The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep: Chapter: 21,22

Twenty-OneMarlowe is sitting in his office, somewhat despondent, when Norris calls to ask, on behalf of the General, whether the investigation is complete. Geiger’s blackmail attempt is resolved, Marlowe says and promises to destroy the photos (of which the General knows nothing). Norris says that Mrs. Regan had tried to call, and Marlowe lies that …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 15,16

FifteenBrody’s face becomes “sharp and foxy [cunning] and mean” at the sound of the buzzer. Marlowe’s worried, too—if Mars is at the door, he “might get chilled just for being there.” And Agnes nearly comes unglued with fear. Brody hands Agnes a small gun, which she points at Marlowe’s leg artery, so she is apparently …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 11,12

ElevenThe client is Vivian Sternwood Regan, dressed expensively and contrasting painfully with the shabby furnishings of Marlowe’s reception room. She apologizes: “We didn’t get along very well yesterday. Perhaps I was rude.” Marlowe agrees—“We were both rude”—and ushers her into his equally shabby office. It’s clear that Marlowe didn’t go into the business to make …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 13,14

ThirteenEddie Mars, dressed impeccably and all in gray, smiles politely and easily as he apologizes for “the casual entrance.” Marlowe says that they are business associates of Geiger and will leave, and Carmen does bolt for her car, but Mars wants to talk to Marlowe and threatens violence if Marlowe refuses. Mars finds the drugs …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 9,10

NineMarlowe reads the morning papers to see if Geiger’s death has been reported. Bernie Ohls, chief investigator for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, calls to ask, in a “cagey cop voice,” whether Marlowe met with General Sternwood. Marlowe acknowledges the meeting but says nothing further, but he grips the phone “tight enough to crack …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 7,8

SevenMarlowe enters a wide room decorated exotically with Asian accents and plush upholstery. Odors assault his nose, including those of cordite, the residue of camera flash bulbs, and ether. Carmen Sternwood is seated in a teak chair, “in the pose of an Egyptian goddess,” smiling inanely and apparently insensible, with “mad eyes.” Other than expensive …

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The Big Sleep: Chapter: 5,6

FiveMarlowe uses the phone book in a phone booth to get Geiger’s address and phone number. He calls, but there’s no answer. He checks the phone book for rare book stores and drives to one nearby. This shop is clearly an actual used bookstore, with patrons browsing overladen shelves of old books and an intelligent …

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