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Fiction: Modern Lit

Fiction: Modern Lit

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Six Black Horses, Davis, Nolan
61 Davis, Nolan Six Black Horses
New York G.P. Putnam's Sons (c.1971) NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Judith Kazdym Leeds 
[solid copy, minimal shelfwear, light age-toning to page edges, faint tape marks (from what?) at top and bottom edges of endpapers; jacket nice and white, with just a trace of soiling, minor wear at top of spine]. The Kansas City-born author's first book (and alas, to date his only novel), an absurdist comic tale set at the nexus of KC's funeral services industry and its African-American community. The protagonist, a young man named Lawrence Xavier Jordan -- obviously a stand-in for the author himself, who once served as an undertaker's apprentice -- learns all about both the technical and "artistic" aspects of the funeral business from his mentor, one Southwall Lovingood, while also dealing with his domineering mother and encountering such characters as Sister Fannie Lartarska Fears (who runs a rival mortuary with a fleet of pink Cadillac hearses) and Sister Carrie Samuels, a "perennial mourner" for whom funerals represent the highest form of entertainment. Lawrence eventually gets the opportunity to stage a funeral extravaganza that brings him instant fame and enables him to establish a "mortuary palace," the House of Jordan. A critic for Newsweek commented that "if Evelyn Waugh and Ralph Ellison had collaborated on a novel, the result might well have been something like Six Black Horses" -- but if the guy had been a little hipper (i.e. not writing for Newsweek), he'd have more likely cited Chester Himes than Ellison. I think Gravedigger and Coffin Ed would be right at home in Davis's Kansas City. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, De Haven, Tom
62 De Haven, Tom Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies
New York Metropolitan Bks/Henry Holt 1996 0805044450 / 9780805044454 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Art Spiegelman 
[remainder mark on top edge, a couple of tiny dents at top and bottom of boards, otherwise a clean, tight, unread book; jacket shows minimal handling wear]. Another comic-strip homage from De Haven; this one does for the 1930's what his earlier book, Funny Papers, did for the 1890's. The book was designed by Art Spiegelman with Kelly Soong, and features a color frontispiece, a full-page Sunday "Derby Dugan" strip by "Walter Geebus," the book's protagonist (actually drawn by Spiegelman). 
Price: 10.00 USD
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The Satyr, DeMaria, Robert
63 DeMaria, Robert The Satyr
Indianapolis/New York The Bobbs-Merrill Company (c.1972) 0491001290 / 9780491001298 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Mike McIver 
[nice tight copy, minimal shelfwear, marred only by some light spotting to fore-edge; jacket somewhat rubbed and scuffed, a few small edge-tears]. Darkly comic novel about a 35-year-old textbook editor (described as "a sensualist on a grand scale") with two objectives in life: (1) to marry a virgin, e.g. his 20-year-old girlfriend; and (2) to avoid being disinherited by his mother, who can't stand his fiancee. He decides, therefore, "that the only logical thing to do is to bump off mama before she has a chance to bump him out of her will. And off we go on one of the funniest, most bizarre plots ever hatched by a sex-crazed would-be mama-killer." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Doctor on Trial, Denker, Henry
64 Denker, Henry Doctor on Trial
New York William Morrow & Co. (c.1992) 0-688-11388-5 / 9780688113889 First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Paul Bacon 
[some shelfwear to bottom edge, mild soiling at page edges, shows evidence of having been read, but still quite a decent copy; jacket shows minor surface wear, a bit of wrinkling along top edge, no tears or chips]. When the daughter of the most powerful man in New York City dies in the emergency room of a city hospital, "beautiful, dedicated young doctor" Kate Forrester finds herself charged with malpractice and manslaughter. Although "her innocence is clear, the hospital authorities fear a ruinous lawsuit and media fire [and]to avoid the risk, they abandon her to face [the rich guy's] anger and the legal charges alone." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Outrage, Denker, Henry
65 Denker, Henry Outrage
New York William Morrow and Company 1982 0-688-01113-6 / 9780688011130 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Lawrence Ratzkin 
[solid copy, a bit of wear to bottom edge, light soiling to page edges; jacket edgeworn at top and bottom, a few tiny tears at spine ends, minor soiling and surface wear]. "A courtroom drama so taut and so timely that you cannot help but devour it. It poses a tragic dilemma of our times: Should you, a decent, moral citizen, take the law into your own hands when justice becomes a mockery?" The story concerns a man whose daughter is raped and murdered, but who is not allowed to testify (and thus to provide crucial evidence) at the trial of her killer -- who is then allowed to walk free because of legal technicalities. Adapted by the author for a TV-movie (starring Robert Preston and Beau Bridges) in 1986. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The Next-to-Last Train Ride, Dennis, Charles
66 Dennis, Charles The Next-to-Last Train Ride
New York St. Martin's Press 1974 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good- dj Illustrated by (dj design) Yves Simard 
[good solid copy, top front corner very lightly bumped, light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket has a pinky-tip-size chunk missing at top of front panel, dog-earing at top of spine]. "You cast the movie," begins the jacket blurb -- but alas, despite the author's (or at least the blurb writer's) strenuous-to-the-point-of-tedious suggestions ("Al Pacino? (or Dustin Hoffman?) as Michael Rangeloff, the hapless all-American con-man..." etc.), no movie has ever emerged from this "zany-sad-funny-mad saga of a lovably corrupt Candide's adventurous journey across America." (Or if it did, I missed it.) 
