Lot 5
  • 5

Chandler, Raymond

15,000 - 25,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • ink and paper
The Long Goodbye. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1954

8vo. Publisher's blue and green cloth, slightly cocked; with spine ends browned, small spot of soiling on rear board. Original  pictorial dust-jacket; upper front flap fold splitting with loss along fold, rear flap with thumb-sized area of closed tear but no loss of text, some old tape remains on verso, spine panel creased at ends. In a cloth folding case.


Bruccoli A10.2.a; Burgess 99

Catalogue Note

a presentation copy of the first american edition: "For Joe Messick with best wishes of Ye Impecunious Author, Ray. Aug 21st 1954, La Jolla, California."

Joe Messick was the husband of  Chandler's secretary and minder, Juanita Messick. Juanita began working for Chandler in 1950 and continued through to 1954.  The present book was one she typed up in near final draft from the author's own typed half sheets. She was a calming presence in Chandler's life, present through his wife Cissy's final decline and death which sent Chandler into deep drunken grief and depression. Juanita prevented at least one tragedy with a .38 revolver, getting police to the house after she had heard Chandler talking drunkenly of suicide on the phone, saw him retreat to the bedroom and rushed in as a shot rang out.

The Long Goodbye was the author's last major work and seen by many as the most psychologically penetrating of his novels.  It won the Edgar for Best Mystery of 1954 in March of the next year.

"...beautifully composed, with a taut economical style exactly suited to the narrator Marlowe. If this is not literature, what is?" (Burgess).