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Fiction: Odd/Unusual/Misc.

Fiction: Odd/Unusual/Misc.

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Of Blood and Oil: With the Israeli Underground [*SIGNED*], Arnovitz, Erwin
1 Arnovitz, Erwin Of Blood and Oil: With the Israeli Underground [*SIGNED*]
New York Exposition Press (c.1951) First Edition Hardcover Very Good- in Fair dj Signed by Author
[book just moderately worn, small tear in cloth at top of spine; jacket somewhat tattered, separated at front hinge (held together by Brodart cover), large piece missing at lower left of front panel]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. Novel about an idealistic young American physician who goes to Israel to participate in "the birth pangs of a new nation." Since the author himself was a young American physician, who like his protagonist studied at the University of Pittsburgh, one might speculate that this book was at least semi-autobiographical (which of course is not untypical of vanity-press fiction). Signed by Author 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Those Few, Bennett, Glenn Robert
2 Bennett, Glenn Robert Those Few
New York Vantage Press (c.1966) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[nice tight copy, light soiling to top edge, tiny bump to bottom rear corner; jacket lightly edgeworn, one tiny closed tear at bottom of rear panel]. Vanity-press utopian/paranoid novel, about a group of five brilliant men "of exceptional creativity, men who among 'those few' born to be freedom fighters of a new order." First they get together -- over a poker game, naturally (very manly) -- to work out their master plan for world control ("motivated not by a desire for conquest but to open a new frontier of freedom for all mankind"); then they set about to put it into action, "to acquire world economic domination through control of commercial transportation." There's a fly in the ointment, however -- it's World War III! (Which is "set aflame by Chinese communist guerillas," of course -- hence that giant red star looming over the globe, on the front jacket panel.) The five geniuses, by the way, are an economics professor, a millionaire investor, a manufacturer, a scientist, and an aeronautical engineer; it comes as no surprise to learn from the jacket blurb that the author was himself an aeronautical engineer. (As aficionados of vanity-press fiction know, such wondrous coincidences are pretty much par for the course.) I should also point out that this is a rare copy of this novel that has NOT been sullied by its author's signature or inscription. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Vulnerable ["A Novel of Fateful Cards"], Collins, Dale
3 Collins, Dale Vulnerable ["A Novel of Fateful Cards"]
Indianapolis The Bobbs-Merrill Company (c.1933) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine 
(in original box) [book is in excellent condition, tight and clean, with only the slightest bit of wear at the extremities; the original box, designed to resemble a box of playing cards, is age-discolored, worn at edges and has a couple of small cracks, but is all there (see scanned image)]. Unusual sea-adventure novel, about a group of characters whose fortunes at various card games contrive to bring them all together aboard a ship. A contemporary reviewer commented that the author, "has achieved a clever, ingenious, fascinating tale that is altogether out of the ordinary." 
Price: 125.00 USD
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The Believers, Conklin, Gary
4 Conklin, Gary The Believers
New York Carlton Press / A Geneva Book (c.1973) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
[minimal shelfwear, light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket heavily rubbed/scuffed, but no tears]. Brief fantasy tale (71 pages) about a small-town girl, Jane, who comes to New York City and is picked up at the bus terminal by "a friendly visitor from the spirit world who lives, of all places, in Central Park! Little by little Jane gets to know the handful of New Yorkers who still 'believe.' Included in this select group is a wealthy widow, two aged brothers (particularly well portrayed), and a middle-aged couple who live near Coney Island, and who still maintain the tender affection toward one another which they had as newlyweds." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Three Amazons versus The Last Eligible Male, Elliott, Ollie
5 Elliott, Ollie Three Amazons versus The Last Eligible Male
Bellevue WA Carlyle Publishing Co. (c.1967) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[mild wear at edges/corners; jacket rubbed, slight wrinkling/chipping at top of spine]. "This story concerns mainly the lives of six persons; A young lawyer, three tall muscular Turkish female athletes (the three amazons), an old timer from the Mississippi River, and a boy, half Japanese and half Turkish wish a high I.Q., whose chief mission in life is to marry off the hero to one or all of his guardians. The six are marooned in a musty, ill- smelling old mine for three months and eventually emerge in an utterly desolate world. The boy redoubles his efforts, as cupid." 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Return to Sender: The Secret Son of Elvis Presley, Fox, Les and Sue
6 Fox, Les and Sue Return to Sender: The Secret Son of Elvis Presley
Tequesta Fl West Highland Publishing Co. 1996 0-9646986-0-9 / 9780964698604 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) Susan Stoll 
[top corners moderately bumped, otherwise a nice clean unread copy; jacket has a small closed tear (internally tape-repaired) at bottom corner of front panel, otherwise very nice]. "It's a love story. It's a murder mystery. It's a novel about Elvis." 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Tale of a Whistling Shrimp, Grinioff, Vladimir B.
