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The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original) Paperback


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The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original) + The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps + The Big Book of Adventure Stories (Vintage Original)
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Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original
  • Paperback: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307455432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307455437
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Let's put it straight, like a fist in the face: this treasure trove of more than 50 stories and novels offers the best value ever for fans of hard-boiled detective fiction. In the pulp magazine Black Mask (1920–1951), Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler made their bones, with Erle Stanley Gardner and other heavyweights at their heels. As Penzler (Agents of Treachery) notes in his intros to each selection, an amazing number of these writers moved on to movies and TV. Highlights include the complete The Maltese Falcon, the original version from the pulp, unreprinted for 80 years. (Hammett made a couple of thousand changes for the hardcover novel.) The novel Rainbow Diamonds, featuring Raoul Whitfield's Filipino detective Jo Gar, appears in a book for the first time. The iconic story "Sail" by Lester "Doc Savage" Dent shows up in a variant draft, preferred by the author. The only way Penzler can top this one--a bigger book of Black Mask!
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This isn’t the first anthology of Black Mask, the seminal and venerated mystery pulp magazine published 1920–51, but it certainly is the biggest. And anthology machine Penzler, whose crime-fiction bona fides are unquestioned, selects a superb list of stories. Some alumni went on to become household names, such as Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and John D. MacDonald, while others are better known to aficionados, such as Fredric Brown, William Campbell Gault, Day Keene, and Cornell Woolrich. Still others will be known only to hard-core fans (anybody remember Norvell Page?). Notable entries include but are not limited to “Luck,” an early, unpublished draft of Lester Dent’s oft-anthologized “Sail”; the serial version of Hammett’s Maltese Falcon, which is different from the book; “Bracelets,” by Katherine Brocklebank, the only woman known to write for Black Mask; and Chandler’s “Try the Girl,” whose protagonist, Carmady, was renamed Marlowe after the success of The Big Sleep. New author biographies plus original artwork and introductions add to the fun. Any serious collection of pulp fiction needs this tome on the shelf. --Keir Graff

More About the Author

Otto Penzler (born July 8, 1942) is an editor of mystery fiction in the United States, and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, where he lives.[1]
Contents

1 Biography
2 Works
2.1 Publisher
2.2 Series Editor
2.3 Editor (Recent Books)
2.4 Guest appearances
2.5 Awards
3 References
4 External links

Biography

Penzler, who graduated from the University of Michigan, is the co-author the "Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection: for which he won an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1977. He also wrote 101 Greatest Movies of Mystery and Suspense (2000). For the New York Sun, he wrote The Crime Scene, a popular weekly mystery fiction column that ran for five years. He has worked with authors including Elmore Leonard, Nelson DeMille, Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and Thomas H. Cook.

He founded The Mysterious Press, a publishing house devoted entirely to mystery and crime fiction, in 1975. Among the authors it published (works published in America for the first time, not reprints) are Eric Ambler, Kingsley Amis, Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Jerome Charyn, Len Deighton, James Ellroy, Patricia Highsmith, P.D. James, H.R.F. Keating, Peter Lovesey, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, Marcia Muller, Ellis Peters, Ruth Rendell, Mickey Spillane, Ross Thomas, Donald E. Westlake and Cornell Woolrich. In the 1980s it was publishing more than 100 books a year and the imprint was affiliated with major publishers in England (Century-Hutchinson-Arrow), Japan (Hayakwa Publishing), Italy (Mondadori) and Sweden (Bra Bocker). The Mysterious Book Club became a division of the Book of the Month Club and Mysterious Audios an imprint with Dove Audio.

After selling The Mysterious Press to Warner Books in 1989, he created an Otto Penzler Books imprint for Macmillan (later Scribner). He moved the imprint to Carroll & Graf, then to Harcourt (later Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). He also established the Otto Penzler Books imprint in London, first with Quercus, now with Atlantic/Corvus. He reacquired The Mysterious Press name from Hachette in 2009; it is now an imprint at Grove Atlantic.

