The Big Almost Lebowski

#24 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.

When I finally found a copy of this book for $2, I knew I had to check it out. Oft-cited as the inspiration for “The Big Lebowski”, Raymond Chandler had been praised to me by Stephen King in “On Writing” (THAT book isn’t in the 50 because I didn’t read it, but Julie read it to me on car trips). So I got the book and pretty much devoured it.

Phillip Marlowe is the hero, and he’s everything The Dude is not. Focused, too cool for school, dark and brooding, Marlowe IS the early 20th century detective, in just the way that Sherlock Holmes is THE mid to late 19th century English detective. The story, though, does share much in common with Lebowski. Marlowe is hired by an elderly paraplegic, to look into gambling debts owed by his young and vivacious daughter (not wife, as in Lebowski). She apparently does owe money to known pornographers. People start dropping left and right and each answer reveals a new mystery and Marlowe has to try to stay one step ahead. Marlowe never drops a lit joint into his crotch, and his rug apparently doesn’t take the brunt of a Chinaman’s urination, but there are more than slight similarities between Sleep and Lebowski.

They’re both really great too. Each in its own unusual way, but entirely worth checking out. I hope to check out the film version soon, with Bogart and Bacall playing and William Faulkner writing the screenplay. I think even The Dude would admit that sounds like a great (Expletive deleted) idea.

Joe

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2 Responses to “The Big Almost Lebowski”

  1. Amy Hilliard Says:

    Good to have you back on the blog Joe! 🙂

  2. eljoe1235 Says:

    It’s good to be back. Hopefully, summer will inspire some interesting blogging. I am T minus 40 days on a baby, so that will doubtlessly help and hurt.

    Joe

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