The Big Clock
George Stroud is a hard-drinking, tough-talking, none-too-scrupulous writer for a New York media conglomerate that bears a striking resemblance to Time, Inc. in the heyday of Henry Luce. One day, before heading home to his wife in the suburbs, Stroud has a drink with Pauline, the beautiful... show more
George Stroud is a hard-drinking, tough-talking, none-too-scrupulous writer for a New York media conglomerate that bears a striking resemblance to Time, Inc. in the heyday of Henry Luce. One day, before heading home to his wife in the suburbs, Stroud has a drink with Pauline, the beautiful girlfriend of his boss, Earl Janoth. Things happen. The next day Stroud escorts Pauline home, leaving her off at the corner just as Janoth returns from a trip. The day after that, Pauline is found murdered in her apartment.Janoth knows there was one witness to his entry into Pauline’s apartment on the night of the murder; he knows that man must have been the man Pauline was with before he got back; but he doesn’t know who he was. Janoth badly wants to get his hands on that man, and he picks one of his most trusted employees to track him down: George Stroud, who else?How does a man escape from himself? No book has ever dramatized that question to more perfect effect than The Big Clock, a masterpiece of American noir.
Publish date: July 18th 2006
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Pages no: 200
Edition language: English
The big clock of the title is our seemingly inevitable fate; time marching on relentlessly towards our end, and this also sums up the predicament the protagonist feels in this story of a man investigating himself for a murder he didn’t commit. The lovely Pauline Delos has been murdered by her boyf...
Actually more like 3.5 stars. Due to it's awesome concept, I had great expectations for this short novel. The plot is tailor-made for a great noir. After George Shroud, a crime magazine editor, has a night-long fling with the bosses girlfriend, she ends up with her skull bashed in. His boss is deter...
When Raymond Chandler says that a noir crime book is as good or better than his own, I want to believe it. I'm not sure why he said it, but it certainly wasn't true for me. Maybe he inflated my expectations. The set-up is good: George Stroud is a philanderer and heavy drinker and he doesn't seem to ...
Save for sputtering out at the ending, this would have been a terrific noir. It seems George would still have some 'splaining to do to the NYPD and their investigation. Still, a delicious read for most of its brief length.
i have admired the john farrow film adaptation of this book for a long time, and i have to say it probably clouded my enjoyment of the novel though i love the conceit of george stroud's dilemma his story, above all. the big clock is an extended metaphor throughout the novel, of business and society ...