Penzler founded The Mysterious Bookshop in mid-town Manhattan and after twenty-seven years moved to Tribeca. It is now the oldest and largest mystery specialist bookstores in the world.

In 2002, he hosted a television series of great mystery films for the Turner Classic Movies channel.

He has edited more than fifty anthologies of crime fiction of both reprints and newly commissioned stories, including the prestigious Best American Mystery Stories since 1997.

Penzler served on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America for fourteen years and was awarded the organization's Ellery Queen Award and a Raven (its highest non-writing award. He won a second Edgar for editing "The Lineup," a collection of profiles of famous detectives, written by their creators.

On April 8, 2010 Swann Galleries auctioned The Otto Penzler Collection of British Espionage and Thriller Fiction. The sale represented a select portion of Penzler's private library with works by Eric Ambler, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, John Le Carre, William Le Queux, H. C. McNeile, E. Phillips Oppenheim, and Dennis Wheatley. Penzler also befriended many noted authors including Ambler, Ken Follett, John Gardner and others, who inscribed copies of their works. "British spy novels are among the greatest of all works in the mystery genre," Penzler said in the introduction to the Swann auction catalogue. "This is the first auction ever devoted entirely to this important literary genre."

Penzler lives in New York City and in Connecticut with his wife, Lisa Atkinson.
Works
Publisher

Otto Penzler Books. An imprint at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2005-2010).
The Armchair Detective Library. Reprinted classic crime fiction for collectors and libraries.
The Mysterious Press. Established in 1975. Sold to Time/Warner in 1989; reacquired by Penzler in 2009 and now an imprint at Grove/Atlantic.
The Armchair Detective. A quarterly journal for studies of mystery and suspense fiction (17 years).

Series Editor

The Best American Mystery Stories. Annual series since 1997, with guest editors. Writer Robert B. Parker wrote "Otto Penzler knows more about crime fiction than most people know about anything, and proves it once more in this brilliant anthology."
The Best American Crime Writing. Annual series since 2002, with Thomas H. Cook and guest editors.

Editor (Recent Books)

"The Big Book of Ghost Stories" (2012)
The Big Book of Adventure Stories (2011)
"Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop" (2010)
"The Greatest Russian Stories of Crime and Suspense" (2010)
"The Best American Noir of the Century" (2010)
"The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories: (2010)
"Agents of Treachery" (2010)
The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives (2009)
The Vampire Archive (2009)
Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Stories by African-American Writers (2009)
The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps (2007)
Dead Man's Hand: Crime Fiction at the Poker Table (2007)
The Vicious Circle: Mystery and Crime Stories by Members of the Algonquin Round Table (2007)
Murder in the Rough (2006)
Murder at the Racetrack (2006)
Murder at the Foul Line (2006)
Murder is My Racquet (2005)
Dangerous Women (2005)
Murderer's Row (2001)
Murder On the Ropes (2001)
Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. Edited with Tony Hillerman. (2000)
Murder and Obsession (1999)
The 50 Greatest Mysteries of All Time (1998)
Murder For Revenge (1998)
Murder For Love (1996)
The Crown Crime Companion : The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time. Edited with Mickey Friedman. (1995)

Guest appearances

Author Lawrence Block wrote a Christmas story, "The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke", set in The Mysterious Bookshop, where Otto Penzler appeared in character.[2]

Author Elmore Leonard's novel, Up In Honey's Room, features an escaped World War II German soldier, a Waffen SS major named Otto Penzler.[3][4]

Awards

2010. Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America. For The Lineup. Best Biographical/Critical Work
2003. Raven Award from Mystery Writers of America. As owner of Mysterious Bookshop.
1994. Ellery Queen Award from Mystery Writers of America. Contributions to mystery publishing.
1977. Edgar Award from Mystery Writers of America. For The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection. Best Critical/Biographical Work.