Price: 5.50 USD
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The Beach Road, Diamond, Sarah
67 Diamond, Sarah The Beach Road
London Orion 2000 0-75283-784-2 / 9780752837840 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj 
[lovely, as-new copy, with just the faintest bit of surface rubbing to rear panel of dust jacket]. The author's highly praised debut novel, a psychological thriller about two teenage girls who are drawn together by their personal troubles, despite being seemingly of quite opposite personalities. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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A God for Tomorrow [*SIGNED*], Dibner, Martin
68 Dibner, Martin A God for Tomorrow [*SIGNED*]
Garden City NY Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1961 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Paul Galdone Signed by Author
[minor wear to book at extremities; jacket shows a little scuffing at spine ends, tiny scrape near bottom of spine, very slight paper loss at top of spine]. SIGNED by the author (signature only with no inscription) on the half-title page. Suspense novel about an American journalist in Berlin, following a tip that he thinks might lead him to a surviving son of Adolf Hitler -- but he's not the only one on Junior's trail: "'Good' Germans want to kill the boy, and neo-Nazis want to find him, to deify him, use him as their symbol." Signed by Author 
Price: 40.00 USD
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An American Girl, Dizenzo, Patricia
69 Dizenzo, Patricia An American Girl
New York Holt, Rinehart & Winston (c.1971) 0-03-085968-9 / 9780030859687 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[nice tight copy, very light wear to bottom edge; jacket mildly rubbed/scuffed, one small closed tear at bottom of rear panel]. "In this arresting and highly original novel, a young girl tells what it was like to grow up in a deeply disturbed and alienated family in the America of the abominated Fifties and at the same time gives us a picture of that America -- of the disparate elements of a culture and of personal experiences that don't seem to fit together in any way except that they make up the fabric of our lives." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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A Man of Little Evils, Dobyns, Stephen
70 Dobyns, Stephen A Man of Little Evils
New York Atheneum 1973 0-689-10567-3 / 9780689105678 First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Paul Bacon 
[tiny nick in cloth at bottom edge of front cover, faint spotting on top edge, light foxing to fore-edge; jacket has a 3/4" closed tear at top of front panel, light stain at rear hinge, faint soiling/rubbing to rear panel]. "A superior novel of intrigue and pursuit," set in London, as a newspaperman becomes obsessed with solving the murder of a casual acquaintance, a man he'd never liked very much. The author's first novel, following one book of poetry. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Faulty Ground [*SIGNED*], Donnelly, Gabrielle
71 Donnelly, Gabrielle Faulty Ground [*SIGNED*]
London Victor Gollancz Ltd. 1988 0-575-04326-1 / 9780575043268 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) Natacha Ledwidge Signed by Author
[slight yellowing of pages at top edge and fore-edge]. SIGNED by the author on the title page. "Susan Barnes, resilient, reserved and so terribly British, decides to take an extended trip to visit her cousin, Joanna, in Los Angeles...[the novel] explores the paradoxes of Californian life." Signed by Author 
Price: 20.00 USD
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A Load of Maltese Moonshine, Dorey, John
72 Dorey, John A Load of Maltese Moonshine
London Michael Joseph 1969 0-7181-0665-2 / 9780718106652 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Bill Botten 
[no significant shelfwear, spine slightly turned, minor dust-soiling to top edge; jacket shows a trace of wear at several corners, minor rubbing and surface-scratching to front panel, light soiling to rear panel]. Uncommon comic novel, set in Malta, featuring a Roman Catholic priest who suffers a crisis of conscience over his personal disagreement with the Church's policy on contraception, and as a result gets involved with the smuggling of birth control pills into the country. (For a little perspective: Catholicism is the officially-sanctioned state religion in Malta, with estimates of the level of adherence among the population ranging from 94% to 98% -- and it might have been higher in 1969!) 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Taking Heart, Doumani, Carol
73 Doumani, Carol Taking Heart
Venice CA Wave Publishing (c.1999) 0-9642359-1-9 / 9780964235915 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) AdamsMorioka 
[tight/unread, with very minor scuff mark on rear panel of jacket]. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Road to Leenane, du Maurier, Angela
74 du Maurier, Angela The Road to Leenane
New York Appleton-Century (c.1963) NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Sandra Whipple 
[nice clean copy, very light fading to cloth at edges, no significant wear; jacket mildly worn at edges/corners, spine lightly sunned and with minor spotting, one small tear at top of front panel]. Novel "set amid the beautiful mountains and lakes of Ireland's Connemara," it's "the story of Micky Renvyle, a talented painter, and of the three women who loved him." The author was the sister of Daphne du Maurier. 
