First printing of Chandler's first novel, the inimitable book that marks the apex of noir.
"With Chandler, the thriller genre becomes metaphysical." – Frederic Jameson
An existential confusion pervades this Los Angeles novel, kept at bay only by the sheer stoic will of detective Philip Marlowe, who is first introduced here. Chandler is a master prose stylist, subtly building atmosphere with deceptively simple prose. (In a 1948 letter, Chandler described his goal as "the creation of emotion through dialogue and description" [May 7, to Frederick Lewis Allen]). It is the perfect tone for the American-born subgenre of mystery called noir. An unforgettable book of grit and magic.
Read more: Gardiner and Walker, editors, Raymond Chandler Speaking; Jameson, Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939. 7.5'' x 4.5''. Original full orange cloth, stamped in blue on spine and boards. Original unclipped blue and red dust jacket designed by Hans J. Barschel. Blue topstain. pages. , 277,  pages.Housed in a custom clamshell box. Toning to front pastedowns and hinges, old tape marks expertly repaired with archival rice paper on verso of jacket, and minimal, careful restoration to recto of jacket: presents beautifully.
Near-fine book in like jacket.
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