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Fiction: Vintage

Fiction: Vintage

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Before the Storm, Belloc Lowndes, Mrs. [Marie]
61 Belloc Lowndes, Mrs. [Marie] Before the Storm
New York Longmans, Green and Co. 1941 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) Arthur Hawkins 
[modest shelfwear to top and bottom edges, otherwise a nice clean book; jacket a bit edgeworn, with a few nicks and scrapes, small closed tear and associated creasing at top edge of rear panel]. "Upon the dark canvas of approaching war Mrs. Lowndes paints a thrilling romance almost blacked out by robbery and attempted murder." An RAF Wing Commander, a "morganatic daughter of Leopold of Austria," a rich South African named "Golden Bull" Gatke, an Italian butler, a villainess who's also the daughter of a clergyman, and a refugee Austrian Archduchess are all involved. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Duchess Laura, Further Days of Her Life, Belloc Lowndes, Mrs. [Marie]
62 Belloc Lowndes, Mrs. [Marie] Duchess Laura, Further Days of Her Life
New York Longmans, Green and Co. 1933 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Very Good in Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) John Gincano 
[moderate wear at all corners, very slight fraying to cloth at bottom corners, very light foxing to page edges; jacket worn and soiled, with a few small tears, and a very amateurish tape-repair along the top edge (including a shallow chip at top of rear panel replaced with a piece of white paper, like nobody'd ever notice THAT)]. A sequel to the author's 1929 novel "Duchess Laura, Certain Days of Her Life" (published in the U.S. as "The Duchess Intervenes"), recounting more "episodes and adventures of the Duchess of Richborough, affectionately known as Duchess Laura." Contemporary rather than historical fiction, its protagonist is, in the author's words, "not the highly coloured romanticized type familiar to sensational fiction," but rather "a real human being, in a sense a typical woman of her class and way of life in that section of the English world first called by Disraeli 'high society.'" In the observation of a reviewer of the day, the Duchess "carries off her fifty-eight years with a nonchalance and aplomb of a heroine of romance. She has, we are assured, lost none of her old vivacity and time has done nothing worse to her than mellow and make perfect an already delightful personality." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Accident, Bennett, Arnold
63 Bennett, Arnold Accident
Garden City NY Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. 1929 NO Later Printing Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) M.K. Morris 
[book very slightly bumped at top front corner, otherwise in virtually as-new condition; jacket is similarly nice, with just some minor soiling to the spine, light browning along two edges of the rear panel]. "It was an accident that Alan Frith-Walter should have boarded the same train as his son and daughter-in-law; it was an accident that he should find them quarreling; and the track wreck itself was the climax to a series of accidents. Arnold Bennett, with urbanity and humor, has found in the train a microcosm -- 'a cargo of opulent beings of fleshly ideals and aspirings.' Out of this situation he has written a fine, slightly ironical, humorously tolerant story of human adjustments." 
Price: 65.00 USD
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Son of the Typhoon, Bennett, James W.
64 Bennett, James W. Son of the Typhoon
New York Duffield & Company 1928 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[minor shelfwear, small faded spot at base of spine cloth; jacket has a few small tears, some soiling/rubbing, small chip at base of spine, tiny chip at bottom of rear panel]. "A powerful story of modern China," centering around the mixed-race son born of a forced marriage between a Chinese woman and an American sea-captain. "With character and mind complicated by this conflicting blood, Hen-li develops into a leader of New China. The narrative of his passionate and all but tragic career, his vacillation between Western and Eastern viewpoints, becomes not only an unusual human document but a valuable contribution to our understanding of the political turmoil in the Far East today." A bit pretentious, perhaps, although the jacket blurb states that the author had served in the Consular Service in China and also as a lecturer at a Chinese university, so least he came by his background material honestly. Bennett cranked out a handful of novels and several handfuls (handsful?) of short stories, many for the adventure pulps, mostly between the mid-1920s and the early 1930s -- the great majority of them (surprise!) with Chinese or other Asian-Pacific settings and subjects, with titles like "The Manchu Cloud" and "Dragon Shadows." I've been unable to confirm a death date, but his short-story output appears to have dropped off after about 1932; the latest story I've found by him appeared in 1938. 
