Down-and-out drunk Terry Lennox has a problem: his millionaire wife is dead and he needs to get out of LA fast. So he turns to his only friend in the world: Philip Marlowe, Private Investigator. He's willing to help a man down on his luck, but later, Lennox commits suicide in Mexico and things start to turn nasty.
Marlowe finds himself drawn into a sordid crowd of adulterers and alcoholics in LA's Idle Valley, where the rich are suffering one big suntanned hangover. Marlowe is sure Lennox didn't kill his wife, but how many more stiffs will turn up before he gets to the truth?
Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888 and moved to England with his family when he was twelve. He attended Dulwich College, Alma Mater to some of the twentieth 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.
"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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The Perfect Audiobook
I can easily imagine listening to this again in a year or so. The narrator's voice is perfect for the story: he never puts a foot wrong. He combines reading with acting in a way that builds suspense and drama into the story.
The description of his first encounter with the various femmes fatales - always Marlowe's Achilles heel. On the one hand, he knows he's being dazed by the staggering good looks of a beautiful and well groomed woman, but on the other, he's helpless to resist the impulse to come to her rescue, however suspicious he is.
The hero. He's a baffling mixture of wise-cracking, self-sabotaging loser and noble loner. You keep wanting to take him by the scruff of the neck and say FOR GOD'S SAKE GET A BUSINESS MANAGER!
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I loved eking it out over the drives to and from work every day.
As far as portrayals of Marlowe go, Ray Porter is to audiobooks what Bogart is to the big screen: it's hard to imagine anyone doing it better.
Hard to find a better crime fiction audiobook
Ray Porter was a terrific narrator.
This is a classic of detective fiction. A seemingly simple story which reveals layers of intrigue it features Chandler's wit, faux cynicism and understanding of what makes people tick throughout. It is eminently quotable.
Ray Porter can represent a number of characters distinctively. As the voice of Marlowe, he is just about perfect.
No, its too long for that and you really need to concentrate on Chandler's words.
There were a couple of points where Ray Porter has obviously been asked to over-dub a line. When this happened he seemed to us a different voice for the character than for the rest of the speech.