7 Grinioff, Vladimir B. Tale of a Whistling Shrimp
New York E. P. Dutton & Co. 1957 First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Roy Doty 
[spine a little turned, moderate wear at corners and spine ends, light dust-soiling to top edge; jacket is edgeworn, one tiny chip at top of rear panel, very minor chipping (no loss of text) at spine ends, light rubbing/soiling to rear panel]. A satirical novel of life under Soviet rule. Great jacket illustration of a giant shrimp looming over the Moscow skyline while playing the balalaika (and whistling, of course). (No, really!) 
Price: 9.00 USD
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Adel Hitro, Haas, Charles
8 Haas, Charles Adel Hitro
New York Vantage Press (c.1962) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) R.D. Francis 
[light wear to extremities, a little browning to page edges; jacket shows a little wear along top and bottom edges, a few tiny nicks and tears, one itty-bitty chip at top of front panel, fading to spine]. "A challenging social critique of our times," couched as a tale of an American newspaperman who is sent to a small (fictional) Pacific island ruled by the eponymous dictator. Hitro, an "inspiring orator with the eyes of a saint," promises his people that their island nation will become "a model of kindness in action" -- but at the same time, he uses the threat of "Redheadism" to throw all the red-haired people into internment camps, while secretly developing a bio-weapon (caused by laser beams) called "Rabid Amnesia," with which he plots to -- wait for it -- conquer the world! Nothing about the author's jacket bio or his photo suggests he's a crank, although I do note that he was a Past Master of the French Masonic Lodge, No. 329, of Los Angeles. (It should also be noted that this Mr. Haas is completely unrelated to either Charles F. Haas, who directed a lot of genre TV in the 1950s and 1960s, or to screenwriter-turned-novelist Charlie Haas, who had some pretty good credits from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, among them the sublime GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH.) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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The Sisgruder Conspiracy, Hobson, John
9 Hobson, John The Sisgruder Conspiracy
Glendale CA Great Western Publishing Co. (c.1980) 0866660305 / 9780866660303 First Edition Softcover Very Good 
[moderate overall wear]. Trade PB Satirical novel about a day in the life of an IRS agent -- the cover design has "IRS" crossed out and "Incredibly Ridiculous System" scrawled in its place. The book is described as "a stream-of-unconsciousness satirical view of our country's most unloved bureaucracy," with a protagonist who is "a sort of pathetic Americanized Cloisseau [I think they mean "Clouseau," as in Inspector] [who] stumbles in and out of one moronic misadventure after another." (Someday somebody should do a bibliography of self-published angry-man rage-against-the-system novels, of which this is a primo example.) 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Venus in Chains: Under the Lash of Devil Law, Jamison, H.F.
10 Jamison, H.F. Venus in Chains: Under the Lash of Devil Law
New York Bridgehead Books 1964 NO Reprint Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by Mahlon Blaine [see notes] 
[a little wear to extremities, but generally a solid clean book; jacket slightly edgeworn, a bit of scuffing and light soiling to the front panel]. (pen and ink drawings) Salacious novel about a mother and daughter who, along with an escaped convict they were attempting to aid, are taken to a Southern prison camp where the "infinite tortures to which the regular prisoners are subjected pale beside the tortures of a criminally abandoned sexuality which are visited upon the women." Although the book bears the notice "copyright 1953 by Samuel Roth," it's doubtful (as I've seen suggested) that "H.F. Jamison" is an unrecorded pseudonym for Roth. Bridgehead Books, though, was definitely a Roth enterprise; under its imprint he issued dozens of books, both originals and reprints, and often of a racy or suggestive nature, from roughly the early 1950s through the mid-1960s. Moreover, I've turned up a bit of evidence H.F. Jamison was a real person, who probably lived most of his (or her) life in Arkansas. (Not enough space to go into all that here; you'll just have to take my word for it.) Earlier printings of this book (Boar's Head Books, 1953; Bridgehead Books, 1954) bear substantially different jacket artwork, but the interior illustrations (there are a total of 7, including the frontispiece) appear to be the same; although they're credited in one source as the work of Mahlon Blaine, in this particular printing the signatures are either too poorly printed to make out or absent altogether. 
