Questions for Chapters 4-8 of The Big Sleep
1. List and describe ALL new characters you find in Chapters 4-6. Hint: I count about 5 new characters.
2. What does Marlowe pose as when he goes to Geiger’s place of business?
3. Why doesn’t he just go into the bookshop as himself?
4. Marlowe follows a customer out of the store. He wants the man to know he’s being followed. Why?
5. Marlowe discovers that Geiger’s bookshop is a front for another business. What is the real business going on in Geiger’s bookshop?
6. Sitting in his car in the rain, Marlowe finally sees Geiger at around 4 pm. Summarize everything that happens between that time and 7:20 pm.
7. This story is rather twisty. Ask me a minimum of 2 questions about the book so far (anything from Chapters 1-6).
8. Who do you guess killed Geiger?
9. Carmen is a young, beautiful, naked woman. Marlowe knows that he will never be attracted to her. Why?
10. Marlowe’s felonies are piling up. Examine his investigation of Geiger’s house and list as many as you can.
11. This question has 3 parts: Marlowe drives Carmen back to her home in her car, then he returns to Geiger’s. A. How does he return? B. Why does he choose this mode of travel? C. Approximately how much time in total was he away from Geiger’s house? This one is tricky but there are clues in the book that help.
12. What is missing from Geiger’s when Marlowe returns?
13. Marlowe resumes his investigation of the house. He discovers a room that he didn’t look at before. What is the significance of this room?
Extra Credit: How would you describe the sound of Geiger’s voice?
Questions for Chapters 9-13 of The Big Sleep
1. The morning after Geiger’s murder, who does M. take a ride with–and where do they go?
2. What does this person assume M. is doing for General Sternwood?
3. Did the “accident” happen before or after the Geiger murder? Back your answer up with proof from the book.
4. M. learns about a piece of Carmen’s romantic past. What is it?
5. M. goes back to Geiger’s bookshop. What does he pretend to be this time?
6. Of course, Geiger can’t be at his shop because he’s dead. So why does M. go back there?
7. What’s going on in the back of the bookshop this time?
8. M. takes a cab ride after leaving Geiger’s shop. Where does he go and what does he learn?
9. Marlowe goes to his office. A. From the description of his office, what do we learn about his finances? B. Who is there waiting for him and why?
10. What piece of Rusty Regan’s romantic past do we learn about?
11. Marlowe goes back to Geiger’s house the day after his murder. A. Why does he go back? B. He runs into 2 other characters at Geiger’s house. Identify each, and describe their reasons for showing up there.
12. Who claims Joe Brody killed Geiger–and why doesn’t Marlowe buy it?
13. A. Who is Eddie Mars? Don’t forget to include his connection to Geiger. B. Describe Marlowe’s treatment of him. C. In your opinion, why does Marlowe treat Eddie Mars the way he does?
Extra Credit: Did one or two people move Geiger’s body? There is very strong physical evidence in the book that supports only one of these options so make sure to include it in your answer.
Questions for Chapters 14-17 of The Big Sleep
1. In Chapter 14 Marlowe finally meets Joe Brody. What does Marlowe pose as when he first talks with Joe?
2. What do we learn about Joe Brody that most likely explains why General Sternwood gave him such an extraordinary amount of money ($75,000) to stop seeing Carmen?
3. Who else is at J.B.’s apartment, and why?
4. Marlowe’s manages to convince Joe to give him something for free that is potentially very valuable. A. What is it? B. How did Joe acquire it? C. How does Marlowe convince Joe to relinquish it?
5. Someone else shows up at Joe’s. Who, and why?
6. Where was Joe Brody when Geiger was murdered?
7. Why was Joe where he was when Geiger was murdered? IT IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU ANSWER THIS ONE ACCURATELY. Basically, you have to paraphrase Joe’s story about why he was there.
8. Who kills Joe Brody, and why?
9. Marlowe pursues and apprehends Joe’s killer. Where do they go next, and why?
10. Who hid Geiger’s body, and why?
11. Marlowe gives his prisoner a chance to take his gun. Why?
12. Fill in the blank: This is Marlowe’s BLANK visit to Geiger’s house.
Questions for Chapters 18-20 of The Big Sleep
1. Marlowe finally tries to explain everything that’s been going on to DA Wilde and Police Captain Cronjager. A. Why does Marlowe believe that Joe Brody didn’t kill Geiger, even though J.B. had strong financial motives to kill him? B. Marlowe speaks with the DA and the Police Captain for quite some time, giving them lots of details about his “case”. He leaves only two details out. What are they? C. Near the end of the conversation Marlowe claims that he’s “still on the case”. In reality, the case was over back on page 33 when Geiger was murdered. The case is only in Marlowe’s head, but what case do you guess he’s referring to?
2. Who killed Geiger, and what is the physical evidence that proves it?
3. Captain Cronjager is morally outraged at Marlowe. Why?
4. Marlowe gets home at 11 pm. How many hours in total has the story covered up to this point?
5. Later that night, M. receives a phone call. A. Who calls M. at his home? B. What is the purpose of their call?
6. Where does Marlowe go on the morning of day three, and why? What I’m looking for here is, who does Marlowe meet with and what is the subject of their conversation?
7. At the end of Chapter 20 seems to have picked up a new admirer. Who do you guess might be following him?
Questions for Chapters 21-26 of The Big Sleep
Due Tuesday, October 6 by 8 pm.
1. General Sternwood pays off Marlowe bigtime but M. keeps pursuing his “case” anyway. A. Where does he go that night? B. Who does M. speak to and what’s the core of their conversation? C. After this conversation M. spots a familiar person elsewhere on the premises. Who is this person and what are they doing there?
2. Marlowe plays “cop” again and makes a very risky intervention. In your own words, summarize the encounter. Then, Marlowe has a romantic encounter. Describe.
3. Later that night, lucky Marlowe has an opportunity for another romantic encounter. Describe this one.
4. Harry Jones makes contact with Marlowe because he believes he has something to sell. A. What was he selling? B. How did Harry Jones come into possession of this thing of value? Hint: this is a chain-of-evidence challenge. C. What is Marlowe’s overall opinion of Harry Jones?
5. A. Who murders Harry Jones? B. And how did the person who killed Harry even find him in the first place? Please note, the answer to this is not in the book. You have to make the logical links between the victim and killer yourself.
Questions for Chapters 27-32 of The Big Sleep
Due Thursday, October 8 by 8 pm.
1. As he drives through the night to find Mona Mars, Marlowe’s car suffers two blown tires. What, precisely, is the source of the punctures? Naming the physical objects will not be enough. You need to tell me how/why these objects were on the road in the first place.
2. Somebody finally outsmarts and captures Marlowe. Who? And how did this person know who he is?
3. When Marlowe regains consciousness, who’s watching over him?
4. How does Marlowe treat this person? Describe their whole interaction.
5. A. Why does this person free Marlowe? B. Why does Marlowe come back? C. In your opinion, does Marlowe justified in doing what he does when he comes back?
6. Why did Eddie Mars hide his wife?
7. Why does Eddie Mars’s wife consent to being hidden, cutting her hair, wearing a wig?
8. What is the piece of physical evidence that links Harry Jones to the person who murdered him?
9. Marlowe finally speaks with the General. A. Describe the mood of their interaction this time. B. And what does the General hire Marlowe to do this time?
10. PLEASE NOTE: The above 9 questions cover Chapters 27-30. Your assignment is to keep reading and finish the book (Chapters 31 & 32). This is your opportunity to ask me questions about these last two chapters and the story as a whole, so please come up with as many as you can. Your questions can be based on big issues or small issues, it’s up to you.