Latimer

Hardback Noir

 

Spanish

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.

Burnette

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

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Noir novels in Doubleday Doran Crime Club

 

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Jonathan Latimer, Red Gardenias, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1939

The Doubleday Crime Club was one of the most famous  Crime Series. It started in 1928 and thus was  an exact contemporary to European Series  Le Masque (Librairie des Champs Elysées) and  Giallo Mondadori . Like both Le Masque, in France and Giallo, in Italy, it went on to publish  well over 2000 titles, over more than six decades.  It found immediate success, thanks to the popularity of Edgar Wallace’s books, which it introduced in America and of which it sold 5 millions in its first year.  The Series rank among the most beautifully designed  editions of Crime Fiction hardbacks.

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