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Publisher's Summary

The iconic first novel from crime fiction master Raymond Chandler, featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). 

A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.

©1939 Raymond Chandler (P)2020 Random House Audio

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Why censor the original text?

Let's start by saying that this is a masterwork in crime fiction and the hardboiled detective fiction. Chandler is unparalleled (in my opinion) with setting up a mood so smoky and jazz filled that you feel as though you are walking beside Marlowe throughout his journey.

But it's the censoring of the text that bothers me.
In Chapter 17 we're given the first taste of the word "fu*k", but the performer continously doesn't actually say the word, for some reason. This is a novel that was written in 1939, and a lot of what is said could be considered problematic in this age of enlightenment, but out of everything they chose not to censor; homophobia, misogynistic views, and racial stereotypes (which the performer actually emulates with a stereotypical "black speech pattern", although he's simply reading the written word I suppose...) that a silly word is what gets censored is beyond me.

Performance is great! Scott Brick does a wonderful Marlowe!
The music in-between chapters was an odd choice, but it really grew on me. It simply just made it easier to keep track of how many chapters I had listened to in a sitting. I've read a few reviews stating that that's what turned people off this performance; these people are nuts. The music certainly doesn't hinder the performance, but adds a level of immersion. The music is fitting for the chapters they follow and just adds more mood to the overall performance.

If you have never read something from the great Raymond Chandler, I highly suggest this entry

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  • A. B.
  • 2021-02-12

Great Story— Reader not so great

I am a HUGE Raymond Chandler fan, and The Big Sleep is one of my all time favorite books (and movies!). The first version of this book that Audible had, I listened to the sample and instantly knew the reader would kill the story. I was really hopeful when I saw a new unabridged version was being released. This reader is marginally better. Rather than reading the story *well*, Scott Brick attempts to take a “hard-boiled” style, and all it does is detract from Chandler’s writing. (Chandler really knows how to describe rooms and clothes!). Also, the musical interlude between each chapter seemed out of place and unnecessary; a poor attempt at giving it a radio drama vibe.

Nevertheless, I stuck it out so I could listen to one of my favorite books while working.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2022-03-22

I miss Ray Porter

Why Audible scrapped every one of his narrations, I'll never know. Nobody reads Chandler like Ray.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Orforded
  • 2021-12-29

Crime noir

Story was good Chandler. Narrator was a little too dramatic for my taste. Writing was typical Chandler which I love. I think his novels may be better read than listened to. When I read a novel I create the voices in my head. When a novel is narrated I believe the narrator ought to be relatively neutral so as to leave something to the listener's imagination. I know not everyone will agree with me on this point.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonas Steinberg
  • 2022-06-09

Incredible

I thoroughly enjoyed this through all its twists and turns. Some absolute shockers along the way!

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  • Mark Bailey
  • 2022-04-06

Solid Noire

I like this book a lot — especially the performance. Scott Brick kills it. His voice and tones are perfect — noire to a tee. The story is a little convoluted but overall good. I’ll listen to another Raymond Chandler book for sure.

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  • Rosamond Hooper-Hamersley
  • 2022-04-01

The Big Sleep

The narration of Chandler‘s work was wonderful, congratulations to Scott Brick! I would highly recommend it.

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  • Elias Martinez
  • 2022-01-26

Good book and Good movie

I'm a fan of this movie with Humphrey Bogart buy its a bit confusing so I had to come back and read this book. I really enjoyed it also. good read and great reader.

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  • Joe Barlow
  • 2021-08-06

Simply the best

It's impossible to overstate the importance of The Big Sleep on the mystery genre, and on me personally. While not the first private-eye story, it is arguably the most poetic, the most vivid, and the most inscrutable. I've read it, or listened to it, five or six times, and I still don't fully understand every plot point. (Even Raymond Chandler himself was unable to provide an explanation for who killed the chauffeur when the producers of the film version asked him.)

Surprisingly, it doesn't really matter. The Big Sleep is a literary time machine, transporting the reader back to 1930s Los Angeles, when crime had a different moral code, and so did the men who solved them.

Extortion, blackmail, murder -- these are the components that comprise Philip Marlowe's first case. As Marlowe walks down the mean streets of his noir world, we come to know one of literature's most intriguing (and, as a result, most heavily imitated) gumshoes: a man as apt to solve his problems with a cutting one-liner, or by punching somebody in the face, as through sheer mental deduction. But although Marlowe talks tough, he has an unimpeachable moral center that makes him better than his surroundings.

The Big Sleep is perhaps my favorite mystery novel. I can quote entire sections of it verbatim, and Chandler's dialogue drips off the tongue like honey. I couldn't love this book more, despite the narrative challenges. And every time I read it, I feel confident that *next time* I'll be able to fully crack the code.

I own and love Elliot Gould's unabridged audiobook performance, which is excellent. But I was intrigued to learn that Scott Brick had recorded it as well. Ever since I heard Mr. Brick's audiobook of Helter Skelter, he's been one of my favorite narrators. I'm pleased to report he's more than equal to the task. A sensational performance of a sensational novel.

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  • Pamela
  • 2021-06-24

Chandler is Incredible, Brick is Marlowe, Music is Annoying

Raymond Chandler came right out if the gate, in his first novel, as an author worthy of the Golden Age of Mystery category. “The Big Sleep” is first rate classic noir. Scott Brick delivers to the reader a streetwise, world weary Marlowe so perfectly in line with Bogart it gave me chills. The interstitial music pulls the reader out of the work every time it juts in but it’s worth putting up with to get the rest.

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  • Maureen T.
  • 2021-05-14

Brilliant

The quintessential LA noir... the source of the tropes... perfect sentences underpinning perfectly drawn characters and plot... laugh out loud witty quips...