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Old 01-02-2010, 03:53 PM   #1
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Chandler, Raymond: The Big Sleep ... V1. 2 Jan 2010

Chicago born novelist / screenwriter Raymond Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) wrote only seven novels, all of them concerning private detective Philip Marlowe. The Big Sleep, published in 1939, was his first, when Chandler was already 50. He had started selling short stories a few years earlier. From age 12 to 30, he lived in the UK and participated in the WWI war effort, eventually enlisting with the Canaidan Expeditionary Force and saw combat duty in France. After the war, he settled in Los Angeles and turned to writing for The Black Mask in 1933. The sensation of The Big Sleep led to opportunities as a Hollywood screenwirter. He collaborated with Billy Wilder on adapting James M Cain's Double Indemnity.

In 1946, The Big Sleep was also turned into a memorable film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, directed by Howard Hawks.

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Old 01-02-2010, 11:10 PM   #2
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Nice... Thanks...
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:31 AM   #3
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Well I feel like a big doofus. I bought the Kindle edition of The Big Sleep on Jan 2nd.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:25 AM   #4
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Well I feel like a big doofus. I bought the Kindle edition of The Big Sleep on Jan 2nd.
Unless you happen to live in Canada, or another "life + 50" copyright country, the book is still under copyright, so you were probably right to buy it.
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the upload!
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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Read it three times.

Seen the movie twice.

Still can't figure out who murdered the chauffeur.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Read it three times.
Seen the movie twice.
Still can't figure out who murdered the chauffeur.
Read online somewhere (so it must be true!) that even Raymond Chandler didn't know who killed the chauffeur...

Good book though...
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:30 AM   #8
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Yup, I heard in this audio lecture: http://ebook30.com/audiobooks/audiob...eir-world.html
( and I don't have any reason to doubt the lecturer ) that when they were making a movie based on The Big Sleep, in working over the scenario they found out they can't determine who murdered the chauffeur from the book. So they wired Chandler asking him that. And he wired back "I haven't the slightest idea".
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:33 AM   #9
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Yup, I heard in this audio lecture: http://ebook30.com/audiobooks/audiob...eir-world.html
( and I don't have any reason to doubt the lecturer ) that when they were making a movie based on The Big Sleep, in working over the scenario they found out they can't determine who murdered the chauffeur from the book. So they wired Chandler asking him that. And he wired back "I haven't the slightest idea".
yep, i've heard that story too. in fact i heard that first he replied "it was X [can't remember who he said]" but they wired back saying "it couldn't have been X, at the time of the murder he was [busy / somewhere else / in jail (can't remember that detail either)]", and *then* he wired back saying "in that case i don't know either." brilliant story though ! Mike L, if you ever *do* figure out who murdered the chauffeur, a lot of people would like to know.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:44 AM   #10
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I've heard several versions of the story about how the film people contacted Chandler, who replied that he didn't know who murdered the chauffeur.

In some of the stories, Howard Hawkes cabled Chandler. In others, it was the two screenwriters, William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett, who phoned Chandler. The author replied that the answer was "right there in the book", but later called back to admit the it wasn't, and he didn't know what it was.

By the way, I once read one of Raymond Chandler's very early short stories, called (if I remember right) Killer in the Rain. He wrote it before he was an established author - probably when he was still working in the oil industry.

The story was very much a dry-run for The Big Sleep. It had the same hard-boiled private eye (but he wasn't called Philip Marlowe), the same General Sternwood character in his orchid hot-house, the same dysfunctional daughters - and the same scene where the narrator is got out of bed in the middle of the night and invited to drive to the ocean-front, where a car had gone over the pier.

Sure enough, it was the same chauffeur being murdered. And, sure enough, the story finished without the identity of the murderer being revealed.

You'd think he'd learn from his mistakes.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:46 AM   #11
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You'd think he'd learn from his mistakes.
he probably did it on purpose, to see who was paying attention.

i've never read that story (i don't think i've heard of it) i'll have to see if i can find it somewhere (if you've got a source, please share !).
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:38 PM   #12
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he probably did it on purpose, to see who was paying attention.

i've never read that story (i don't think i've heard of it) i'll have to see if i can find it somewhere (if you've got a source, please share !).
I think it was on the webpage with all Chandler ebooks someone posted a link to around New Year, in one of Public Domain Day threads... don't know how to find it now.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:07 AM   #13
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i've never read that story (i don't think i've heard of it) i'll have to see if i can find it somewhere (if you've got a source, please share !).
As far as I remember, I found it in a book of short stories in our public library. They were stories from the American pulp crime magazines, like Black Mask. I'm not even certain of the title of the story.

If I get any more information, I'll post it here.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:08 AM   #14
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I think it was on the webpage with all Chandler ebooks someone posted a link to around New Year, in one of Public Domain Day threads... don't know how to find it now.
http://raymondchandler.bravehost.com...he%20Rain.html



(full listing : http://raymondchandler.bravehost.com/)
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:09 AM   #15
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By the way, for the benefit of anyone following this thread who hasn't read The Big Sleep yet: don't let this put you off.

There's nothing in this discussion that will be a spoiler. The demise of the chauffeur is only one thread in the novel - and a relatively minor one.
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