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Fiction: Vintage

Fiction: Vintage

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Grey Towers: A Campus Novel, (Anonymous)
1 (Anonymous) Grey Towers: A Campus Novel
Chicago Covici-McGee Co. 1923 NO 2nd printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[spine slightly turned, a bit of dust-soiling to top edge, a couple of lightly bumped corners, one-time owner's address label on front pastedown; jacket moderately edgeworn, spine browned, small chip at top of rear panel; jacket a teensy bit shorter than the book, apparently made that way]. "A novel of protest, written by a young apostle of revolt, against the present system of education in the colleges." Although the author is not identified by gender, the book seems to have a definite feminist slant, telling of the travails of a young graduate student teaching Freshman English while dealing with "the undercurrent of malice and politics" at the university. She finds that "the departments are run by old men who have lost touch with the students," and feels herself "powerless to defeat the red-tape and apathetic disregard of the older men." Neither the city nor the specific university in the book are identified, but add the Chicago imprint to the description of the school "on the shore of the great lake, in the broad Middle-West," do the math and get back to me about where YOU think it is. (The author of the 1962 study "The College Novel in America" speculated that the book was "possibly by ZoŽ Flannagan," but gives no indication who the hell "ZoŽ Flannagan" might have been. Thanks for nothing.) 
Price: 100.00 USD
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2 (Anonymous) Promise Not to Tell
New York Horace Liveright (c.1929) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [worn but still sound copy, a bit of bumping/fraying at all corners, spine cloth faded (lettering just about gone)]. Epistolary relationship/romance novel. 
Price: 16.50 USD
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"Property Protected" [story] (in Esquire, March 1937), (Appel, Benjamin)
3 (Appel, Benjamin) "Property Protected" [story] (in Esquire, March 1937)
Chicago Esquire, Inc. (March 1937) NO (Vol. VII, No. 3; whole No. 40) Magazine Very Good+ Illustrated by George Petty, Bernard Karfiol, others 
[nice clean copy, binding (staples) firm, a bit of wear at spine ends, bumping and slight crinkling at upper right corner, one-time owner's name discreetly rubber-stamped in "q" of title on front cover]. (photographs, cartoons, ads, etc.) One of the harder-to-find 1930s issues of "The Magazine for Men," despite its general lack of household-name contributors (which is to say no Fitzgerald or Hemingway), due in large measure to its inclusion of the first appearance of Pietro di Donato's "Christ in Concrete," his story of Italian-American construction workers. It's accompanied by a deliriously laudatory editorial note about the stellar qualities of the story itself and its "almost incredibly talented" author, whose first published writing this was. The editors admit that they had to print the story in an edited (and expurgated) version, due to the unsuitability of some of its language for a general-circulation magazine, but their enthusiasm for it led them to take the unusual step of offering the full-length version as a separately-published softcover book, available by sending a quarter to the Esquire offices. The author later expanded the story to novel-length, for publication by Bobbs-Merrill in 1939. Also in this issue are short stories by Benjamin Appel ("Property Protected," a tale about strikebreakers), Morley Callaghan ("Rendezvous with Self") and Jesse Stuart ("One of God's Oddlings"). There's a lot more, of course -- there always was with Esquire -- including the usual run of full-page, moderately-risque cartoons (by Petty, Howard Baer, Sydney Hoff, Abner Dean, etc.) and George Hurrell photographic glamour portraits of Barbara Stanwyck and Sonja Henie. 
Price: 125.00 USD
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Lorrie, Abbott, Jane
4 Abbott, Jane Lorrie
Philadelphia/New York J.B. Lippincott Company (c.1941) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Tenngarn(?) 
[minor dust-soiling and light spotting on top edge, otherwise a good solid book with virtually no shelfwear, one-time owner's pencil signature on ffep; jacket is colorful and attractive, with a slightly ragged one-inch closed tear and associated creasing at bottom of front panel, a handful of other tiny edge-nicks, some rubbing to rear panel, a bit of wear and very slight paper loss at most corners]. Romance novel about a dancer, "a girl with winged feet who refused to be imprisoned in unhappiness." Set partly in Chicago. 
Price: 60.00 USD
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The Grasshopper Heart, Abercrombie, P.B.
