It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.
With these words, private eye Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s great literary creation and one of the most enduringly popular characters in American fiction, first took life seventy-five years ago. Here, for the first time in a deluxe collector’s box, are all seven Philip Marlowe novels–The Big Sleep
; Farewell, My Lovely
; The High Window
; The Lady in the Lake
; The Little Sister
; The Long Goodbye
; and Playback
–along with thirteen classic pulp stories, Chandler’s brilliant screenplay for Double Indemnity
, and a selection of his revealing essays and letters: the most comprehensive edition of the hard-boiled crime fiction of Raymond Chandler ever published.
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.