“There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself": First Edition of the noir master's The Long Good-Bye

  • The Long Good-Bye.

The Long Good-Bye.

Item Number: 38089

London: Hamish Hamilton, 1953.

First edition of Raymond Chandler’s sixth novel featuring the private investigator Philip Marlowe. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.

The Long Goodbye is Chandler's most personal novel. He wrote it as his wife was dying. Her illness and death had a profound effect on him, driving him into fits of melancholy and leading him to talk of and even attempt suicide. Two characters in the novel are based on Chandler himself; both of them highlight Chandler's awareness of his own flaws—his alcoholism and his doubts about the value of his writing. The Long Goodbye was praised in an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery" (Pronzini p.169). “Chandler seems to have created the culminating American hero: wised up, hopeful, thoughtful, adventurous, sentimental, cynical and rebellious" (Robert B. Parker, The New York Times Book Review). It was dramatized for television in 1954 for the anthology series Climax!, with Dick Powell playing Marlowe, as he had a decade earlier in the film Murder, My Sweet. This live telecast is memorable for an incident in which the actor Tris Coffin, whose character had just died, thinking he was out of camera range, stood up and walked away while in view of the TV audience. In 1973, Robert Altman filmed an adaptation set in contemporary Los Angeles, with Elliott Gould as Marlowe.