Price: 13.00 USD
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The House of McCord [*SIGNED*], Duncan, Martha E.
75 Duncan, Martha E. The House of McCord [*SIGNED*]
Philadelphia/Ardmore PA Dorrance & Company (c.1978) 0-8059-2545-7 / 9780805925456 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Barry Wimberly Signed by Author
[light shelfwear, slight rippling to a few pages, minor edge-scrunching to a few pages, small stain on fore-edge; jacket rubbed (mostly at edges), very slight chipping at top of spine, a bit of soiling to the rear panel]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. Novel (the author's first and presumably only), beginning in Kentucky in the 1920s and progressing narratively into the present-day 1970s, about an amnesiac, Becky, who "begins her new life as Ken McCord's wife," apparently straight out the hospital. (What kind of arrangement was that, I wonder?) Anyway, the portraits hanging on the walls of the old McCord mansion -- each "fraught with a peculiar taint of bad luck which seems to haunt the McCord lineage" -- apparently hold all the secrets of Becky's true identity, as well as the explanation about "why there are two different portraits of Becky." (No other copies of this book were to be found for sale on the net at the time I researched it, and an OCLC search of worldwide libraries turned up but a single copy, in Kansas. If I was an idiot bookseller, I'd price it at $500 or something, based on this presumed "rarity," and with no regard for its obscurity and lack of importance; however, for that sales strategy to succeed would require the Perfect Customer, who's presumably been searching for this book for decades and/or has more money than sense. But I'm not an idiot, hence the entirely sensible price, which allows me a reasonable profit. And if you're that Perfect Customer, this will probably look to you like bargain of the century.) Signed by Author 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Truck, Dunn, Katherine
76 Dunn, Katherine Truck
New York Harper & Row (c.1971) 0-06-011133-X / 9780060111335 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Milton Glaser 
[nice clean copy with no discernible wear; jacket has one tiny tear at bottom of rear panel, diagonal crease in rear flap]. A rebellious adolescent girl named Jean 'Dutch' Gillis goes 'trucking' from Portland, Oregon, to Los Angeles on a journey of self-discovery, which "is filled with chilling discoveries and sudden violence." 
Price: 60.00 USD
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The Mules That Angels Ride, Edwards, Page Jr.
77 Edwards, Page Jr. The Mules That Angels Ride
Chicago J. Philip O'Hara, Inc. (c.1972) 0879559004 / 9780879559007 First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj 
Very Good in Very Good dj [some soiling/spotting to top edge, moderate wear to bottom edge, spine slightly turned, small bookstore label on ffep; jacket mildly edgeworn, shallow chip at top of rear panel, tiny closed tear at bottom edge of rear panel]. 
Price: 10.00 USD
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The Crazy Ladies, Elbert, Joyce
78 Elbert, Joyce The Crazy Ladies
New York The New American Library 1969 NO 2nd printing Hardcover Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj photo) J. Frederick Smith 
[nice tight clean book with no discernible wear; jacket has a browned strip along the top edge of both the front and rear panels, minor wrinkling at bottom of front panel]. The author's second novel, about "New York Now -- and the girls who live there. Why they live there. What they're doing there. The men they're doing it with." The "four attractive girls trying to make it in the toughest town in the world" are: a 24-year-old model whose having lots of sex, despite "her stubborn orgasm problem"; a 29-year-old divorcee who's "starting to drink too much" due to her fear of loneliness; a 25-year-old airline stewardess who really wants to get married but is madly in love with a pilot who doesn't; a 27-year-old fashion reporter, obsessed with her career but burdened with baggage. And here's the kicker: they all meet the same guy (one "handsome Robert Fingerhood, clinical psychologist"), who seems to be the solution to their various issues and problems. (Does this not all sound highly prototypical of "Sex and the City"?) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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A Bad Man, Elkin, Stanley
79 Elkin, Stanley A Bad Man
New York Random House (c.1967) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Robert Korn 
[book clean and solid, minor ink markings on ffep; jacket has a slightly ragged 1-1/2" closed tear at upper right front panel, a copule of small tears & a little wrinkling at top of rear panel]. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The Franchiser, Elkin, Stanley
80 Elkin, Stanley The Franchiser
Boston Nonpareil Books/David R. Godine 1988 (c.1976, 1980) 0-87923-323-0 / 9780879233235 2nd printing Softcover Near Fine Illustrated by (cover illustration) Joan Elkin 
[nice clean copy, with some minor diagonal creasing at upper right-hand corner of front cover]. Trade PB "This wildly comic, energetic, and virtuoso novel surveys the sordid American scene with an eye that reflects the chaos of our society with a brilliance and clarity seldom encountered." Foreword to this edition by William Gass. 
Price: 6.00 USD
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