Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 40s

Polito, Robert

Published by Library of America, 1997
ISBN 10: 1883011469 / ISBN 13: 9781883011468
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Burgundy cloth binding, gilt titles, ribbon bookmark. Presumed first thus. Contains James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Edward Anderson's Thieves Like Us, Kenneth Fearing's the Big Clock, William LIndsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley and Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man. Unread and as new in pub's shrinkwrap. Bookseller Inventory # 7383

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Synopsis: “The most important collection of crime fiction ever published in the United States.” — Ed Gorman

Evolving out of the terse and violent style of the pulp magazines, noir fiction expanded over the decades into a varied, innovative and profoundly influential body of writing. The eleven novels in The Library of America’s adventurous two-volume collection taps deep roots in the American literary imagination, exploring themes of crime, guilt, deception, obsessive passion, murder, and the disintegrating psyche. With visionary and often subversive force they create a dark and violent mythology out of the most commonplace elements of modern life.

James M. Cain’s pioneering novel of murder and adultery along the California highway, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), shocked contemporaries with its laconic toughness and fierce sexuality.

Horace McCoy’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1935) uses truncated rhythms and a unique narrative structure to turn its account of a Hollywood dance marathon into an unforgettable evocation of social chaos and personal desperation.

In Thieves Like Us (1937), Edward Anderson vividly brings to life the dusty roads and back-country hideouts where a fugitive band of Oklahoma outlaws plays out its destiny.

The Big Clock (1946), an ingenious novel of pursuit and evasion by the poet Kenneth Fearing, is set by contrast in the dense and neurotic inner world of a giant publishing corporation under the thumb of a warped and ultimately murderous chief executive.

William Lindsay Gresham’s controversial Nightmare Alley (1946), a ferocious psychological portrait of a charismatic carnival hustler, creates an unforgettable atmosphere of duplicity, corruption, and self-destruction.

I Married a Dead Man
 (1948), a tale of switched identity set in the anxious suburbs, is perhaps the most striking novel of Cornell Woolrich, who found in the techniques of the gothic thriller the means to express an overpowering sense of personal doom.

Disturbing, poetic, anarchic, punctuated by terrifying bursts of rage and paranoia and powerfully evocative of the lost and desperate sidestreets of American life, these are underground classics now made widely and permanently available.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Review: Literature and film buffs will be delighted by this collection of pulp novels, most of which were made into important films. James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice is a literary masterpiece with its spare prose invoking a savage, sexy, desperate world. It inspired no less than three great movies: Luchino Visconti's classic Ossessione, in 1942; the 1946 remake, starring John Garfield and Lana Turner and directed by the extraordinary Tay Garnett; and Bob Rafelson's underrated 1981 version with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. When you read the magnificent source for these movies, you'll be astonished at how three different incarnations could all, in their own ways, be faithful to the novel.

Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man also became three movies: No Man of Her Own, with Barbara Stanwyk; the French I Married a Shadow; and the American comedy, Mrs. Winterborne, which starred Shirley MacLaine and Ricki Lake. Edward Anderson's vivid Thieves Like Us was transformed into They Live by Night, Nicholas Ray's first important movie and one of the seminal noir films of the 1940s. It was brilliantly remade in 1974 by the great revisionist director Robert Altman. Kenneth Fearing's The Big Clock was transformed into a marvelous film starring Charles Laughton; 40 years later, the same source, retitled No Way Out, brought Kevin Costner to stardom. William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley was the source for Tyrone Power's best movie; Horace McCoy's experimental They Shoot Horses, Don't They? became one of the seminal films of the 1960s.

These dark, evocative novels, when taken together, are a fascinating study of how words can inspire a magnificent variety of cinematic images and styles.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and...
Publisher: Library of America
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.
Book Type: Book

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Polito( Ed.) and McCoy, Horace; Fearing, Kenneth; Gresham, William Lindsay; Woolrich, Cornell; Cain, James M.; Anderson, Edward , Robert
Published by Library of America, New York (1997)
ISBN 10: 1883011469 ISBN 13: 9781883011468
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Book Description Library of America, New York, 1997. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: None. 990 pages, stated 1st printing, maroon cloth hardcover, gilt title on spine, fine condition with ivory slipcase decorated with gilt design, silk ribbon page marker. No dust jacket issued. Record # 409755. Seller Inventory # 409755

