Best of
Noir

1995

Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window


Raymond Chandler - 1995
    Now Chandler joins the authoritative Library of America series in a comprehensive two-volume set displaying all the facets of his brilliant talent.In his first novel, The Big Sleep (1939), the classic private eye finds his full-fledged form as Philip Marlowe: at once tough, independent, brash, disillusioned, and sensitive—and man of weary honor threading his way (in Chandler’s phrase) “down these mean streets” among blackmailers, pornographers, and murderers for hire.In Farewell, My Lovely (1940), Chandler’s personal favorite among his novels, Marlowe’s search for a missing woman leads him from shanties and honky-tonks to the highest reaches of power, encountering an array of richly drawn characters. The High Window (1942), about a rare coin that becomes a catalyst by which a hushed-up crime comes back to haunt a wealthy family, is partly a humorous burlesque of pulp fiction. All three novels show Chandler at a peak of verbal inventiveness and storytelling driveStories and Early Novels also includes every classic noir story from the 1930s that Chandler did not later incorporate into a novel—thirteen in all, among them such classics as “Red Wind,” “Finger Man,” The King in Yellow," and “Trouble Is My Business.” Drawn from the pages of Black Mask and Dime Detective, these stories show how Chandler adapted the violent conventions of the pulp magazine—with their brisk exposition and rapid-fire dialogue—to his own emerging vision of 20th-century America.

Later Novels and Other Writings: The Lady in the Lake / The Little Sister / The Long Goodbye / Playback / Double Indemnity (screenplay) / Selected Essays and Letters


Raymond Chandler - 1995
    In the process, he transformed both crime writing and the American language.Written during the war, The Lady in the Lake (1943) takes Philip Marlowe out of the seamy L.A. streets to the deceptive tranquility of the surrounding mountains, as the search for a businessman’s missing wife expands into an elegy of loneliness and loss. The darker tone typical of Chandler’s later fiction is evident in The Little Sister (1949), in which an ambitious starlet, a blackmailer, and a seemingly naïve young woman from Manhattan, Kansas, are the key players in a plot that provides fuel for a bitter indictment of Hollywood and Chandler’s most savage portrayal of his adopted city.The Long Goodbye (1953), his most ambitious and self-revealing novel, uncovers a more anguished resonance in the Marlowe character, in a plot that hinges on the betrayal of friendship and the compromises of middle age. Playback (1958), written originally as a screenplay, is Chandler’s seventh and last novel.A special feature of this volume is Chandler’s long-unavailable screenplay for the film noir classic, Double Indemnity (1944), adapted from James M. Cain’s novel. Written with director Billy Wilder, it is one of the best screenplays in American cinema, masterful in construction and dialogue. Supplementing the volume, and providing a more personal glimpse of Chandler’s personality, is a selection of letters and essays—including “The Simple Art of Murder,” in which Chandler muses on his pulp roots and on the special qualities of his hero and style.

The Walter Mosley Omnibus: Devil In A Blue Dress, A Red Death, White Butterfly.


Walter Mosley - 1995
    This anthology contains: Devil in a Blue Dress; A Red Death; and White Butterfly.

The Pandora Directive


Aaron Conners - 1995
    The official story was that the Roswell crash was a balloon. But the real story is that Project Bluebook became Project Blueprint and helped start WWIII. Tex Murphy has never been good at staying out of trouble . . . and this time he's in for lots of trouble

Leonardo's Bicycle


Paco Ignacio Taibo II - 1995
    Continuing the magical story of Jose Daniel Fierro, begun in Taibo's critically acclaimed Life Itself, this brilliantly crafted collage of noir adventure and political, psychological drama chronicles the effects of a century of violence on the nature of the imagination."

Wild Horses


Brian Hodge - 1995
    So when Allison discovers her blackjack dealer boyfriend has a cheatin’ heart, “hit me” takes on a whole new meaning. She clobbers Boyd with a cactus. Then she trashes his prized money-skimming scam, swipes his only records of an off-shore bank account (the key to a fortune) without realizing it, and blows town. Big mistake. Because Boyd has a partner: an aging showgirl still young enough to scheme. Not happy with her cut, this redhead wants revenge–and she knows a cold-blooded killer who will help her get it. Meanwhile, Boyd has found solace with a new-age hooker who cares about Boyd’s karma more than his money. Now the whole brawling, balling, hurting tangle of friends, traitors, and lovers is going on the road. In separate cars. Leaving behind a trail of broken bodies and broken laws, they’re all following Allison. And she’s following a devious plan of her own. . . .

Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career


Edmund G. Bansak - 1995
    His stylish B thrillers were imitated by a generation of filmmakers such as Richard Wallace, William Castle, and even Walt Disney in his animated Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949). Through interviews with many of Lewton's associates (including his wife and son) and extensive research, his life and output are thoroughly examined.

Dog Eat Dog


Edward Bunker - 1995
    A terrifying and brutal narrative, the novel tracks his lawless spree in the company of two other reform school alumni, Diesel Carson and Mad Dog Cain. Dog Eat Dog is a novel of excruciating authenticity, with great moral and social resonance, and it could only have been written by Edward Bunker, who has been there.