My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The plot is nothing that you have not read in a dozen variations in the 75+ years since this book was published. There is no surprising but inevitable conclusion at the end of the book. Not after all that time. You read this book because of the character of Philip Marlowe and the language. There is a short distance between overblown, purple prose and what Raymond Chandler writes but it is there and it does make a difference. Every few pages, there is a sentence or paragraph worthy of quoting. I am not smarter or wiser or enriched by having read this book. I don’t care. It was fun to read and that matters.
I have seen the movie The Big Sleep multiple times on TV. Bogart is older and more worn than his character in the book. Bacall is blonder and fresher than her character in the book. Other than that, the book and the movie are faithful to each other to the extent that I could hear the voices of the actors as I read.
Recommended for recreational reading.