A masterpiece of noir, Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep helped to define a genre and remains one of the most celebrated and stylish novels of the twentieth century. Now, this comprehensive annotated edition offers a fascinating look behind the scenes of the novel, bringing the gritty and seductive world of Chandler's iconic private eye Philip Marlowe into full color. Notes on the historical context of Chandler's Los Angeles; excerpts from the author's personal letters and source texts; explorations of the issues of gender, sexuality, and race that permeate the story; and important interpretations and clarifications enrich the reader's understanding and situate the novel within the tradition of crime fiction that Chandler both built upon and made new.
"Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude." Erle Stanley Gardner
"Raymond Chandler has given us a detective who is hard-boiled enough to be convincing . . . and that is no mean achievement." --The New York Times
"Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence:" -- Ross Macdonald
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.