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    Dashiell Hammett. Red Harvest. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929. First edition of Hammett's first book. Octavo (7.5 x 5.125 inches; 191 x 129 mm.). [4, blank], [2, half-title ("Some Mystery Stories on the Borzoi List" on verso)], [2, title (copyright on verso)], [2, dedication (verso blank)], [2, contents], [1, fly-title (verso blank)], 3-270, [1, colophon], [5, blank] pages. Title-page printed in orange and black with a skull and crossbones vignette in orange (the orange offset onto preceding page). Publisher's deep red V cloth (smooth). Front cover stamped in yellow with skull and crossbones within a black single-rule border. Spine decoratively stamped in five panels with decorations in yellow and black against a red background, with the author and title in red against a black panel and the publisher's name at foot in yellow against a red panel; back cover stamped with black rectangular Borzoi Books device in lower right corner. Top and bottom edges trimmed, fore-edge untrimmed. Top edge stained green (faded). Spine ends rubbed; foot of spine bumped; corners lightly bumped. Covers with a few scuff marks and small areas of slight discoloration. A few scratches and scuffs to top edge; green top stain visible at the top edge of some leaves. Over-opened between a few gatherings; diagonal crease in the gutter margin from the top edge of the center two leaves of several gatherings, occasionally affecting a few letters in the headline; faint crease to small portion of upper corner from page 253 to the end (from the bumped upper corner of the binding). A few small faint marginal stains or smudges. In the scarce original color-printed dust jacket, totally unrestored. Jacket browned at edges and folds; rear panel with quarter-inch tear from top edge; sliver chipped away from top edge; spine with small pieces chipped away from top and bottom, plus quarter-inch tear at bottom; small hole and curved tear near rear panel fold; another tiny puncture or tear to rear panel; small pieces chipped from top and bottom of rear flap fold and top of front flap fold; half-inch split at bottom edge of front flap fold; spine folds starting to split; tiny hole front flap fold; a little rubbing to front panel; rear panel darkened somewhat and with a dark streak across the panel. A near fine copy. Housed in a custom red morocco book-backed clamshell case. Layman A1.1.a. From the KoKo Collection.

    More Information:

    "In Red Harvest (1929), his first novel, Hammett originally called America 'Poisonville,' whose facade concealed the fact that capitalists, police, and thugs, were in symbiotic control of the country" (Joan Mellen, Hellman and Hammett: The Legendary Passion of Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett (1996), page 104).

    First serialized in four monthly parts in Black Mask from November 1927 to February 1928.

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    September, 2017
    14th Thursday
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