The Big Clock

By Kenneth Fearing; Nicholas Christopher (Introduction by)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590171813, 175pp.)

Publication Date: July 2006

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Description
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.



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 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."
ROBERT POLITO is the author of "Doubles, A Reader's Guide to James Merrill's "The Changing Light at Sandover and "Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson." He edited the Library of America volumes, "Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 1940s" and "Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s," and directs the Graduate Writing Program at The New School. He lives in New York.

NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER is the author of seven volumes of poetry, five novels, and a cultural history of film noir. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, Esquire, the Nation, the New Republic, the Paris Review, and other notable magazines. A professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, he lives in New York City.
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