Price: 175.00 USD
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Against the Sky, Bercovici, Konrad
65 Bercovici, Konrad Against the Sky
New York Covici-Friede 1932 1st/2nd printings before publication Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj 
[solid copy despite some slight deterioration to binding at spine ends, offsetting/discoloration to gutters, minor dust-soiling to top edge, one-time owner's signature on both pastedowns and on the ffep; jacket is color-faded at spine (although black lettering and graphic are still strong) but still quite attractive, and exceptionally clean given its textured surface]. The Romanian-born author's "first full-length novel of gypsy life," although he was already well-known for his short stories about these colorful folk and their exotic folkways. Set in New York City (the East Side, specifically), per the blurb it's "filled with color, gayety, song, and the terror-haunted, age-old superstitions of a tragic race." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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For a Song, Bercovici, Konrad
66 Bercovici, Konrad For a Song
New York Dodd, Mead & Company (c.1931) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj 
[some soiling to page edges and bottom edges of covers, tiny frayed nick at top of spine; jacket edgeworn with various tiny nicks and tears, minor paper loss at top of spine, age-yellowing to rear panel]. Novel about a young Italian-American girl, Maria Caproni, whose burning ambition is to sing at the Metropolitan Opera. Much of the action takes place in New York's Little Italy neighborhood, and the narrative is populated with all sorts of "colorful" urban characters: Connolly and Weinstein, an Irishman and a Jew (there's an original pairing!), junk-peddling partners who become millionaires; a golden-voiced tenor, "a Rabelaisian figure who instantly captivates the reader" (it sez here), who directs young Maria's career; a crooked art dealer; a usurer (another Jew, imagine that); a bootlegger; and so forth. 
Price: 60.00 USD
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Singing Winds: Stories of Gipsy Life, Bercovici, Konrad
67 Bercovici, Konrad Singing Winds: Stories of Gipsy Life
Garden City NY Doubleday, Page & Company 1926 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [solid copy, small dent at top of front cover, light fading to spine cloth, light dust-darkening to top edge]. The author goes again to his seemingly inexhaustible well of stories based on his early life, much of which was spent wandering with the gypsy tribes of Roumania. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Crimes of Charity, Bercovici, Konrad; introduction by John Reed
68 Bercovici, Konrad; introduction by John Reed Crimes of Charity
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1917 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [good solid copy, minor deterioration to cloth at top of spine, light external soiling, vintage bookplate on front pastedown]. This Romanian-born author's first book, a first-person narrative by an investigator for a New York City charity organization, recounting the corruption and inequities he discovers (and is required to perpetrate) while working on the Lower East Side. In his introduction, John Reed writes: "Every person of intelligence and humanity who has seen the workings of Organised Charity knows what a deadening and life-sapping thing it is, how unnecessarily cruel, how uncomprehending." Lauding Bercovici's account for its "absolute conviction," he states: "Here we see and smell and hear the East Side; its crowded, gasping filth, the sour stench of its grinding poverty, the cries and groans of lamentations in many alien tongues of the hopeful peoples whose hope is broken in the Promised Land." Contemporary reviews seem unclear as to whether the book is fiction or non-fiction, but in any case (as The New York Times put it), "the destructive criticism is thorough [and] comprehensive.... [and the book is] basically true and interesting, as well as something new and vigorous in a literary way." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Peckover, Beresford, J.D.
69 Beresford, J.D. Peckover
New York G.P. Putnam's Sons (c.1935) First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good- dj Illustrated by (dj) Paul Laune 
(price-clipped) [solid copy, only light shelfwear but quite a bit of fading to cloth at edges and spine, slight soiling to bottom page edges; jacket edgeworn, with a few small tears, scuffing/rubbing to front panel, very faded at spine (although title, decoration, and publisher's name still stand out)]. The story of a henpecked husband who, for twenty years, "suffered the tortures of a shrill, petty and bullying wife" -- until one evening, he lost his memory! "The adventures which then befell him, his meeting with the healthy, jovial Minnie Guest, his success in business, and gradually the re-entrance of his wife into his life, are dramatically and skilfully related in one of the most successful stories of a dual personality since Stevenson's masterpiece [i.e., 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde']." The author was quite prolific, having published his first novel in 1911 (this was his forty-second book, per the jacket blurb); a significant portion of his early work was in the science-fiction, horror and ghost-story genres. (**) 
Price: 125.00 USD
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The Early History of Jacob Stahl [*SIGNED*], Beresford, J.D.
