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Library of America Ross Macdonald Edition

Ross Macdonald
Ross Macdonald: Four Novels of the 1950s (LOA #264) by Ross Macdonald
Ross Macdonald: Three Novels of the Early 1960s (LOA #279) by Ross Macdonald / Tom Nolan, editor
Ross Macdonald: Four Later Novels (LOA #295) by Ross Macdonald / Tom Nolan, editor

Library of America Ross Macdonald Edition : Titles in Order

Book 3
From his vantage point in Southern California—and through the eyes of his great creation, private eye Lew Archer—Ross Macdonald (the pseudonymn of Kenneth Millar) fashions a haunting, startlingly immediate vision of modern America: a swirling mix of sexual exploitation, intergenerational conflict, racial animosities, and ecological disaster.

In Black Money, Archer is hired to find a wealthy man gone missing and soon finds himself investigating a suspicious seven-year-old suicide. The case becomes a peeling away of many levels of deception, delusion, and false identity. Exploring themes of immigration and border-crossing central to Macdonald’s own life, Black Money also pays homage to The Great Gatsby, one of his favorite books.

The Instant Enemy begins with Archer’s search for a runaway teenage daughter and her troubled, possibly murderous boyfriend, a search that uncovers a morass of hidden wrongs. In an emotionally intense work that reflects the chaos and conflicts of his family’s troubled past, Macdonald gives indelible and ultimately tragic expression to the generational conflict and drug culture of the DJHCs.

An investigation into “a rather peculiar burglary” takes a drastic turn with the discovery of a body in an abandoned car on a beach in The Goodbye Look, the book that sealed Macdonald’s reputation as the preeminent crime novelist of his time. Tracking a stolen heirloom, Archer follows a trail of violence that lays bare a miasma of buried secrets and unforgotten traumas.

“In our day,” wrote Eudora Welty, “it is for such a novel as The Underground Man that the detective form exists.” A raging wildfire stirred by the Santa Ana winds serves as prelude to a chain of kidnapping and murder. Youthful rebellion is pitted against the hypocrisies of the older generation in a novel, in Welty’s estimation, “not only exhilaratingly well done; it is also very moving.”

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 2
The three novels collected in this second volume in the Library of America Ross Macdonald edition represent for many readers the summit of American crime writing. They remain thrilling for their searing psychological truth-telling, daring flights of narrative invention, and their keenly observed picture of the manners and morals of a particular time and place (Southern California in the early 1960s). Each reflects Macdonald’s enduring concern with the hidden crimes and agonizing dysfunctions that haunt families from one generation to the next. In The Zebra-Striped Hearse, a father’s attempt to protect his daughter from “the complete and utter personal disaster” of marriage to a troubled drifter sends private detective Lew Archer on a perplexing and increasingly bloody trail that leads him from Mexico to Lake Tahoe and finally into the maze of a tragically splintered identity. In The Chill, the search for a young bride gone missing uncovers a succession of seemingly unrelated crimes committed over a period of decades, as Archer finds himself “a ghost from the present haunting a bloody moment in the past.” Another hunt for a missing person—this time a young man escaped from an elite reform school—provides the impetus for The Far Side of the Dollar, which Macdonald’s friend Eudora Welty considered “securely among your strongest and best . . . a beauty that just gets better.”

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
At last, the brilliant successor to Hammett and Chandler in a definitive collector’s edition: Revered by such contemporary masters as Sue Grafton, George Pelecanos, and James Ellroy, Ross Macdonald (the pseudonym of Kenneth Millar) brought to the crime novel new levels of social realism and psychological depth, while honing a unique gift for intricately involving mystery narratives. For his centennial year, The Library of America inaugurates its Macdonald edition with four novels from the 1950s, all featuring his incomparable protagonist, private investigator Lew Archer. Here are The Way Some People Die, a twisted journey through Los Angeles high and low, The Barbarous Coast, an exploration of crime and corruption in the movie business, The Doomsters, a breakthrough novel of madness and self-destruction, and The Galton Case, the mythically charged and deeply personal book that Macdonald considered a turning point in his career. As a special feature, this volume also includes five pieces in which Macdonald reveals the autobiographical background of his books and describes his distinctive approach to crime writing.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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