5 Abercrombie, P.B. The Grasshopper Heart
Garden City NY Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1961 1st U.S. edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good- dj Illustrated by (dj design) Robert Galster 
(price-clipped) [solid copy, mild shelfwear, dampstain on top edge (not affecting interior of book), light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket soiled and moderately edgeworn]. "A delightful novel of love and infidelity," about a couple married for ten years who have "a natural, easygoing relationship that had weathered several minor affairs (for each of them) and that seemed somehow 'right' in their sophisticated milieu. By contrast, the marriage of their two closest friends, Emma and Stanley Bonsor, who lived in a seaside cottage with their two delightful sons, appeared on the verge of coming apart at the seams. For Emma was tired of their shabby-genteel existence and of her husband's hard-headed determination to do nothing to improve it." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Two Years Under Arms: A Novel of Life in a Military School, Adam, Robert J.
6 Adam, Robert J. Two Years Under Arms: A Novel of Life in a Military School
New York Exposition Press (c.1953) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj 
[moderate shelfwear, light fading to cloth at edges, light discoloration in gutters; jacket a little edgeworn, spine is browned with some minor staining, a few tiny nicks here and there]. The author, a native of Dunlap, Kansas, and a then-resident of Lyons, Kansas (about 110 miles to the west, in case you were wondering), novelizes his experience at military school -- by all accounts the sort of thing you never quite get over, although it doesn't necessarily obligate you to write a book about it -- to present a "vivid and authentic account of .... the hazing, the maneuvers, the sports, the youthful rebellion, and all the other countless facets of cadet life." Like many vanity-romans-a-clef, the author effectively anonymizes the actual locations of the action -- his protagonist hails from "Centerville" (but the description of the town doesn't match Centerville, Kansas) and attends "Sterling Military Academy in Longmont, Missouri." (There never has been either a military school or a Missouri town by those names, near as I can tell.) The novel is set mostly during 1934 and 1935, and although the locus is primarily the doings at the school itself, there are at least some references to what was going in Depression-era America, and a visiting lecturer even speaks of the rise of Hitler. (There's also a kind of amusing passage in which the protagonist take a girl to see the movie LIMEHOUSE BLUES (Paramount, 1934), which he dismisses as "a morbid piece [with] many sordid, undesirable scenes.") All in all, it presents a pretty balmy picture of life in a military academy -- even the "hazing" referenced above doesn't amount to much more than a sergeant who yells a bit and calls the cadets "the sorriest bunch of recruits I've ever seen." It does kind of leave you wondering, though, if the author -- especially since the book was published smack-dab in the middle of the McCarthy Era -- quite knew what he was doing when he named his protagonist "John Reed." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Backstage With Joe, Aistrop, Jack
7 Aistrop, Jack Backstage With Joe
New York Roy Publishers (c.1946) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Fair dj 
[solid copy, minor bumping at several corners, light soiling to page edges, small faint bookseller's stamp at bottom of front pastedown; jacket heavily worn at edges, with numerous small tears, soiling, etc.] "It was just a casual impulse that sent Corporal Blackie backstage to visit his friend Joe -- an impulse which carried him into the life of Eileen, the red-haired strip-teaser. This is their story, and the story of Norman, Eileen's husband, married just a few weeks before he was shipped out to Africa, to lose both hands, win the Military Medal and fall in love with his courageous young nurse. It is the story of Gerry, for whom Blackie was not glamorous enough; of John, who was lonely, but who could not face what the company psychiatrist discovered about him." The author, in his first novel, has constructed the narrative out of "letters, bits of conversation, flash-backs and scraps of action." 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Journey into Christmas, and Other Stories, Aldrich, Bess Streeter
8 Aldrich, Bess Streeter Journey into Christmas, and Other Stories
New York Appleton-Century-Crofts (c.1949) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) James Aldrich 
[nice book with minor wear at base of spine, slight browning to cream-colored boards along bottom edge, small cello-tape mark near top of front pastedown, rectangular offsetting on ffep from laid-in newspaper clipping (see notes), Christmas 1949 gift inscription on ffep; jacket lightly worn, soiling to rear panel]. (line drawings) A collection of Christmas-themed short stories by the noted Nebraska author (OK, technically born in Iowa, but trust me: when you're growing up in Nebraska you need all the literary lights you can possibly lay claim to), including "Christmas on the Prairie," an excerpt from her best-known book, "A Lantern in Her Hand," and a concluding piece of personal recollection. Laid in is a review of the book from the Omaha (Ne.) World-Herald, November 13, 1949, in which the reviewer (admittedly a bit puffed-up with home-state pride) calls the stories "warm, sentimental, written with zest and presented to those people to whom Christmas is the happiest family holiday we enjoy." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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The Path of the Sun, Alexander, R.W.
