Asian Writers

June is dedicated to authors with ASIAN of books in this category will be posted all month....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Big Sleep

 Story in brief: What starts as an investigation of an innocuous blackmailing (relatively speaking for what follows) soon boomerangs into murders that happen with the start of a new chapter. Philips Marlowe, the six foot, ex-cop turned private detective with his wry wit, presence of mind and the capacity to take some good beating, finds himself sorting the mess of an esteemed rich man on his death bed, courtesy his wild and scandalous daughters. Marlowe starts to investigate the blackmailing angle and slowly pulled into the mystery of the missing son-in-law. 


This is my first Philips Marlowe book (I wonder which world I was in since I hadn't heard about this one) that showed up in a number of mystery book lists as a must read. And I am so glad that I did pick this one up. Raymond Chandler articulates, expresses in prose that is such a refreshing change from the sexplicit murder mysteries getting written dime a dozen. Yes, at times he does go overboard in describing a place, person or scene and as a reader you wish he would just get on with the story specially since his book is a fast paced, action filled, thriller. Philips Marlowe is no Hercule Poirot. Infact they are quite the opposite. While Mr. Poirot believes in using his gray cells while sitting down on a comfortable chair, Marlowe on the other hand is more for lack of better words a "hands on" person. He gets punched, badly, and returns it as well. He is a borderline alcoholic (my opinion) and lusts after gorgeous women in the most crude manner (the way the women are objectified in Chandler's books is a sore point with me). He doesn't shy away from making enemies. The book has a couple of murders, to keep the thrilling quotient up, multiple lines of stories that but obviously do converge somewhere in the middle of the book. The story never slackens anywhere and maintains it pace, and Marlowe is the bad-good detective (referred to as dick everywhere - how crude!) that you can't but help falling and craving for, much like the ladies in the story.

I would recommend this book, if you haven't read it yet, and I am certain it will be a welcome change from the usual books that are found in this genre.

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