Hard-boiled crime fiction captured the nat. imagination in the 1930s & flourished for several decades thereafter. In the work of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, & Ross Macdonald, which featured tough-minded private eyes like Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, & Lew Archer, emerges a distinctively American, & proletarian, kind of hero. This is a documentary chronicle of the life beyond & the work behind the creation of some of the most masterly detective novels in pop. Amer. lit. Includes correspond. & interviews; the authors' responses to judgments of their work in reviews; & the reviews themselves. Illustrated with personal photos & reproductions of manuscript pages, letters, print ads, movie promotions, dust jackets, & paperback covers.
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Here is a treasure trove of original cover art, correspondence, and biographical and literary criticism focusing on the three major figures in twentieth-century "gat and gore" fiction: Chandler, Hammett, and Macdonald. Veteran critics and biographers Bruccoli and Layman have pooled their expertise to offer a perspective on the three writers, from inside and without. Each section opens with a listing of the author's major works, letters, and the location of archives. Then the sections move to the writers' own accounts of their lives, culled from letters, addresses, and notebooks. The reader will learn, for example, that Hammett's two favorite things about writing were, first, the words "Pay to the order of" and, second, the way his characters lived vividly for him in the weeks he wrote about them. Mixed in with the writers' own commentary are Bruccoli's and Layman's assessments and a wonderful assemblage of lurid print ads, dust jackets, and paperback covers. A valuable addition to the crime fiction reference shelf. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
The father, son, and holy ghost of hardboiled whodunit writers are served up in this volume, which is essentially a full-text bibliography. Divided into three equal sections, the book presents each author through interviews, articles, excerpts from earlier studies lifted whole cloth, letters, reviews, and more. The text is buttressed with numerous author photos as well as illustrations from book jackets, posters and stills from films based on their work, and prints of pages from first editions and pulp magazines. Although this volume does not take the same tack as straight literary biography, the combination of elements provides a rounded view of these authors, who have been elevated to the ranks of America's literary elite. This is a solid supplement to literary biographies, edited by two experts on the genre, that only include excerpts or references to the materials appearing in full here. Highly recommended. Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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