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Anderson, Edward, James M. Cain, Kenneth Fearing, William Lindsay Gresham, Horace McCoy, Cornell Woolrich (contributors); Robert Polito (selections and notes)
Published by The Library of America, New York (1997)
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Book Description The Library of America, New York, 1997. First Edition. First Edition. Publisher's postcard laid in. Includes "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", "Thieves Like Us," "The Big Clock," "Nightmare Alley," and "I Married a Dead Man."Light foxing to the page edges and jacket verso, else Near Fine and unread in a Near Fine dust jacket. Seller Inventory # 134724

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Polito, Robert: Editor
Published by The Library of America, New York (1997)
ISBN 10: 1883011469 ISBN 13: 9781883011468
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Book Description The Library of America, New York, 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. First Printing. New. The American Library # 94. Burgundy boards with gold lettering on the spine. Matching ribbon book mark included. No dust jacket as issued. The slip case is off-white with gold lettering and lines. Includes: The Postman Always Rings Twice. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Thieves Like Us. The Big Clock. Nightmare Alley. I married a Dead Man. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Anthology. Seller Inventory # 036404

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Polito, Robert (editor) James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich, Horace McCoy et al.
Published by Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A. (1997)
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Book Description Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1997. Hard Cover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. 1st ed. A fine copy in dust jacket. Burgundy cloth binding, ribbon bookmark. Contains James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Edward Anderson's Thieves Like Us, Kenneth Fearing's the Big Clock, William LIndsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley and Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man. Book. Seller Inventory # 019128

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Polito, Robert, Editor (Cain, McCoy, Anderson, Fearing, Gresham, Woolrich)
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Book Description Library of America, New York. Cloth. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Printing. An astonishingly rich collection of the best American noir fiction of the 30s and 40s in one volume. It includes: "The Postman Always Rings Twice," (Cain); "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (McCoy); "Thieves Like Us," (Anderson); "The Big Clock," (Fearing); "Nightmare Alley," William Lindsay Gresham; and "I Married a Dead Man," Woolrich. A classic and a treasure. This is an UNREAD copy in AS NEW condition. Edited by Robert Polito. Seller Inventory # 100551

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CAIN, JAMES, McCoy, Horace, Anderson, Eward, Fearing, Kenneth, Gresham, William & Woolrich, Cornell
Published by Library of America September 1997 (1997)
ISBN 10: 1883011469 ISBN 13: 9781883011468
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Book Description Library of America September 1997, 1997. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Fine in Fine dj, US First Edition, First Printing Hardcover ENDS OF DJ SPINE LIGHTLY PUSHED Protected in clear Mylar cover. Bubble wrapped and shipped in a box. We do not stock or sell ex-library or Book Club editions. Seller Inventory # 65645

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Polito, Robert (editor) James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich, Horace McCoy et al.
Published by Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A. (1997)
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Book Description Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1997. Hard Cover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. 1st ed. A fine unread and as new copy in dust jacket and still in publisher's shrinkwrap. Burgundy cloth binding, ribbon bookmark. Contains James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Edward Anderson's Thieves Like Us, Kenneth Fearing's the Big Clock, William LIndsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley and Cornell Woolrich's I Married a Dead Man. Book. Seller Inventory # 017064

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Polito, Robert (editor) Jim Thompson, Patricia Highsmith, Chester Himes et al.
Published by Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A. (1997)
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Book Description Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1997. Hard Cover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. 1st ed. A fine unread and as new copy still in publisher's shrinkwrap. Companion piece to Library of America's title-- Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930's and 1940's. Burgundy cloth binding, ribbon bookmark. Contains: Jim Thompson's "The Killer Inside of Me", Patricia Highsmith's "The Talented Mr. Ripley", Charles Willeford's "Pick-Up", David Goodis' "Down There" and Chester Himes' "The Real Cool Killer". Book. Seller Inventory # 018725

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Polito, Robert
Published by Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A. (1997)
ISBN 10: 1883011469 ISBN 13: 9781883011468
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Book Description Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. No Jacket. First Edition. Stated first printing. Includes novels by James M. Cain, Cornell Woolrich, Kenneth Fearing and others. Red cloth binding, red/gilt titles at spine, ribbon bookmark. No DJ as issued. In tan slipcase. Book and slipcase both fine. 990 pp. Book. Seller Inventory # 9088

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Polito, Robert
Published by Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A. (1997)
ISBN 10: 1883011469 ISBN 13: 9781883011468
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Book Description Library of America, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Near Fine. Second Printing. Maroon cloth with gilt lettered spine. In white slipcase. Book and slipcase in fine condition, like new. A fresh copy. Seller Inventory # 001590

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