70 Beresford, J.D. The Early History of Jacob Stahl [*SIGNED*]
London Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd. 1921 NO 3rd impression Hardcover Good Signed by Author
(no dust jacket) [moderate wear to extremities, front hinge weak, ffep nearly detached, rear hinge cracked but not split, browning/discoloration to endpapers and half-title page, spine cloth somewhat faded and gilt lettering dulled]. INSCRIBED ("To Mr. & Mrs. G.P. Putnam / with sincerest good wishes") and SIGNED by the author on the half-title page, additionally dated Dec. 1921 in his hand. Later printing of the first novel (and first installment of a trilogy) by this author who is better remembered for his science fiction and horror stories. Putnam's was the author's American publisher for a number of years; an uncommon signature. Signed by Author 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The Old People, Beresford, J[ohn] D[avys]
71 Beresford, J[ohn] D[avys] The Old People
New York E.P. Dutton & Co. (c.1932) NO 1st [U.S.] Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) "HR" 
[light shelfwear, short diagonal crease to bottom corner of Contents page; jacket a little edgeworn, faded at spine (still readable, just leached of most color), with some minor smudging/rubbing to the rear panel]. "Triumphantly embark[ing] on a literary trail Galsworthy has blazed for English novelists," gushes the jacket copy, the author "tells the story of a representative English family, which, after a long and honorable lineage, has grown too thin and for the sake of posterity accepts into its circle a daughter of the professional classes." In a brief introductory note, the author announces his intention for this book to be the first of a trilogy tracing the Hillington family from 1867 to 1932 -- and by golly if he didn't make good on his promise in right short order, with the publication of "The Middle Generation" (1933) and "The Young People" (1934). 
Price: 125.00 USD
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Cold Pogrom, Berges, Max L. (translated from the German by Benjamin R. Epstein)
72 Berges, Max L. (translated from the German by Benjamin R. Epstein) Cold Pogrom
Philadelphia Jewish Publication Society of America 1939-5700 1st (unstated) Hardcover Very Good+ in Fair dj 
[solid copy, minimal wear, faint beverage ring on front cover, bookplate on ffep; jacket heavily worn, various tears/chips]. Novel about "a peaceful Jewish family in pre-Nazi Germany and what happened to it after the National-Socialists seized power." 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Hunters and Hunted, Berry, Ron
73 Berry, Ron Hunters and Hunted
London New Authors Limited 1960 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Andrew Woods 
[bumping to corners, otherwise just minimally shelfworn; jacket shows some wear along top and bottom edges, scraping/scuffing at spine extremities]. Novel about "a winter, a spring and a summer in the lives of three young Welshmen," with particular focus on their sexual adventuring. The first of five novels published by this Welsh author (1920-1997), a one-time coal miner in his native Rhondda Valley, whose fiction portrayed the daily struggle for survival among society's "have-nots." Although his work was largely neglected during his lifetime -- he never earned enough from his writing to be financially secure, sustaining himself with a variety of jobs (carpenter, swimming pool manager, etc.) -- he has been posthumously "discovered," with one result being that his books are all pretty hard to find today. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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The Sword Falls, Bertram, Anthony
74 Bertram, Anthony The Sword Falls
New York/London Harper & Brothers 1930 NO First Edition Hardcover Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [moderately shelfworn copy, slight mottling to spine cloth, dust-soiling to top edge; faint bookseller's stamp on front pastedown, old price sticker on rear pastedown; binding fully intact, internally quite clean]. Novel about a clerk in a London law firm, who (in the words of a contemporary review) "believes in the high destiny of the British Empire and the sanctity of the British home." His work and family life are perfectly commonplace, with "the pleasure and the pain of life about equally mixed," but like so many of his generation he faces his greatest tragedy when his beloved son is killed in World War I. "An epic of the ordinary man," said the N.Y. Times critic, who "never falters in the day-by-day performance of what he regards as his duty." Scarce early novel by this British writer, also known as an art historian/biographer and book designer. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Cypress Man, Beynon, Jane (pseud. for Jane Lewis Brandt, aka "Lange Lewis")
75 Beynon, Jane (pseud. for Jane Lewis Brandt, aka "Lange Lewis") Cypress Man
Indianapolis/New York The Bobbs-Merrill Company (c.1944) First Edition Hardcover Fair 
(no dust jacket) [reading/reference copy only; moderate external wear, spine turned, large pieces of both ffep and half-title page torn out]. Scarce novel with a Los Angeles setting, described by California fiction bibliographers Baird & Greenwood thusly: "A tense story (but not a detective novel) in which a psychopathic composer works his influence upon a group of people, fueling a violent situation, resulting in murder." 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Thieves' Market, Bezzerides, A.I.
