Barbarous Coast

Ross MACDONALD   |   Kenneth MILLAR

Item#: 121565 We're sorry, this item has been sold

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"MACDONALD MASTERED THE HARD-BOILED DETECTIVE FORM": PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF BARBAROUS COAST, 1956, INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY HIM

(MILLAR, Kenneth) MACDONALD, Ross. The Barbarous Coast. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956. Octavo, original orange and white paper-covered boards, original dust jacket.

First edition of the first Lew Archer novel published under Kenneth Millar's best-known pseudonym of Ross Macdonald, a scarce presentation copy wonderfully inscribed in the year of publication by him as "Ken" to his Santa Barbara neighbors, "For Stretch and Pidge, with affection, and with the hope that you won't take my title too seriously, Ken May 1, 1956."

"Revered by such contemporary masters as Sue Grafton, George Pelecanos and James Ellroy, praised by Eudora Welty as 'a more serious and complex writer than Chandler and Hammett ever were,' Ross Macdonald (the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar) brought to the crime novel a new realism and psychological depth and a unique gift for intricately involving mystery narratives… Macdonald mastered the hard-boiled detective form early on and brought to it a prose style of extraordinary beauty" (Nolan, Library of America). The Barbarous Coast, the first Lew Archer novel issued under the pseudonym of Ross Macdonald and his eighth Lew Archer novel, takes his detective into a sinister world of corruption and murder in Hollywood film studios. On publication "Anthony Boucher told his New York Times readers that 'no rational enthusiast of the detective story (or indeed of the novel) should think of missing a word of Ross Macdonald.''' James Sandoe of the New York Herald Tribune hailed the decision to issue Coast as the first work "under the new 'Ross Macdonald' name, because it showed… 'a manner that is quite admirably his own'" (Nolan, Ross Macdonald, 172). Macdonald's detective novels profoundly "changed their genre and changed the way readers saw the world" (New York Times). Ross Macdonald's first four novels appeared under his birth name of Kenneth Millar. Moving Target, his first Lew Archer book, appeared under the pseudonym of John Macdonald, his father's first two names. The next six novels were issued under the name of John Ross Macdonald to separate his works from those of John D. MacDonald. Millar settled on the pseudonym of Ross Macdonald with publication of The Barbarous Coast (1956). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Bruccoli, Checklist, 27-28. Reilly, 987-989. Hubin II:I, 527. Bruccoli & Layman, 243. Magill III:1134-1140. The recipients, Stretch and Pidge, were Macdonald's Santa Barbara neighbors, and there is a character named Pidge in another Macdonald book.

Book fine; lightest edge-wear mainly to spine ends of colorful near-fine dust jacket.

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