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A classic of American noir, part murder mystery and part black comedy, set in dark corners of corporate New York City. 

George Stroud is a hard-drinking, tough-talking, none-too-scrupulous writer for a New York media conglomerate that bears a striking resemblance to Time, Inc. in the heyday of Henry Luce. One day, before heading home to his wife in the suburbs, Stroud has a drink with Pauline, the beautiful girlfriend of his boss, Earl Janoth. Things happen. The next day Stroud escorts Pauline home, leaving her off at the corner just as Janoth returns from a trip. The day after that, Pauline is found murdered in her apartment.


Janoth knows there was one witness to his entry into Pauline’s apartment on the night of the murder; he knows that man must have been the man Pauline was with before he got back; but he doesn’t know who he was. Janoth badly wants to get his hands on that man, and he picks one of his most trusted employees to track him down: George Stroud, who else?


How does a man escape from himself? No book has ever dramatized that question to more perfect effect than The Big Clock, a masterpiece of American noir.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590171813
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 07/18/2006
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 299,627
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

KENNETH FEARING (1902–1961) was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Voted wittiest boy and class pessimist in high school, he moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. He published several well received volumes of poetry in addition to his novels, including Angel Arms, Dead Reckoning, and Stranger at Coney Island and other poems. The Big Clock was included in The Library of America's Crime Novels: American Noir of the 30s and 40s. The novel has been adapted into two films, The Big Clock (1948) and No Way Out (1987).


NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER is the author of five novels: The Soloist, Veronica, A Trip to the Stars, Franklin Flyer, andThe Bestiary; several books of poetry, including Crossing the Equator: New & Selected Poems, 1972-2004; and a nonfiction book, Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir & the American City. He is a Professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University.

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