The Big Sleep : Philip Marlowe

  • by Raymond Chandler
  • Narrated by Ray Porter
  • Series: Philip Marlowe
  • 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and moved to England with his family when he was 12. He attended Dulwich College, Alma Mater to some of the 20th century’s most renowned writers. Returning to America in 1912, he settled in California, worked in a number of jobs, and later married.
It was during the Depression era that he seriously turned his hand to writing and his first published story appeared in the pulp magazine Black Mask in 1933, followed six years later by his first novel. The Big Sleep introduced the world to Philip Marlowe, the often imitated but never-bettered hard-boiled private investigator. It is in Marlowe’s long shadow that every fictional detective must stand – and under the influence of Raymond Chandler’s addictive prose that every crime author must write.

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What the Critics Say

"Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the first sentence." (Daily Telegraph)
"One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards others still try to attain." (Sunday Times)
"Chandler is an original stylist, creator of a character as immortal as Sherlock Holmes." (Anthony Burgess)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard Boiled As A Ten Minute Egg.

Lots of people try to reproduce Chandler's baroque tough-guy prose. For my money, Ray Porter has succeeded far better than most. I'm off to listen to "Farewell My Lovely" while I'm still in the mood. Highly recommended.
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- Chris Lilly

Better than Betty Grable's Gams!

As I'm sure you know, Raymond Chandler was a genre defining crime writer & his character Philip Marlowe,depicted so memorably by Humphrey Bogart, is the template for the film noir Private Eye.

Chandler's prose crackles & hums with the electricity of Los Angeles in the early mid twentieth century. He will hit you with similes that chime with the times " her eyes became narrow and black and as shallow as the enamel on a cafeteria tray" and Marlowe is true to his own code.

I listen to a lot of books and rarely have I encountered a better narrator than Ray Porter; like his female counterpart Lorelei King,he is a one person cast, clearly defining the characters with vocal dexterity. The passage where Philip Marlowe pretends to be a book collector is a case in point. Ray Porter manages to pull off Marlowe acting a part while still retaining Marlowe's tone. Much as Lorelei King can convincingly portray male characters, Porter can "do" women,a variety of women.

Although I think of Chandler in Black & White his prose is often descriptive of vivid colours and smells. The opening lines are a great example of this attention to detail. There is a dry wit and a quart of whiskey behind much of the brilliance Raymond Chandler writes, but also a heart and an ethical framework.

In short, for me, Raymond Chandler is literature that happens to be in the crime genre. Ray Porter delivers the text with meaning and understanding and with the actors respect for the writing that some only reserve for Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams.

a five star experience!
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- cyberdonkey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-12-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios