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ارسال شده توسط ایران کتاب در تاریخ دوشنبه 1 آبان 1396
This is the Code of the Private Eye as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay The Simple Act of Murder. Such a man was Philip Marlowe, private eye, an educated, heroic, streetwise, rugged individualist and the hero of Chandlers first novel, The Big Sleep. This work established Chandler as the master of the hard-boiled detective novel, and his articulate and literary style of writing won him a large audience, which ranged from the man in the street to the most sophisticated intellectual. 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.


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★★★☆☆½

“I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it.”

Yeah, so? What do want a medal or something? Sorry to break it to you, Phil, but for most of us simple folks that’s called the status quo. Well, maybe not the shaved part, but damn, it’s not yet noon and you’re bragging about being sober? At least I now know who to blame for all those hard drinking, wise cracking PIs which followed. It’s no wonder future authors would attempt to emulate this guy. He’s the very definition of cool, and this is a story that just oozes style. All the more impressive a feat for a first novel, penned way back in 1939.

The Big Sleep is the novel which started it all, by introducing the legendary Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe. It all begins when Marlowe is hired by General Sternwood, an elderly paralyzed millionaire, to investigate a blackmailer who’s gotten his hooks into the General’s youngest daughter. As they’re discussing the particulars of the case, it becomes evident that the General’s also concerned about the husband of his oldest daughter who’s recently gone missing. While he doesn’t specifically hire Marlowe to find him, he does sort of leave it unsaid.

What follows is a surprisingly twisty tale involving blackmail, pornography, gambling, and multiple murders. With a cast chock-full of criminals, plus those two young daughters, “Still in the dangerous twenties” who like to throw around both their bodies and a lot of cash, and enough double and triple cross to give you whiplash. It’s really no wonder why Phil hits the booze so hard.

I can’t fault Marlowe too much for coloring outside the lines and working around the law either. At one point even keeping a murder scene under wraps to serve his purposes. It’s not that he’s immoral; more that he’s only looking out for his client.

Anyhow, the good news is that the writing is pretty terrific for a classic, and at times even highly quotable. The bad news is that the mystery is overcooked. It was all a bit too convoluted for my taste, and the ending especially, is rather weak. I couldn’t help but feel as though I were reading a couple of different stories roughly cobbled together. A brief Wikipedia search confirms that was indeed the case, and I must say, it shows. There were also a few overly descriptive sections early on, but those seemed to diminish as the story began to hit its stride.

Theres no doubt The Big Sleep was a hugely influential work which set the tone for many noir detective stories to follow, but I’m sorry I don’t grade on a curve.

3.5 stars: A clear case of style over substance.

“You’re as cold-blooded a beast as I ever met, Marlowe. Or can I call you Phil?”
“Sure.”
“You can call me Vivian.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Regan.”
“Oh, go to hell, Marlowe.”


Read as part of another Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Buddy Read.


One of the benefits that comes with age is an abundance of time to amass a vast wardrobe. Here are a few of my favorite jackets.



مشاهده لینک اصلی
UNO CHE LAVA LA BIANCHERIA SPORCA DEGLI ALTRI
Questo è un libro che ho letto molti anni fa, nel periodo in cui iniziavo a realizzare un sogno coltivato a lungo.
Un buon motivo per tenerlo nel cuore.
Ma, certo, non l’unico: ancora prima del ricordo, conta che sia bello e prezioso.
A suo modo, è un autentico capolavoro.

@description@
Eterni e indimenticabili, Humphrey Bogart e Lauren Bacall

Noir. In versione hard boiled.
Introduce Philip Marlowe, il paradigma del detective privato, il prototipo del private eye.
Marlowe è duro e idealista, un sognatore imbevuto di disincanto, solitario e disilluso, onesto e leale, testardo e audace.
Marlowe e le donne: sembrano cascargli ai piedi, pare non gradirlo, si concede riluttante, è romantico e sentimentale. Scontroso ironico tagliente brutale, ma sempre malinconico. Un assaggio: Marlowe-Bogart chiede alla Bacall: Coshai che non va?, e lei risponde:Niente che tu non possa sistemare.
Un eroe non eroe, un fallito che vince sempre, risolve tutti i casi ma la giustizia non trionfa mai, e il disincanto di Marlowe cresce, ogni gioia gli si soffoca nel bicchiere, perché il mondo proprio non riesce a cambiarlo. Il mondo è marcio e corrotto.
L’unica difesa sono un paio di scarpe comode, quindi, lavoro di gambe (e ruote), e una lingua sferzante (che dialoghi!)
Gran fumatore e buon bevitore, è incorruttibile, senza macchia e senza paura, un cavaliere del XX secolo.

Lo leggo, o meglio, l’ho letto, provando tenerezza perché ho sentito Marlowe vicino, un amico, provando ammirazione, perché è meglio di me, ma anche compassione, perché qualcuno lo pesta sempre, e le donne lo tradiscono spesso, perché il Male contro cui lotta è più forte di lui.

Il Grande Sonno, la morte, uscì nel 1939, e sette anni dopo giunse adattato sullo schermo, mettendo insieme un trio meraviglia: il regista Howard Hawks, lo sceneggiatore William Faulkner (insieme a Leigh Brackett e Jules Furthman), il protagonista Humphrey Bogart. Sì, c’era anche The Look, Laureen Bacall, che due anni prima aveva incrociato il suo destino a quello di Bogart nel suo film d’esordio, To Have and Have Not (“Acque del Sud” nella versione italiana), romanzo di Hemingway, sceneggiato sempre da Faulkner, e film sempre diretto da Hawks – a Laureen bastò dire Anyone got a match? e fu subito una star, letteralmente alla sua prima apparizione.

@description@
1947: ”The Lady in the Lake” di Robert Montgomery, regista e protagonista nei panni di Marlowe. Il film è tutto girato in soggettiva, dal punto di vista del narratore e protagonista Marlowe, che si vede solo tre volte, sempre riflesso su uno specchio, a inizio, metà e fine film.

La trama è paradigmatica quanto lo è protagonista: così ingarbugliata che è difficile riassumerla, e ci si chiede come faccia Marlowe a dipanare la matassa.
Siamo a Los Angeles alla fine degli anni Trenta. Marlowe racconta in prima persona, non potrebbe essere altrimenti, ha troppa personalità per lasciarsi raccontare da un narratore in terza persona, per quanto eccellente come Chandler (gran lavoratore della pagina, leggeva e rileggeva, correggeva, s’accaniva nella cura del suo stile).
Incipit fulminante:
Ero ordinato, pulito, ben raso e sobrio, e non me ne importava che la gente se ne accorgesse. Sembravo il figurino dellinvestigatore privato elegante. Andavo a far visita a un milione di dollari.

Il nostro eroe viene ingaggiato da un anziano milionario, per risolvere un tentativo di ricatto. Le indagini ben presto rivelano gioco d’azzardo (quisquilie), un traffico di pubblicazioni pornografiche (criminale per lepoca), al primo omicidio se ne aggiungono presto altri due per un totale di tre morti, droga (illegale allora come ora), omosessualità. Una matassa ginepraio.

Ma che importa seguire la trama, risolvere il caso insieme a Marlowe? Per me, nulla: per me conta lui e il suo sarcasmo che nasconde un’anima spezzata, le dark lady che incontra, l’atmosfera.

@description@
Robert Mitchum è stato Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely-Marlowe, il poliziotto privato, 1975, regia di Dick Richards, e nel 1978, diretto da Michael Winner, che spostò l’azione a Londra, in The Big Sleep-Marlowe indaga. Preferisco nettamente il primo

Secondo l’autorevole IMDb, Philip Marlowe è giunto sullo schermo 23 volte, la prima nel 1934, la più recente nel 2012. Dall’inizio della sua carriera cinematografica sono passati più di ottanta anni, ma Marlowe è sempre pimpante.
Tra i tanti, mi piace ricordare la sua versione secondo me più azzeccata, quando a impersonarlo è Robert Mitchum; la sua versione più ribelle in The Long Goodbye di Robert Altman interpretato da un indimenticabile Elliott Gould; e quello strano esperimento del 1947, Robert Montgomery regista e interprete principale, titolo The Lady in the Lake (uno dei migliori romanzi di Chandler-Marlowe, insieme a The Big Sleep per l’appunto, al già citato The Long Goodbye, a The High Window e Farewell, My Lovely) interamente girato in soggettiva, un tentativo che avrebbe dovuto spingere lo spettatore a identificarsi nel protagonista, e che invece risultò piuttosto raggelante e rallettante.

@description@
The Long Goodbye, 1973, regia di Robert Altman, Elliott Gould nei pani di Marlowe. Nel cast anche Sterling Hayden

Non mimporta se i miei modi non le piacciono. In confidenza, non piacciono neanche a me: ci piango su spesso, specialmente durante le lunghe sere dinverno.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
The heat in this disreputable part of the old town was oppressive and anything but sultry. All I wanted to do was shed the sweat-clinging skin of the day and stand under a freezing shower for about a week. If I followed that up with a few slugs of bourbon with some ice cold cubes swimming in them, well, that was nobodys business but mine.

She wouldnt have it, though. She stared at me from where Id discarded her on the beat up couch with a burning reprimand sizzling in her non-existent eyes. She was wearing a lurid red jacket that fit her perfectly. She was small but I could tell she contained multitudes.

She held intense action, calculating sleuthing that owed more than a little to hunches and dumb luck than Id have liked to admit and some tantalising passion that threatened to consume me within her papery arms.

Shed finished telling me her tumultuous tale on the long, hot drive back from my office this evening. Her words entering me as close as any lovers whisper as the hot air pummelled me through the open car windows without offering a shred of relief. Id have to get that AC fixed...

I knew what she wanted. She wanted what they all wanted in the end. She couldnt let me just relax and move on to another love when I was good and ready. No, she wanted me to review her; fast and dirty right there on the couch, the vixen. Why cant these chippies just leave me in peace?

