"AS INCONSPICUOUS AS A TARANTULA ON A SLICE OF ANGEL FOOD": RARE ADVANCE REVIEW COPY OF CHANDLER’S FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, 1940, IN PUBLISHER'S ORIGINAL WRAPPERS
CHANDLER, Raymond. Farewell, My Lovely. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1940. Octavo, original red wrappers. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $9200.
First edition, Advance Review Copy, of Chandler's scarce second novel—an exceptional copy of this premiere work by “one hell of a writer” (George Higgins)—in original ARC wrappers.
"Show me a man or woman who cannot stand mysteries and I will show you a fool, a clever fool—perhaps—but a fool just the same." With these words, written by Chandler in 1949, the man who redefined the American crime novel acknowledged what his own writing made evident. It was barely a decade earlier that Chandler began to achieve some success. With the popularity of his first novel The Big Sleep in 1939, Chandler began working on Farewell, My Lovely in April that same year, completing a first draft by September and finishing the novel in the summer of 1940. To many, Farewell, My Lovely, the second Philip Marlowe novel, remains Chandler's premiere achievement—glittering with lines such as "All she did was take her hand out of her bag, with a gun in it. All she did was point it at me and smile. All I did was nothing" (265). W.H. Auden calls Chandler's works "serious studies of a criminal milieu, the Great Wrong Place, and his powerful but extremely depressing books should be read and judged, not as escape literature, but as works of art" (ANB). Or, as George Higgins noted, "Chandler is fun to read… one hell of a writer, and those are hard to find" (Bruccoli & Layman, 82-3). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. A Haycraft Queen cornerstone. Bruccoli A2.1.a. Hubin, 75. Johnson, 60. Owner signature dated year of publication.
Text fresh and fine, mild rubbing, scant edge-wear mainly to spine of ARC original wrappers. An excellent near-fine copy.