9 Alexander, R.W. The Path of the Sun
New York D. Appleton and Company 1927 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) E[linore] Blaisdell 
[solid book, light shelfwear, minor soiling/bumping at base of spine, vintage bookseller's label (Paul Elder & Co., San Francisco) at bottom corner of rear pastedown; jacket shows a bit of wear along the top edge, light soiling to rear panel, small ragged closed tear at bottom rear hinge]. Adventure novel which "opens with 'Monkey' Arnold, a wild Irishman notorious as a mixer in revolutions and a brewer of trouble, escaping from a Mexican prison, where he had been sentenced for gun-running in the South Seas. He and several other men and two women are all driven -- some by storm that wrecks their vessel, and some by eagerness for buried treasure -- to an island where the hidden wealth becomes a common goal, a common cause for suspicion, enmity and strife." 
Price: 85.00 USD
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Tantalus, Ammers-Kuller, Jo van (translated from the Dutch by G.J. Renier and Irene Clephane)
10 Ammers-Kuller, Jo van (translated from the Dutch by G.J. Renier and Irene Clephane) Tantalus
New York E. P. Dutton & Co. (c.1930) 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [reading copy only, with considerable shelfwear to bottom edges (boards exposed in several spots), rear hinge split, vintage bookseller's label (Bert Barber's Book Store, Fort Worth) on rear pastedown]. Novel about a Dutch family, in Paris and later New York, by a writer once referred to (at least by Time Magazine) as "Holland's foremost novelist." Apparently her depiction of American life in the middle section of the book was grounded in a personal visit to this country in 1925. 
Price: 10.00 USD
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11 Anderson, Edward Hungry Men
London William Heinemann Ltd. 1935 NO 1st U.K. edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [front hinge split, ffep missing, some soiling to covers and page edges, bottom corners bumped]. First British edition of the author's first novel, written after he had spent a year hoboing from coast to coast in the depths of the Great Depression. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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In For a Penny, Anderson, Oliver
12 Anderson, Oliver In For a Penny
New York William Morrow & Company 1950 NO 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Good in Good dj Illustrated by John Mackey 
[worn copy, corners bumped (top rear corner heavily), light soiling to page edges, bookstore stamp on front pastedown; jacket similarly well-used, small tears at all corners, a little paper loss at spine ends]. Per the jacket blurb, the author of this "bawdy, irreverent, novel" had been "arranging a vast store of material for a series of novels [this being the first] designed to show English country life as it really is, and not as the city weekenders like to imagine it." (Judging from the jacket illustration, it seems the artist liked to imagine it somewhat along the lines of "Tobacco Road"!) 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Though Time Be Fleet, Andrus, Louise
13 Andrus, Louise Though Time Be Fleet
Boston/New York Lothrop, Lee & Shepard 1937 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
(price-clipped) [nice tight copy, minor wear at extremities, light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket shows some wear at edges/corners, a few small tears, minor chipping at top of spine]. "Whatever else it might have been, Marcia Ellsworth's life certainly was not dull. Being born and brought up in a small Middle Western town was not exactly an idea start for a colorful life, but Marcia was a woman of resource and pluck; she had a way of dominating circumstances. Hers is a richly varied career, highlights and shadow, ecstasy and grief, fulfillment and desolation, success and catastrophe. Not only is this an absorbing novel, but it is also a revealing cross- section of American life during the last two eventful decades." 