76 Bezzerides, A.I. Thieves' Market
New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1949 1st Edition (A) Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [solid but worn copy; binding intact, wear evident to cloth at all edges and corners; a decent reading copy, no more]. Classic hard-boiled/proletarian novel, about an immigrant trucker (of Greek heritage, as is the author) who, while trying to make a living hauling produce in California's Central Valley, has a tought time maintaining his independence and integrity while dealing with the underworld types who control the West Coast produce markets. The author drew on his own experiences for the book, and took it to the next artistic level as well, doing the screenplay for the pretty damn good movie version, directed by Jules Dassin -- whose political sympathies, well-tuned to the needs of this particular narrative, got him blacklisted not long after. The movie (retitled THIEVES' HIGHWAY) starred Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, and Lee J. Cobb, at his snarling best as a vicious and crooked produce kingpin. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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On the Sixth Day, Bianco, Giuseppe [pseud. for Joseph White]
77 Bianco, Giuseppe [pseud. for Joseph White] On the Sixth Day
Indianapolis The Bobbs-Merrill Company (c.1928) 1st [U.S.] Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) Andrews 
[book is tight and clean, no discernible wear, light age-toning to page edges; jacket is almost flawless, with just a couple of tiny tears and associated horizontal creasing at top of front panel and front flap]. Novel set on the moors of Devon and in "sophisticated London," about the relationship between a father and daughter, the latter an unwanted child born to the moralistic father and his good-time-loving wife. Per the jacket blurb, the author "pits the modern tendency to self-absorption and indulgence against the Puritan ideal of self-denial, and works out the dramatic conflict in the life of Michael Poolecrue [the father]." Included among the cast of characters in London is "Lee Fabian, the author of the most talked-of novels in England, who professes that his main pleasure in life is to watch human beings torture themselves." I've been unable to find out anything about this author, whose name would suggest that he's Italian but whose three novels (of which this is the last) were all published in English (and England) between 1925 and 1928; the British Library cataloging of his books states that this is a pseudonym for a "Joseph White" (which indeed would be a direct translation from one name to the other). If you wish to investigate further and get back to me, be my guest. 
Price: 65.00 USD
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The Whole Story, Bibesco, Elizabeth
78 Bibesco, Elizabeth The Whole Story
New York/London G.P. Putnam's Sons 1926 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Very Good+ 
(no dust jacket) [sharp-looking copy, tight and square, paper spine label browned, light dust-soiling to top edge; slight fraying to cloth at bottom front corner]. The author's fourth book (and third story collection), dedicated "To Jean Cocteau." The eldest child of Herbert Henry Asquith (British Prime Minister from 1908-1916) and the sister of film director Anthony Asquith, Elizabeth was somewhat the Chelsea Clinton of her day, thrust into the public eye at an early age; her 1919 marriage to Romanian Prince Antoine Bibesco brought her into the circle of his pal Marcel Proust, who is said to have praised both her intelligence and her beauty. (Virginia Woolf was considerably less impressed, once describing her as "pasty and podgy, with the eyes of a currant bun.") 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The Frontiersman [original (U.K.) title: Frontiersmen], Bindloss, Harold
79 Bindloss, Harold The Frontiersman [original (U.K.) title: Frontiersmen]
New York Frederick A. Stokes Company 1929 NO First American Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[nice clean book, minor shelfwear, slight bumping/fraying at top rear corner, vintage price sticker (from San Francisco department store The White House) on rear pastedown; jacket a bit edgeworn, light soiling to rear panel]. "A bitter feud was raging on the Manitoba prairies. On one side were grim, brawny frontiersmen, turning the wild prairies into splendid wheat ranches; on the other side a colony of swaggering young-bloods who only stirred up trouble. Into the frontiersman group came a fine, determined young man, straight from Cambridge -- and promptly fell in love with a beautiful girl in the enemy ranks. Her unworthy fiance, Craythorne, was one day found murdered. Who killed him?" Bindloss was an English author who only took up writing when his health went bad in his mid-thirties (partly as the result of malaria); many of his books, like this one, were adventure yarns set in western Canada, where he had once farmed as a young man. 
Price: 65.00 USD
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On Pegasus He Rode, Blaker, Richard
80 Blaker, Richard On Pegasus He Rode
New York Carrick & Evans (c.1938) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) Laune[?] 
(price-clipped) [nice copy, mild shelfwear, very light water-spotting on top edge (interior not affected); jacket a bit worn at corners, some soiling/spotting on spine]. "In this unusual story of a man's struggle against his life-long desire to escape reality, [the author] has written a brilliant novel which adds to the stature of his already distinguished reputation as a writer of uncommon versatility. Major Kenneth Creswell--he was soon to drop the ' Major'--differed from most of us only in degree. His War record was brilliant but so was that of many others; he had great charm of manner, but that again was not what made him, in a sense, a man apart. The difference lay in the fact that his dissatisfaction with himself was more profound, his need to escape more urgent. He was, perhaps, more of an idealist than most men, though society, had it stumbled upon his secret, might have said otherwise. The outbreak of the War saved him from what might have been an ugly scandal; and while he was in France his wife died."And so on, with additional oblique references to his "retreat down strange paths of release" and "his weakness," plus the assertion that "the medical facts of K.C.'s case are authentic." So I guess this is a " psychological torment" novel. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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