Hardback Noir



Raymond Chandler, Spanish Blood, The World Publishing Company Tower Mystery, 1946

It is well known that hardboiled stories, which we would now describe as noir, first appeared in 1920s pulps magazines. And that, from the early 1940s, noir novels were circulated as paperback reprints or, in many cases, paperback originals. This belies the fact that the influential, early hardboiled novels were published as hardbacks, complete with polished dust jackets. This benefited especially hardboiled writers of the 1930s, before the triumph of paperbacks. But even after that, noir authors whose books had been published as hardbacks tended to find an easier way into the modern canon of noir literature. While paperback warranted circulation (as the case of Spillane made clear), hardback still anchored conservation, and hence institutionalisation.


W. R. Burnett, Little Caesar, Lincoln MacVeagh, The Dial Press, 1929


Dashiell Hammett,  Red Harvest Alfred A. Knopf, 1929

  Dain Curse

Dashiell Hammett,  The Dain Curse, Alfred A. Knopf, 1929


Dashiell Hammett,  The Maltese Falcon, Alfred A. Knopf, 1930


Raoul Whitfield,  Green Ice,   Alfred A. Knopf, 1930


W. R. Burnett, The Silver Eagle, Lincoln MacVeagh, The Dial Press, 1931


Dashiell Hammett, The Glass Key, Alfred A. Knopf, 1931


 Raoul Whitfield, The Virgin Kills, Alfred A. Knopf, 1932


 Paul Cain, Fast One, Doubleday Doran, 1933


The Thin Man, Alfred A. Knopf, 1934


James M.Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice,  Alfred A. Knopf, 1934


Don Tracy, Criss-Cross,  The Vanguard Press, 1934


Jonathan Latimer, Murder in the Madhouse, Doubleday, The Crime Club, 1935


Jonathan Latimer, The Lady in the Morgue, Doubleday The Crime Club, 1936


James M.Cain, Serenade, Alfred A. Knopf, 1937


Don Tracy, Last Year’s Snow, M. S. Mill Co., Inc., 1937


Horace McCoy,  I Should Have Stayed Home, Alfred A. Knopf, 1938


Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, Alfred A. Knopf,  1940

Cai three

James M.Cain,Three of a Kind, Alfred A. Knopf 1943


  Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, Alfred A. Knopf (A Black Widow Thriller), 1945 reprint


Mickey Spillane,  I, the Jury,  E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.  1947


W. R. Burnett,  The Asphalt Jungle,  Alfred A. Knopf, 1949


 Jim Thompson, Nothing More Than Murder,  Harper & Brothers, 1949


Raymond Chandler, The Raymond Chandler Omnibus, Hamish Hamilton, 1953


 Ross Macdonald, The Doomsters, Alfred A. Knopf, 1958


Source : http://www.facsimiledustjackets.com/

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