Sunday, March 9, 2014

FOUND BOUND: Ex-Private Eye Turns Writer

For me it's always interesting to see how very well known books were first marketed before they reached their legendary status. Take this book (advertised in the Feb 15, 1930 issue of The Saturday Review of Literature) now a permanent part of American pop culture, for example:

(Click to enlarge and read the fine print)
I think only the most diehard fan knows that Hammett was once an operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Sam Spade was also billed a "shyster detective" and a "Don Juan", apparently traits that Knopf thought would sell the book. I won't comment further on the last portion of Spade's description.

8 comments:

  1. It's hard to find a realistic dick for $2.50 these days.

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    1. HA! I knew someone would come up with a clever retort.

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  2. John: Why hold back? What is your opinion of unpredictable realistic "Dicks"?

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    1. I was hinting at the vulgar connotation. You really don't want to read the joke I came up with, Bill. Kelly's is good enough for me and a lot more tame.

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  3. Fascinating, John. Thanks for sharing this. I often read advertisements about early fiction in vintage magazines.

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  4. I enjoyed this, John. I was first aware of Hammett working for Pinkerton when I watched the movie Hammett. I still haven't read the book it was based on. I loved the description "racy mystery author."

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  5. Well there are plenty of dicks in mystery fiction so I suppose one would want to trumpet an unpredictable addition to the fold (or whatever the collective noun for dicks turns ot to be) - thanks for that John!

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  6. Love how low-keyed it is. ALmost like an invitation to an event rather than an ad.

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