Hard Cover. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. One of 5,000 copies. Publisher's brownish orange cloth, stamped in dark gray-blue to boards and spine, top edge stained black; in the red and blue dust jacket. A very good or better copy with a touch of fading to the extremities, offsetting and scattered spots to endpapers, small bookseller's sticker to rear pastedown, very slight lean to spine; in a very good unclipped dust jacket with some wear and shallow chipping to extremities, particularly spine ends, a few small holes to the folds with some paper loss, rear panel with faint dampstaining. Overall, a nice copy of Chandler's first novel that presents well in the original dust jacket. Bruccoli A1.1.a 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.