Stoumen, Lou. Hard Cover. San Francisco: Arion Press, 1986. Fine.
Illustrated with photographs by Lou Stoumen. Introduction by Lawrence Clark Powell. First Arion Press edition, one of 425 copies printed. Signed by the photographer. Publisher's clear acrylic boards over white coated cloth, decorated and lettered in blue, printed by letterpress with photolithographic plates, with the original publisher's poster and two copies of the publisher's prospectus included. About fine with just a touch of fading and a few light scratches to spine. The Big Sleep marks the debut of Chandler's hard-boiled detective character Philip Marlowe. Unlike Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op and Sam Spade, who are widely considered the archetypal hard-boiled detective figures, Marlowe possesses a sensitivity underneath his tough exterior that distinguishes him from similar detective characters in the genre. Indeed, as he investigates a case of blackmail serving as a red herring for a more sinister crime, Marlowe stands out, as Isaac Anderson writes in his 1939 New York Times Review, "as almost the only fundamentally decent person" in the story. Notably, in 1946, The Big Sleep was adapted into a film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. A Haycraft Queen Cornerstone. The Arion Press is a publisher dedicated to producing fine press limited editions, illustrated with original art.