I really have enjoyed this book. The plots are really complicated sometimes. When I started the first story, about half way through (The Big Sleep) I couldn't figure out what was the 'McGuffet" as Alfred Hitchcock called it, the object of the search or mystery. What was Phillip Marlowe trying to accomplish? No matter, it's an interesting story in itself, a commentary on the characters (in both of the senses of the word!). By the second story, Farewell My Lovely, the objective was a bit clearer, at least narrowed down to a single theme throughout the story. By the the third story, The High Window, Chandler was following a more predictable format.
One thing I enjoyed about the first story, is that seems a more realistic commentary on the life of anyone, in this case, a private detective and his eccentric clients. Seldom does life follow a set path or formula, and this is portrayed really well in The Big Sleep. Alot of information sought, but no real value; developing a lead toward a goal and then it fizzles out. I think the first story is truer to life, and entertaining. The rest of the stories are more predictable, still with the sharp wit and clever observations of Raymond Chandler through the eyes of his character, Phillip Marlowe.
There is not alot of cursing and swearing going on in any story. It is dealt with in an interesting manner. For the few instances of cursing, or characters that have foulish language, instead of writing the swear word that you know the character said (like the fword), Chandler uses synonyms for it.
Highly recommended for entertaining reading.