External links

Mysterious Bookshop
Otto Penzler


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 15 customer reviews
I read both of his books, and enjoyed each one immensely.
Johnboy1
Excellent collection of some of the great "Noir Stories" by a number of the finest writers of pulp fiction.
Andrew M. Calandriello
It took me about 6 months to read this book at one story a night, its so damn big.
John Middleton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Johnboy1 on July 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read both of his books, and enjoyed each one immensely. I sure hope there will be others in this series. I wasn't even born when these stories were written, but thanks to Otto Penzler, I have had the opportunity to do just that. If you like murder mysteries as much as I do, don't pass these books up (Black Lizard Big Book Of Pulps and Black Lizard Big Book Of Black Mask Stories). Together, they afford a reader many hours of immeasurable enjoyment. Please, Mr. Penzler! Give us more!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on August 26, 2012
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It took me about 6 months to read this book at one story a night, its so damn big. 1100+ pages of stories out of Black Mask Magazine from 1920-1950, with an introduction or two. As a newcomer to the crime genre, this worked as a pretty good introduction to how it was: I don't know I have become a avid reader of the field, but on the other hand, I have read a heck of a lot of it just by reading this book. In fact, just to test myself upon finishing the book I started again at the beginning, and it was like reading it all over again afresh, it had been so long. In theory you could read this book over and over, I suppose.

There are some classics here - The Maltese Falcon, for one. Its the best in the book, I think, but there is a lot of other memorable stuff too. All sorts of PI fiction is here - a locked room, a "supernatural" case, murders, robberies...you name it. Not all of it was to my taste, but I did enjoy a lot of it. I don't know what a genre enthusiast would get out of it, but as a newcomer it was an excellent start.

Lastly, I should say this is a big heavy book. Its not really feasible for reading on public transport - its not a Complete Calvin & Hobbes volume, but you'd have to be really really keen to successfully read this on a busy train, not to mention lugging it around all day in between.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pard on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this on a lark and I'm so glad I did. There are a huge number of very famous crime authors who got their start with these stories and each story is better than the one before. Makes excellent casual reading, although some of the stories are full-length crime novels.

I love the old detective/crime stories and I'm a huge fan of the black and white 1930's and 1940's films, and this book is another way to get a crime fix; in fact, I'm going to buy the other collections too.

The printing in the paperback edition was done a bit on the cheap and like another reviewer said, the book is so big that it's hard to carry on the plane or elsewhere. But I can highly recommend it and the writing and stories are excellent if you like the tough-guy, hard-boiled, film noir crime and detective genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ron Shank on August 9, 2013
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This book covers a lot of decades and authors. Maybe not as many illustrations as I would have preferred, but a great book.
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By Dr. John T. Webb on April 11, 2014
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Mr. Penzler has indeed compiled an excellent collection of stories that seem for the most part to be ageless - they could have happened in our 'modern' era, and not a hundred years ago! Isn't it a miracle that many crimes and criminals have not evolved?
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By LLN on December 7, 2013
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My husband and son love pulp. I got it for my husband and then for my cross-country son. Now all they talk about on the phone are the stories. They have another series of his, and he's the host of crime movies on TCM, which gives him special attention on our favorite channel. Mommy gets no credit for finding the book and I'm locked out of the conversation!
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By Michael N. Hampen on October 28, 2013
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I love reading old pulp fiction, and my favorite is hardboiled crime. This book exceeded my expectations for this type of reading!
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By GA Russell on August 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For decades I have read references to Black Mask Magazine, and I so much wanted to read an anthology of its stories. Well, here it is.

Otto Penzler has done a great job collecting these stories. There's not a bad one in the bunch; but truth to tell, there aren't that many five star stories either.

It will take you a long time to work your way through all 1100 pages of this, and you'll enjoy every minute of it.

Of particular interest is the original version of The Maltese Falcon as published in 1929. If you are familiar with the 1930 novel, you will probably find interesting the changes Dashiell Hammett made to the story.
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