• Sleeping Beauty

  • A Lew Archer novel
  • By: Ross Macdonald
  • Narrated by: Tom Parker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sleeping Beauty plunges detective Lew Archer into a fascinating and intricate case connected to a disastrous oil spill on the Southern California coast. Ross Macdonald's masterful tale leads his investigator into a load of trouble involving ransom, a lethal dose of Nembutal, the death of a stranger found floating off shore, and three generations of the imposing Lennox family, whose offshore oil platform caused the spill.  

The young Lennox heiress - glimpsed for a haunting moment on the beach, clutching an oil-drenched sea bird in her arms - has disappeared, and while on her trail, Archer finds himself journeying into the hidden lives of a family twisted by money, power, and a compulsive instinct for infidelity.

©1973 Ross Macdonald (P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What listeners say about Sleeping Beauty

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very good but not Ross MacDonald at his best

Very good but not great. Plot had some very weak points. Reader was great but for instance Doctor not reporting gun shot wound and the whole initial shooting gave away too much of the plot. Still a good read just not great.

1 person found this helpful

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Hard boiled dick!

RM was the true successor to Raymond Chandler, and this is one of his better novels. The Underground Man is my favorite, but this is in the top tier. An ingenious plot, tho occasionally hard to follow if you're as bad with names as I am. Appropriate narration, if not stellar.

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Even Late in His Career, Remarkable Writing

Some jarring coincidences and forced dialogue, but also some of the most vivid scenes ever written in the mystery genre.

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Murder mystery

The narrator was flat in his narration, this remind me of story s you would listen to in the 1930/1940. A murder mystery as one flat foot was solving the 3 murders. The story was ok, but a bit boring due to the narrator. You may like it or not,not worth a credit.

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Yakkity, yakkity, yak

This reads like a parody of an Archer novel, but it’s the real deal. A convoluted tale of, as always, unhappy wealthy people and their hangers on - all anxious to bare their souls to a complete stranger - murders past and present, and a parade of often bizarre similes. Little action and lots of talk, talk, talk. After a while, the complexity of the plot becomes almost laughable. And Archer, for all his morality, seems a little quick to drop his pants with other men’s wives.

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MacDonald ‘s Prose Transcends Pulp Fiction

And takes the hard boiled genre to the level of literature. He is the first successor to Raymond Chandler, in his writing skill and style.

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Sleeping Beauty

Vintage Archer. A possible kidnapping, or runaway, leads to multiple murders. To solve it, Archer must solve a murder committed decades ago.

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  • Dez V
  • 11-10-17

Solid prose from Chandler and Hammett's succesor

Good and effortless narrative, using th E hardboiled framework to depict broken dreams and lives of characters without control. even the protagonist is not fully empowered. Not predictable at all with its various twists and revelations

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for K K Scott
  • K K Scott
  • 12-02-21

Moments of Brillance

Great narrator, captures the weary and corrupt world Lew Archer finds himself in once again.

The storyline is perhaps a tad cliched, a beautiful woman in deep trouble and lots of money at stake. But this is Ross MacDonald’s oeuvre and he brings it out of the 50’s and into the more eco conscious 70’s.

There are sentences and phrases that are so perfect you will be tempted to capture them for posterity.

For me, this is a perfect expression of updated noir written by a master.