situation that could turn deadly at any second. I love how he keeps a cool head in the face of some pretty tough characters. He was a guy I had fun rooting for. The writing did such a great job describing everything that the whole book played out in my head like a beautifully shot film. I will definitely be reading more of Raymond Chandler's work. The man could write!
Lastly, I will note that there is some pretty horrible misogyny in this book that is unsettling to read in this day and age. That said the story was fantastic and the writing is beautiful so I think it's worth reading even with those cringe-worthy parts. I'm so glad I picked this one up.
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The Big Sleep (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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