I guess peace is too much to ask for a broken down, half-dead bum like me. Id show her, though. She thought shed left me trapped in a corner on a hot night with no choice but to give in and review... but Id been around the block a few times and knew a few tricks myself. The secret was to move fast, before she fixed me with another freezing glance. I feinted right, and she glanced at my piece just as Id hoped, while my south paw clicked on Save and I hightailed it outta there like Beelzebub himself was on my ass...

Buddy read with Sunshine Seaspray. Now theres a gallon of trouble in a half-pint glass...

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This isn’t really a review so much as a quick word of appreciation for a book I read decades ago. I suspect before Chandler and his ilk came along, crime fiction was much softer boiled. It also seems to have been a precursor for some excellent contemporary crime drama. Might The Sopranos, The Wire, and countless others owe a debt of gratitude to books like this for their intricate plotting, their colorful language, their stylized writing, and that definitive noir feel?

Over time I seem to have fused the book with the movie. I recall liking both, but can’t now separate their distinct elements. Certainly Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were great together, what with the real-life chemistry they had going. Which reminds me – have you ever wished for a postcursor? By that I mean what might have been, but was not, a precursor to something observed ex post. In this case I’m talking about the somewhat recent convention of melding couples’ names – ones like Brangelina, Benifer, or, while they were still attached, TomKat. Had the scribes of yesteryear been on to the same thing, Bogey and Bacall could have been HumpBac. Along similar lines, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton might have been known to us all as Lizard. And Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz could have been Ballsi. (Sorry. Some might perceive this anachronistic wordplay to have been the sole intent of this post, but I really did like this book, The, uh…, The Big Sleep.)


مشاهده لینک اصلی
This was an interesting experience, and I must admit that I enjoyed the Bogart & Bacall movie much more than the book. (It was fine-tuned by William Faulkner, after all)

The early chapters are a bit stilted and forced, but with an almost too-snappy dialogue identical to the movie.

20% ... After a while, Chandler loosens up a bit, and begins to shine. Great stuff now.

Wow, I am witnessing Chandler find his true voice. What a feeling!

@You—a—you—a—@ her throat jammed. I thought she was going to fall on her nose. Her whole body shivered and her face fell apart like a bride’s pie crust. She put it together again slowly, as if lifting a great weight, by sheer will power. The smile came back, with a couple of corners badly bent.

24% ... Wow, better than the movie now. What a thrill to see the change in prose! The descriptions flow and the pacing is very good.

26% ...Hard Boiled wooohoooooo! In my mind as I read, Bogart is indelibly Marlowe, and Bacall is forever Vivian, but I see her as light brunette or blonde, not raven as written by Chandler....



She took the photo out and stood looking at it, just inside the door. @She has a beautiful little body, hasn’t she?@
@Uh-huh.@
She leaned a little towards me. @You ought to see mine,@ she said gravely.
@Can it be arranged?@
She laughed suddenly and sharply and went halfway through the door, then turned her head to say coolly: @You’re as cold-blooded a beast as I ever met, Marlowe. Or can I call you Phil?@
@Sure.@
@You can call me Vivian.@
@Thanks, Mrs. Regan.@
@Oh, go to hell, Marlowe.@ She went on out and didn’t look back.

I let the door shut and stood with my hand on it, staring at the hand. My face felt a little hot. I went back to the desk and put the whiskey away and rinsed out the two pony glasses and put them away.


Trivia: In both this movie and To Have and Have Not, Bacall did all her own singing.

Chandler wrote The Big Sleep in 1938 or so, but before the ending of the filming of the movie in 1945, Bogart and Bacall were married... They had fallen in love during filming of To Have and Have Not, which was released in 1944, and remained deeply in love until Bogarts death in 1957.



when Bogart married Bacall... nice pics, too

Oh, and the famous scene about racing horses, to evade the Hays Code (about sex on the screen), was the fabrication of screenwriters William Faulkner, Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett. It was added almost a year after filming was otherwise complete, in an attempt to inject the film with the kind of risqué innuendos that had made To Have and Have Not, and Bacall, so popular a two years earlier.



Especially in the last half of the book, Chandler’s descriptive passages do have a wonderful noir rhythm to them, which I appreciated.

84% ... Hard. Boiled. Delicious...
Her face under my mouth was like ice. She put her hands up and took hold of my head and kissed me hard on the lips. Her lips were like ice, too. I went out through the door and it closed behind me, without sound, and the rain blew in under the porch, not as cold as her lips.

... Not a kiss from Vivian, but from @Silver-Wig@ ... What a surprise!

Unfortunately, the final pages become more confused, almost a dissertation, with some small gems thrown in. The ending is very different from the movie, darker and with less clarity and resolution. Perhaps more true to life? You tell me.

On the last page though, I did very much like the final paragraph: A surprising and poignant glimpse into Marlowe’s hidden heart ... (in bold below)

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...

On the way downtown I stopped at a bar and had a couple of double Scotches. They didn’t do me any good. All they did was make me think of Silver-Wig, and I never saw her again.



.



More trivia here

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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