Price: 45.00 USD
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Profane Chronicles [*SIGNED*], Kafallo, Ivan Demitrius
11 Kafallo, Ivan Demitrius Profane Chronicles [*SIGNED*]
Los Angeles Wexford & Barrow 1995 1-879593-50-5 / 9781879593503 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by Claude Vandelli Signed by Author
[faint scuffing to bottom page edges; minor wrinkling at top/bottom edges of jacket]. SIGNED by the author opposite the title page. "A lush, exotic tale of sexual obsession and ecstasy. Few writers have reveled with such bacchanalian gusto in the arcana and subtleties of language, rewarding the percipient reader with an awareness of nuance that lends profundity to the banal, elegance to the coarse, precision to the crude, originality to the quotidian. Summoning his formidable linguistic arsenal to fire salvos upon the clichés of erotic literature of yesteryear, the author brings a brilliantly unconventional wit and insight to the evocation of his lusty passions." Signed by Author 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Low, Low Bidder!, Keith, Sam
12 Keith, Sam The Low, Low Bidder!
Las Vegas Shamrock House 1965 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj 
"The Funniest Thing That Ever Happened to Fabulous Las Vegas!" The author was "a construction Civil Engineer and General Manager of one of Nevada's leading construction firms [and] is recognized throughout the West as a structural concrete authority" -- all of which, I suppose, made him uniquely qualified to pen this "zany yarn" about Charlie Leid, "the Big Boss of Slam Bango Construction Corp. Watch him blaze a trail of planned confusion as he moves his unorthodox operations from Los Angeles into Fabulous Las Vegas! All Hell breaks loose!" (Laid in is a card promoting the author as a candidate for County Commissioner of Clark County, Nevada.)Life would be so much less interesting without vanity presses, wouldn't it? 
Price: 12.00 USD
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13 Low, Werner A. Peace Bridge
New York Vantage Press (c.1975) 0-533-01577-4 / 9780533015771 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good- dj 
[solid copy, minor wear at corners and spine ends, light soiling to top edge, strip of black tape affixed to front pastedown; jacket edgeworn, rubbed, moderately soiled, a couple of small tears, shallow chip at bottom of front panel (affecting author's last name)]. Uncommon vanity-press novel about a CIA agent who is tapped (along with two others) to "sabotage the Russian Atomic Plant and Control Site," more specifically "to dismantle and render ineffective the horrendous doomsday device which, with the turn of a wheel, had the capability of blowing the world to smithereens." Oh, yeah, and they're supposed to assassinate the Russian Premier, too. The author himself was a former intelligence agent, having worked for the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps) of the U.S. Army during and after World War II. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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The Snow-White Soliloquies, MacLeod, Sheila
14 MacLeod, Sheila The Snow-White Soliloquies
New York The Viking Press 1970 0-670-65383-7 / 9780670653836 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Graphics Partners 
[top edge dust-darkened, otherwise a solid, clean copy; jacket worn at bit at edges, with quite a bit of surface-scratching and laminate-wrinkling (although its shimmering silver design tends to somewhat obscure this)]. "The familiar story of Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs takes a sinister turn in this provocative novel as Snow-White herself lies musing in her glass coffin, captive audience to the soliloquies of a rotation of custodians assigned to guard her in the slow journey around the countryside in search of the Prince." The author was the wife of pop singer Paul Jones. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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They Shall Burn, Major, Rex (pseud. for Raymond Stephen McAtee)
15 Major, Rex (pseud. for Raymond Stephen McAtee) They Shall Burn
Burbank CA Mackray Publishing Co. (c.1964) First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
[mild wear to book; jacket has numerous small tears/creases at edges and corners, tiny bit of tape residue on flaps]. 'An authentic novel about the sexual conflicts of Catholic priests,' the book traces the tragic downfall of a young priest who breaks his vow of celibacy, from 'his first philandering with a notorious coquette at the university he was attending in Switzerland [through his] seeking assuagement of his illicit lusts in red-light districts of Washington, D.C.And, finally, we witness the disintegration of his personality in an affair that will interest even the most blase reader.' (The author claims to have obtained much of the information that inspired this novel from his daily contacts with students of the Department of Theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, which he attended from 1938 to 1941.) 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Dr. Miracle, Most, Howard Henry
