The Big Sleep is a book my friend Mark had me borrow. I decided to try it, even though this is not a genre I have great interest in. Perhaps this influenced my opinion of the book? I have developed almost an annoyance with how I often encounter noir. When watching a show that runs for over 2 seasons it seems the writers decide they can do a lazy version of noir that does nothing for the storyline of their show. Noir is often badly inserted into the show(people randomly knocked out and dream in noir). As a result, I get frustrated, and have developed a general dislike for noir. I would agree that perhaps this is not real noir, but it is what I'm most often exposed to. I do not like it. Probably the most successful were the writers of the office that used a Michael Scarn movie, a cross between noir and 007. It was presented in a way that was meant to be funny, and actually advanced the plot. I was pleasantly surprised.
Enough ranting about bad noir. Even if my feelings toward noir influenced my opinion, I did not like this book. I thought the book was a little disjointed. This might be the result of the author combining some of his short stories to make a novel. It was also one of his earliest pieces, and my understanding is that some of his later works are better.
The plot follows a P.I. as he investigates a blackmail case for a rich old man and his 2 daughters. There were some amusing lines in the book, but that was not enough for me to like it. Unfortunately, this book didn't hold my attention, and it was more of a chore to read than a joy.
I do appreciate the idea that the author did a lot for this genre, and I think that's great. But, this book was not for me. I would be interested in hearing what people thought about this book that are more familiar with this genre, and with the author.