Price: 45.00 USD
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Paradise Valley, Angelo, Valenti
14 Angelo, Valenti Paradise Valley
New York The Viking Press 1940 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Good dj Illustrated by the author 
[light shelfwear and minor soiling to bottom edges of covers, otherwise a very decent clean book; jacket complete but edgeworn all around, with soiling/spotting to rear panel, a few tiny scrapes to spine]. (lithographs) Having drawn from his own childhood for his first two books, "Nino" (1938) and "Golden Gate" (1939), Italian-American printmaker/author/illustrator Angelo here tells the story of a Mexican-American family living on a ranch in the Nevada desert, largely as seen through the experiences of the child Pedro. One element of the story involves another family arriving from Mexico, and the "wonderful new plan" that Pedro's relatives work out to accommodate them. Angelo wrote and illustrated half a dozen or so books of his own, but made his biggest mark as a linotype artist and as the illustrator of about 250 books. 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Between Day and Dark, Angoff, Charles
15 Angoff, Charles Between Day and Dark
New York/London Thomas Yoseloff (c.1959) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[solid, square copy, minor shelfwear, mild browning of page edges; jacket worn at edges/corners, several small tears/chips, slight paper loss at top corners of spine]. Fourth novel in the author's continuing narrative of the Polonsky family, Russian Jewish immigrants who settle in Boston; the jacket blurb declares the books to be "the most honest and sensitive depiction of Jewish life in the United States that has yet been written." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Babylon on Hudson, Anonymous
16 Anonymous Babylon on Hudson
New York Harper & Brothers 1932 First Edition Hardcover Fair in Fair dj 
[a pretty beat-up copy, probably an ex-rental library book although NOT stamped or marked as such in any way; the dust jacket, however, is backed with brown paper and thoroughly glued down at the flaps, which was pretty standard practice for such libraries; in any case, the book is heavily worn (but internally clean and with its binding intact), and the jacket is, well, a mess]. The author of this "distinguished and thoughtful novel about present-day New York" thought it best to cloak himself in anonymity, so "that the personages with whom he is acquainted will not be embarrassed by his presence." (Sounds like the lesson that Truman Capote never learned.) The book's action takes place from mid-1929 to late 1931, a period which in the author's opinion "in a most dramatic way indicates the disintegration of our social system." Written "in the racy speech of the day," the book presents "a dramatic flashlight picture of the hypocrisy and graft -- financial, criminal, political -- characterizing our society." The New York Times reviewer, while finding the book narratively sketchy, was nevertheless impressed by its range, commenting that "under their own names or easily recognizable pseudonyms numerous legal lights, political sachems, millionaires, professional liberals and reformers appear, either in person or by name," and that "most of New York's institutions and celebrities and notorieties of the past three or four years come in for at least passing comment." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The President Vanishes, Anonymous [Rex Stout]
17 Anonymous [Rex Stout] The President Vanishes
New York Farrar & Rinehart (c.1934) First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [ex-lending library book (although marked as such only by a small label on the front pastedown) with general exterior wear including fraying of cloth at extremities, occasional smudging to pages; binding is intact (hinges are not cracked)]. (B&W photographs) Political thriller about the crisis that ensues in the U.S. Government when the President is apparently kidnapped the evening before Congress intends to declare war -- thus thwarting their plans, since no declaration of war can be valid without his signature. Martial law is declared, and among the groups suspected of snatching the Prez are the Communists, the munitions manufacturers, and a homegrown fascist organization known as the Gray Shirts. Interestingly, a movie version (produced by Walter Wanger for Paramount and directed by William Wellman) made its appearance barely a month after the publication of the book; the New York Times described it as "a racy and biting melodrama [that is] enthusiastically on the side of Mr. Roosevelt's administration." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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18 Anonymous [Richard Warren Hatch] This Bright Summer [later published as "Go Down to Glory"]
New York Covici, Friede 1933 First Edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [pretty rough condition, reading copy only; heavy external wear, all pages attached but binding weak, rear endpapers removed with consequent weakening of rear hinge, vintage bookseller's label on front pastedown]. A novel of the Vermont hill country, reissued as a Dell paperback in 1953, under the title "Go Down to Glory." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Bitter Fruit, Antony, Mark
19 Antony, Mark Bitter Fruit
New York Greenwich Book Publishers (c.1959) First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Fair dj Illustrated by (dj design) Jim McMullan 
[solid copy, moderate wear to cloth at top/bottom edges, small nick in cloth at bottom of rear cover near spine, tiny tears/minor fraying at top of spine; jacket is just Fair, with soiling, chipping, etc.]. A trashy novel with a social conscience, it would appear, about a "dynamic young foreman in the effeminate Earle Prescott's industrial empire," who gets involved with the boss's wife (and various "other attractive females that inhabit their Southern town"), and subsequently is nominated for governor of the state, at which point he gets involved in the segregation vs. integration battle. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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The Raw Edge, Appel, Benjamin
20 Appel, Benjamin The Raw Edge
New York Random House (c.1958) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Edward Sorel 
[very light shelfwear, minor age-toning to edges of text block; jacket a bit rubbed and lightly soiled, slight wear at base of spine]. "A behind-the-scenes novel of the New York waterfront," by an unjustly overlooked author, once referred to (by me) as "the best damn hardboiled writer you've probably never heard of." 
Price: 18.00 USD
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Thunder in the Heart, Weldon, John Lee
Thunder in the Heart
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