"BRILLIANTLY CONCEIVED AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN… A MACDONALD MASTERWORK": FIRST EDITION OF THE CHILL, SIGNED BY ROSS MACDONALD
(MILLAR, Kenneth) MACDONALD, Ross. The Chill. New York: Knopf, 1964. Octavo, original half red cloth, blue paper-covered boards, original dust jacket. $2400.
First edition of the eleventh Lew Archer novel by Ross Macdonald, signed by him on the title page, "Macdonald's crowning glory… a sleek, near-perfect thriller with one of the genre's greatest endings," a exceptionally fine copy in the original dust jacket.
Ross Macdonald, the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar, was the detective genre's "first great poet of empathy and compassion" (Connolly, Books to Die For, 213). In The Chill, a nominee for Best Crime Novel of 1964 by Mystery Writers of America, "Macdonald wrote at the height of his mature style and near the peak of his vision… Brilliantly conceived and beautifully written, The Chill was a Macdonald masterwork. 'It is with The Chill that he found his own voice.' wrote Otto Penzler, 'the voice that would prove to influence an entire generation of crime writers.' Critic David Lehman put The Chill on his 1985 Newsweek list of ten favorite crime novels of the 20th century" (Nolan, Ross Macdonald, 234).
Macdonald's Lew Archer and his world of "Southern California of the 50s and 60s is comparable to what Nathanel West and Horace McCoy achieved in the 30s… The Chill is most likely his masterpiece" (Jeffrey Deaver, ed. Century of Great Suspense Stories). Writer John Connolly agrees: "The Chill is Macdonald's crowning glory, a novel that represents the quintessence of his thematic concerns while also functioning as a sleek, near-perfect thriller with one of the genre's greatest endings… Macdonald died of Alzheimer's disease in 1983. One of the most moving moments in Nolan's excellent biography of the writer sees Macdonald, his mind failing… able to type only the word 'broken' over and over again. Read The Chill, then read the rest of Macdonald's books. We will not see the likes of him again" (Books to Die For, 215-17). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Bruccoli, Checklist, 42. Magill, 1135-40. Reilly, 987-89. Bruccoli & Layman, 243. Steinbrunner & Penzler, 262-63. Hubin II:I,527.
A highly desirable signed copy in fine condition.