The Long Goodbye
Hard Cover. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1954. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Publisher's dark grayish red cloth, stamped in silver to spine; in the original green pictorial dust jacket designed by Fritz Wegner. A near fine copy with light rubbing and wear to the edges; in a very good, moderately worn unclipped dust jacket with a few tiny chips to the spine ends and corners at flap folds, several small creases along the edges and a couple tiny tears, early tape reinforcement to upper spine at jacket verso. Overall, a bright copy, free of repairs or restoration. Housed in a custom slipcase. Bruccoli A10.1.a The Long Good-Bye is the 6th Philip Marlowe mystery and is considered one of Chandler's more autobiographical texts; while he drew on personal experiences as inspirations for many of his novels, Chandler wrote this novel while his wife was dying and references much of his insecurities related to her illness and his own alcoholism throughout the text. In letters to Jamie Hamilton, Chandler's publisher, he wrote of The Long Good-Bye: "The book is a bit longer than LS [The Little Sister] but I don't think I care. I was not writing for speed. I'm bored stiff with the edge of the chair stuff, and much prefer in these times the flat-on-the-back-on-a-comfortable-couch-with-pipe kind of thing" (21 May 1952). 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. Chandler gave The Long Good-Bye a few re-writes, writing about his Marlowe character: "It begins to look as though I were tied to this fellow for life. I simply can't function without him" (14 July 1951). Hiney & MacShane [editors]. The Raymond Chandler Papers - Selected Letters and Nonfiction, 1909 - 1959. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000.