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The Big Sleep. by  Raymond Chandler - Signed First Edition - 1939 - from Raptis Rare Books (SKU: 105836)

The Big Sleep.

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The Big Sleep.

by Chandler, Raymond

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • Signed
  • First
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About This Item

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939. First edition of Chandler's first and most famous novel, with the rarely found original dust jacket. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone. Bruccoli A1.1.a. A very sharp example. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler's first novel, "was a masterpiece right out of the gate and introduced a new kind of detective story, build on the hard-boiled foundation laid by Dashiell Hammett" (Johnson I:44). The novel was published when Chandler was 51, after years of apprenticeship in pulp magazines. "It's my ambition," he once said, "to write a mystery story without one word of explanation at the end. In The Big Sleep I almost succeeded." This was the novel that announced Chandler's literary coming-of-age and defined the mythic status of his wise-cracking detective Philip Marlowe. "Chandler is fun to read," commented writer George Higgins. "He was also one hell of a writer, and those are hard to find" (Hardboiled Mystery Writers, 81-3). A Haycraft Queen cornerstone novel. William Faulkner co-authored the screenplay adaptation of The Big Sleep for Howard Hawks' 1946 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.


The Big Sleep is a crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 starring Humphry Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and again in 1978 starring Robert Mitchum. The story is noted for its complexity and is heavily influenced by classic Greek tragedy, with many characters double-crossing each other and many secrets being exposed throughout the narrative. -

Read More: Identifying first editions of The Big Sleep.


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Raptis Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The Big Sleep.
Chandler, Raymond
Book condition
Alfred A. Knopf
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
raymond-chandler-first-edition-signed, the-big-sleep-first-edition

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About the Seller

Raptis Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2012
Palm Beach, Florida
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About Raptis Rare Books

Founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, Raptis Rare Books is an antiquarian book firm that specializes in literature, children's books, economics, photo books, signed and inscribed books, and landmark books in all fields. Our business model is simple: we strive to handle books that are in exceptional condition and to provide exceptional customer service. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
Pulp magazines
Magazines published primarily in the 20th Century named for the cheaply produced wood pulp paper on which they were printed.... [More]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [More]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [More]
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [More]

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