16 Most, Howard Henry Dr. Miracle
Los Angeles Crescent Publications (c.1978) 0-89144-066-6 / 9780891440666 First Edition Softcover Very Good+ 
[tight clean copy, mildly edgeworn]. Trade PB Everything about the design of this book -- the clip-arty cover graphic, the author photo, just the whole feel of it -- screams "Fifties"! Imagine my surprise to discover that it was published in the late 1970s; go figure. Like so many vanity-press comic novels -- please, will somebody write the definitive history of this sub-literary sub-genre already? -- it wears its wackiness on its sleeve, with character names like Adelaide Aida, Lord Lox, Foreman Fastidious Forelock, Ramshar Baga Vita, and so on. It's all hilarious, good clean innocent fun (or so we're told), a tale about the title character, Dr. Marcus O. Miracle, a chiropractor and inventor, whose inventions -- machines that miraculously cure his patients' ills, thus turning them into his devoted worshippers -- naturally arouse the suspicions of The Government, in particular the D.F.I. (Drugged Foods Investigation Agency), and the attentions of Russian agents (remember them?), who kidnap him and hustle him off to the USSR. NOT signed by the author, and possibly unique thus. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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That Mist of Grandeur [*SIGNED*], Mother [Sarah Ann] Clare, as told to her daughter Dollie Clare
17 Mother [Sarah Ann] Clare, as told to her daughter Dollie Clare That Mist of Grandeur [*SIGNED*]
New York Vantage Press (c.1966) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Signed by Author
(price-clipped) [solid copy, a bit of wear at spine ends and bottom corners, tiny tear in cloth at top of spine, top corner of one page has been bent/scrunched/torn (no loss of text); jacket lightly edgeworn, a bit of surface scuffing, a couple of tiny nicks at spine ends]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED on the ffep: "Frances / with fond memories / of the organ class / Dollie Clare." "This haunting story, with a Welsh background, tells of the strange patterns of life that followed the slighting remark of a bigot to a sensitive young girl. It is a tale that takes you to Tenby, on the west coast of Wales, into the Rhondda Valley, and ends in California, where Merrie Carr is to find her destiny. [The book] is rich in the folklore and humor of Wales, rich in the philosophy of William Carr, Merrie's father, a man whose sound common sense intermingles with strangely prophetic insight and a certain mysticism that is Merrie's heritage." Signed by Author 
Price: 25.00 USD
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The Reichstag Plot: A Novel, Owens, Richard Henry
18 Owens, Richard Henry The Reichstag Plot: A Novel
New York Vantage Press (c.1982) 0-533-05175-4 / 9780533051755 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
[faint soiling to page edges, minor bumping/shelfwear to bottom corners; jacket rubbed, moderately soiled, worn at edges and extremities]. "A taut, compelling tale of power and intrigue set in Washington, D.C. in 1984. An FBI agent, David King, discovers a plot to seize power aimed at the Presidency and the Constitution. His investigation of the theft of paintings from the National Gallery of Art begins David's odyssey into terror. Ultimately, not only David's life but the fate of American democracy hangs in the balance." Well, sure -- what's the fun otherwise? Paranoid vanity-press thriller/fiction at its finest, which (of course) "strikes haunting similarities to contemporary national and world issues." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Pudoria, Pease, Tom
19 Pease, Tom Pudoria
New York Lyle Stuart (c.1961) First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good- dj Illustrated by (dj design) T&R 
[some fading to book covers at top/bottom edges, pages browned at edges; mostly-white jacket shows overall soiling & edgewear, a few small tears]. Utopian literature, of sorts, set in a mythical South American country -- "What happens when a country's censors forbid all talk of money -- and sex becomes the national pastime!" "The narrative of a very moral young man from Iowa. He finds himself in an undiscovered country in South America full of busty, shapely, friendly women and tolerant, generous friendly men. But there is something especially different about the country. Its inhabitants think money too indecent to be displayed, or even talked about except in veiled terms. On the other hand, they are extremely plain-spoken about those matters about which Americans...especially in Iowa...are (or used to be) reticent." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The Plaything, Philippe, Edward
20 Philippe, Edward The Plaything
New York Key Publishing Co. 1956 Unstated ed Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[top of book a little soiled/dusty; jacket just mildly worn, rear panel rubbed/soiled]. Tacky, cartoon-y jacket illustration. "To what depths can a virgin fall?" 
Price: 10.00 USD
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