1book140's June Read: The Big Sleep

Our Twitter book club's reading schedule for the coming month
More
"So you're a private detective," she said. "I didn't know they really existed, except in books. Or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotels."

Join our our Twitter book club this June to discuss The Big Sleep (1939), which won by an eight-percent margin in this month's vote.

RaymondChandler_TheBigSleep.jpg When cynical LA detective Philip Marlowe agrees to handle a blackmail case for $25 a day, it's the first thread in a tangled knot of kidnapping, murder, secrets, and lust. The plot is so complicated that Chandler himself reportedly forgot who killed one of the story's victims.

The Big Sleep was made into a classic 1946 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and a less successful 1978 film set in London. Roger Ebert called the 1946 film "a black-and-white symphony that exactly reproduces Chandler's ability, on the page, to find a tone of voice that keeps its distance, and yet is wry and humorous and cares."

Are you concerned about the way Chandler's writing addresses women? Glancing over The Big Sleep again, I am too. Inspired by the Hawkeye Initiative, I plan to gender-flip on Twitter some of the most over-the-top lines. Why not join me?

It's easy to participate in our Twitter book club. Find a copy of The Big Sleep, follow us at @1book140, start reading, andadd your voice. What do we discuss? Read a summary of the first week of December 2012 on #1book140.

Here's our discussion schedule:

  • Week One: Chapters 1-8 using #1b140_1 as a hashtag for your tweets
  • Week Two: Chapters 9-16 #1b140_2
  • Week Three: Chapters 17-24 #1b140_3
  • Week Four: Chapters 25-32 #1b140_4
original cover 1939, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Jump to comments
Presented by

J. Nathan Matias develops technologies for civic participation, media analytics, and creative learning at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media. He also co-facilitates @1book140, The Atlantic's Twitter book club.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In