We’re still in month number one of January, but I am already slightly behind on my ‘one book a week’ target. Nevertheless, I shall persist!
This week (and last week), I was reading The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.
As with every other crime/mystery/thriller novel I’ve read, I was looking for something to grip me to the point of not being able to put it down. Despite the length of time it took to read this book, I’d say The Big Sleep was the closest to unputdownable that I’ve gotten so far in this reading challenge. I fully blame a million and one life things getting in the way of this one, and for a book that’s only 240 odd pages long, I don’t really have an excuse for taking quite so long to get through it.
One thing I will say though, is that I’m really glad I did. Possibly one of the best endings I’ve read in a long time – and one which I didn’t see coming.
The story follows a private detective, named Phillip Marlowe, who is hired to discover who is behind an attempted blackmail.
I think the greatest thing about the novel is the voice. It’s written in the first person and it’s just completely captivating, you buy into the story on that alone. I think what makes it so special is that it feels so honest – he isn’t a character trying to cover up any blemishes on his record, so to speak.
Next to the voice is the story line itself. It’s not often that you are completely blindsided by events in a plot but I was continuously hit with unexpected turns of events. It made the whole thing so much more interesting to me.
Overall, I’d give this book a 9/10 and would definitely recommend reading if you’re into this genre, it’s a breath of fresh air from the predictable and although it’s slightly outdated it is still enjoyable to read.
Till next time,