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Sleeping Beauty

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Sleeping Beauty

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    Available in PDF Format | Sleeping Beauty.pdf | English
    Ross MacDonald(Author) Harris Yulin(Narrator)
In Sleeping Beauty, Lew Archer finds himself the confidant of a
wealthy, violent family with a load of trouble on their hands--including an oil spill, a missing girl, a lethal dose of Nembutal, a six-figure ransom, and a stranger afloat, face down, off a private beach. Here is Ross Macdonald's masterful tale of buried memories, the consequences of arrogance, and the anguished relations between parents and their children. Riveting, gritty, tautly written, Sleeping Beauty is crime fiction at its best.
If any writer can be said to have inherited the mantle of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, it is Ross Macdonald. Between the late 1940s and his death in 1983, he gave the American crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity that his pre-decessors had only hinted at. And in the character of Lew Archer, Macdonald redefined the private eye as a roving conscience who walks the treacherous frontier between criminal guilt and human sin.

"Ross Macdonald is either part or wholly wizard. . .conjuring the magic of real mystery. . . . A masterpiece." --Chicago Tribune Book World "Sleeping Beauty is particularly complex and satisfactory. . . . It is a marvelous formula that Macdonald has found; the wonder is that he keeps improving it." --Newsweek "Ross Macdonald remains the grandmaster, taking the crime novel to new heights by imbuing it with psychological resonance, complexity of story, and richness of style that remain inspiring." --Jonathan Kellerman-Ross Macdonald is either part or wholly wizard. . .conjuring the magic of real mystery. . . . A masterpiece.- --Chicago Tribune Book World -Sleeping Beauty is particularly complex and satisfactory. . . . It is a marvelous formula that Macdonald has found; the wonder is that he keeps improving it.- --Newsweek -Ross Macdonald remains the grandmaster, taking the crime novel to new heights by imbuing it with psychological resonance, complexity of story, and richness of style that remain inspiring.- --Jonathan Kellerman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review Text

  • By F.R. Jameson on 28 August 2012

    Those old Archer - I'm sorry, `Harper' - movies are a curious pair. The first is your standard, shiny Sixties thriller with lots of good looking people involved in a vastly complicated plot, whilst the other is very much grungy Seventies and actually quite dull. In both, Paul Newman does little more than a schoolboy detective impression. The reason I bring them up is that `Sleeping Beauty' - this volume of Archer's adventures - has a tremendously visual opening, where our cipher-like detective flies over and then visits one of his favourite beauty spots, which is now being spoilt by a huge oil leak. The contrast of golden beaches, threatened by this pumping black menace coming out of the once clear blue sea, is incredibly well done. It (and the complex case which follows it) deserves to be realised on film, and I'm amazed that it didn't occur to any eco-minded film producer as The Gulf of Mexico disaster took place last year.Lew Archer once again travels through deceptions and age-old family secrets, as a young woman's disappearance gradually becomes a kidnapping, before turning into a couple of murders. MacDonald writes scenes which have a real crackle, there's a great rhythm to his interrogations and a nice eye for detail that stops them becoming repetitive. The case in question is twisty as hell (one of the writers it actually brought to mind was Christie, in the way that everyone is given a motivation to have done it, or at least be part of it), but the denouement manages to be satisfyingly surprising.So come on then Hollywood money-men: any actor portraying a Phillip Marlowe these days would have to face the near impossible touch of matching Humphrey Bogart; while anyone playing Lew Archer only has to beat Paul Newman pretending to be Humphrey Bogart - and surely that's possible.

  • By Alfred J. Kwak on 8 August 2015

    This thriller is about an oil spill off the coast of California and the impact it has on the family owning the drilling concession. Within hours of the news breaking, PI Lew Archer accidentally meets one of its members, Lauren whose rescued seabird dies in her hands. He drives her to his apartment for her to clean up, learns more about herself and the name of her husband. After she has gone, LA finds his supply of sleeping pills missing. He starts a search, beginning with her husband, who hires him to find her, then questions separately friends and relatives for hours and hours, digging up a little dirt at every turn about members of a family held together by the promise of money….Ross McDonald follows Archer’s progress in a neutral style and with lots of dialogue. Situated in 1973, not a word about Vietnam, all the more about WW II, still fresh in the minds of several key protagonists. Subtle, sincere and authentic throughout and carefully composed.I enjoy rereading crime and spy writers of the 1960s and -70s to see how their books compare with today’s offerings. Most oldies worked alone or with a little help from their friends, eschewing the latest technology (Le Carré) or partially making it up (Deighton). Salvage consultant Travis McGee probed deep into various Florida-based scams and earning models; to get the details right, his creator John D. McDonald may have paid a researcher or two. Today’s virtual arms race among authors re digital matters, makes paid outside expertise indispensible. In addition, books have also increasingly been produced on creative assembly lines employing a dozen or more specialists full time, netting 3-4 titles annually, e.g. the late Tom Clancy, Harlan Coben. In other words, writing, once purely a craft, has become more industrial. Without external help, craftsman Georges Simenon (1903-1989) wrote 220+ books, selling 550m worldwide on a typewriter at a top speed of 60-70 pp/day. That is extreme. The other extreme is today’s bestselling sector churning out like linked sausages millions of market research-based, overlong and instantly forgettable books, not book titles...So, this reader is pleased to see Ross McDonald is still remembered and being reprinted.

  • By A. Sandnes on 24 February 2005

    Basically, all the Lew Archer novels share the same plot of old crimes with long deadly shadows and dysfunctional families - but the author delivers fresh goods every time. This time Archer by accident meets a vulnerable young woman who runs off into the night with a box of sleeping pills. He spends the rest of the novel looking for her, meeting the oil-rich Lennox family and some of the people sharing their dark secrets.

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