High Sierra - W. R. Burnett 1940 - Alfred A Knopf, New York. London - First Edition in First State Dust Jacket ‘In the darkness, in a vivid flash, he saw old Barmy’s thin wise face. Dead and buried now, poor guy! What was it he’d said about being buried? Yeah. Barmy said when they planted him he’d be wearing ‘the turning globe’ for an overcoat. Now, who’d think of a thing like that but him? It made you see the little earth lost in space, turning slowly through the night.’

‘In
High Sierra, Burnett, one of the most influential of the ‘Hard-Boiled’ crime writers, changed the typical characterisation of the gangster story from the aggressive, ambitious figure characterisation of the 1930’s to the ageing Roy Earle, a gangster well past his prime. A sense of fatalism pervades the story, and Burnett and John Huston scripted a film version for Warner Bros, which was released in 1941 with Humphrey Bogart as Earle.’ – Encyclopedia of Film Noir.

Housed in custom cloth slipcase.
  W. R. Burnett (1899-1982) wrote 33 novels, 18 of which were thrillers, 27 screenplays, and received 60 screen credits. His importance to the gangster genre and, to a lesser extent, film noir cannot be overestimated. Two of his novels changed film history (Little Caesar and The Asphalt Jungle), and a third, High Sierra, marked a change in the gangster genre that prefigured the influence of noir a few years later.

Reference: Mayer & MacDonald,
Encyclopedia of Film Noir, 25.

Octavo (22 x 15 cm). pp. [6] 292 [4]. In publisher’s orange-red cloth, front board and spine stamped and lettered in grey, top edge tinted purple. Dust jacket price-clipped, first state with rear flap text beginning ‘A CATALOGUE of recent & forthcoming Borzoi Books,...’ (changed in second state to show text beginning ‘Some Opinions of High Sierra’ and seven quotes from reviews).
  Condition: Fine, in very good dust jacket, minor wear to corners and spine ends, sunning to spine edges of front board worn, rubbing to head and tail of spine, small scuff to front panel affecting the edges of ‘N’.   Ref: 108650   Price: HK$ 8,000