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Het grote slapen (1939)

door Raymond Chandler

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

Reeksen: Philip Marlowe (1)

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Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse ...… (meer)
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Neat, Clean, Shaved and Sober
Review of the Random House Audio audiobook (2020) narrated by Scott Brick of the original Alfred A. Knopf hardcover edition (1939)

It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark little clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars. - Opening Lines from The Big Sleep

Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.

Whoever had done it had meant business. Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.

It had the austere simplicity of fiction rather than the tangled wool of fact.

Then there was nothing bright or wriggling, just darkness and emptiness and a rushing wind and a falling as of great trees.

What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell.

Audible recently had another sale offer of one of 2020/21 Scott Brick narrations of the Raymond Chandler / Philip Marlowe audiobooks and I grabbed it immediately. I've previously enjoyed Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe #2) (1940) & The High Window (Philip Marlowe #3) (1942) from the same audiobook series.

The Big Sleep is rather notorious for its convoluted plot due to Raymond Chandler cannibalizing parts of several previously published short stories and forming them into the novel. You really need to keep a cast of characters list handy as the different shady types and femme fatales seem to keep piling up on top of each other and at times you wonder how it can possibly all tie in together, although it does, with a few loose ends. Famously, the director & writers of the 1946 screen version with Humphrey Bogart contacted Chandler to ask who had killed a certain character and Chandler said that even he didn't know.

See poster at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d3/Bigsleep2.JPG/1024px-B...
Poster for the 1946 film adaptation of "The Big Sleep" starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Image sourced from Wikipedia

The plot starts off simply enough. Marlowe is asked by retired and infirm General Sternwood to investigate possible blackmail schemes against his two daughters Vivian and Carmen. Vivian is the tough-as-nails elder daughter and Carmen is the wild child. Vivian's husband Rusty Regan has also gone missing, but initially Marlowe isn't asked to search for him. The complications pile up as the detective also discovers gambling dens, pornography fronts, hired killers and murder. Miraculously all of the different plot strands are finally brought together, including the explanation for the missing Rusty Regan. Marlowe is left drinking double whiskys and mulling the case over at the end.

See book cover at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f9/RaymondChandler_TheBigSleep.jpg
Cover image of the original Alfred A Knopf hardcover (1939). Image sourced from Wikipedia

As expected, the narration by Scott Brick was excellent. Chapter intermissions were highlighted by the use of film noir-like jazz music to heighten the atmosphere.

Trivia and Links
The Big Sleep has been adapted for film three times. First as The Big Sleep (1946) dir. Howard Hawks, with Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge Sternwood. The trailer for the film can be seen on YouTube here.

The second film adaptation was as a TV play The Big Sleep (1950) dir. Norman Felton, with Zachary Scott in the role of Philip Marlowe. This was part of the anthology series Robert Montgomery Presents (1950-57). I could not find an online trailer for this version.

The third film adaptation was as The Big Sleep (1978) dir. Michael Winner, with Robert Mitchum in the role of Philip Marlowe. The setting of the adaptation relocates it from 1930s Los Angeles to 1970's London UK and many of the character names are changed. The trailer can be seen on YouTube here.

The Big Sleep is in the public domain in Canada and can be read online at Gutenberg Canada here. ( )
  alanteder | Aug 23, 2022 |

Un clasico del genero detectivesco.
Trama compleja, detective inteligente, duro bebedor de whisky y fumador. Que no le importa meterle dos bofetadas a una chica o disparar a traicion si hace falta.

Muy lejos de las sensibilidades modernas, pero ya se sabe como eran aquellos años. ( )
  trusmis | Aug 7, 2022 |
The classic, a must-read of the hard-boiled detective genre. Something missed by other reviewers is that Philip Marlowe is the original fast-talking detective that was an important shift in protagonists, introducing elements of the anti-hero and someone who had to operate outside of the establishment so that proper justice could be done. Also important is the narrative; while first person, Marlowe is retelling the events to the audience in perfect chronological sequence, he does not expose all of his thoughts to the reader, leaving gaps that are fully explained when Marlowe is ready to explain them, both to his audience and other characters. This is a technique that is rarely done well and Raymond Chandler, as well as Dashiel Hammet, remain the tops and should be thanked for their contribution to the detective, noire and spy genres of fiction. ( )
  Thornquill | Aug 1, 2022 |
Tomando como modelo en muchos aspectos a Dashiell Hammett, principalmente en la concepción de esta clase de relatos como reflejo y crítica de una sociedad más que como propuesta de acertijo o enigma a resolver, Chandler inició, con su apuesta por su detective Philip Marlowe y su inconfundible sentido del humor, una de las vetas más ricas del género. En "El sueño eterno" –novela repleta de nervio y de ingeniosos diálogos– es un caso de chantaje el que lleva a Marlowe a asomarse a las alcantarillas de una sociedad en apariencia espléndida.
  Natt90 | Jul 18, 2022 |
"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts."

First published in 1939 'The Big Sleep' is Raymond Chandler's first book of his detective noir series featuring Los Angeles Private Investigator 'Phillip Marlowe' and sees our hero working for the wealthy 'Sternwood' family. Wheelchair-bound old man Sternwood, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and employs Marlowe to make the problem go away but it isn't long before dead bodies begin to turn.

The novel is set during the 1930's Depression and in many respects is a victim of its time, Chandler portrays a heavy cynicism towards American society at the time and the corruption he saw there.

"As honest as you can expect a man to be in a world where it's going out of style"

There isn't a lot of character development. Marlowe isn't a particularly likeable character; he has a somewhat warped sense of duty and morals; he's a misogynist and a homophobe. Meanwhile the female characters are little more than stereotypical femme fatales, easy on the eye but hazardous to be around, most aren't even named, simply referred to as blonde, 'Silver Wig' or some other similar epithet. Virtually every scene starts with a character smoking.

However, despite the murder being solved pretty quickly, there being few plot twists and the story is written in the first person so you know that Marlowe will survive no matter what predicament he finds himself. Yet I still found this a compelling read. There is a certain simple elegance to the prose, and it's packed with some great one liners.

By modern standards this book would be seen as pretty tame, but I still believe that it deserves to be widely read, not least because its often regarded as the template for much of today's crime novel genre. I could probably have rated it higher, but I wanted to leave myself some wriggle room in case any of the later books are even better. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Jul 15, 2022 |
1-5 van 265 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
Novela repleta de nervio y de ingeniosos diálogos. Es un caso de chantaje el que lleva a Marlowe a asomarse a las alcantarillas de una sociedad en apariencia espléndida.
toegevoegd door Pakoniet | bewerkLecturalia
 

» Andere auteurs toevoegen (59 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Chandler, Raymondprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Adams, TomArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Del Buono, OresteVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Gould, ElliottVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Kidder, HarveyArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Marking, StevenArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Ortlepp, GunarVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Rankin, IanIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Virtanen, SeppoVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Грънчаров, МихаилVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills.
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Such a lot of guns around town, and so few brains.
Whoever had done it had meant business. Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.
It had the austere simplicity of fiction rather than the tangled woof of fact.
What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell.
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Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlowe's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse ...

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