The Rich and Lawless

The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler, 1933

“The Big Sleep” is notorious for it labyrinthine plot.  Which is true it is hard to keep track of everything that’s going on and some of it goes absolutely nowhere.  Even Chandler admits that he doesn’t know how the chauffeur dies.  On the other hand he does play completely fair. He breaks down the case midway through the book and wraps it up at the end.  What was not apparent to me until I thought about it was that this book is two cases completely separate but with connections.  Chandler, with his position of leaving some ends unwrapped, could have stopped the book satisfactorily about 80 pages from where he does.  This is a book that is indeed hard and terse. But there is humanity there. There is care for ethics, right, and the word of the law. I was surprised how much Phillip Marlowe cared about the law. He does work with and respect the police, he’s a loose cannon but he’s doesn’t make his ethics the final word on things. More and more these days I find myself interested on the consideration of legality in my fiction (my fiction being crime novels and comic books) and this hit a sweet spot.

-Daniel Von Egidy, 2011

Advertisements

One thought on “The Rich and Lawless

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s