My Friday Post: The Big Sleep

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Big Sleep begins:

It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

I smiled. He didn’t like the smile. His eyes got nasty.


Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is working for the Sternwood family. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood’s two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA’s seedy backstreets, Marlowe’s got his work cut out – and that’s before he stumbles over the first corpse . . .


I’ve just started to read this book, a crime fiction classic, the first in Chandler’s Philip Marlow series set in Los Angeles. In the introduction Ian Rankin writes that it opens with his favourite opening paragraph in all crime fiction and that it is

a story of sex, drugs, blackmail and high society narrated by a cynical tough guy, Philip Marlowe‘ and that it is ‘such fun to read that you won’t notice how clever its author is being.


  1. Oh, I’ll be very interested in what you think of this one, Margaret. It’s got some great noir characters, and of course, Philip Marlowe. I’m not sure it’s Chandler’s best, but it’s an interesting look at his writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book has been on my TBR FOREVER. I actually don’t know why I haven’t read it yet. Think I need to go and change my Classics Club sign-up and add it to that. Then I will get to it eventually.

    I’m sure this will be great. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a good weekend and happy reading.

    Weekend Book Friends

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am trying to remember if I have read this one. If I did, it was long before my blogging days. My husband really likes Chandlers books and turned me on to a lot of the older mystery authors. I hope you enjoy it!


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