I recently read this novel first published in 1946. It is a very well done thriller. The main character is in danger of being framed for murder and, while he is a very imperfect figure, the reader roots for him. It is narrated primarily by him, but also by others–including the murderer himself. This is not a murder mystery but the tale of a man trying to avoid being framed for murder, a situation he has at least partly brought upon himself by his own vice and folly. The atmosphere is quite noirish (and a film noir was in fact made from the novel, though the book is much better, in my opinion). Depravity is pervasive and societal values seem uncertain. While there is a resolution of the plot, the question of the solidity of worthwhile values remains open. I cannot help but compare the novel’s atmosphere to contemporary times when the solidity of sound values seems even more precarious but a great many people seem not to mind. It seems to me our world is not noirish but jejune and bland . Whereas noir recognizes the dangers of vice, it appears many today are so shallow as to be blind to them. This does not mean the dangers are not there. They are real enough and some day may well come home to roost. On that day, the relaxed nihilism of our times (be it a pose or invincible ignorance) may come in for some severe cross-examination. Tales like The Big Clock, in addition to being entertaining, can be a tonic against that delusional mood of complacency and self satisfaction.