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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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The Believers, Conklin, Gary
3 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
4 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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Tale of a Whistling Shrimp, Grinioff, Vladimir B.
5 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
6 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
7 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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The Low, Low Bidder!, Keith, Sam
8 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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9 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
10 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)
11 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
12 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
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 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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J.G., The Upright Ape, Price, Roger
17 Price, Roger J.G., The Upright Ape
New York Lyle Stuart (c.1960) NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Bevans, Marks & Barrow, Inc. 
[nice tight copy, minimal shelfwear, top edge slightly dust-soiled; jacket a bit soiled, some wear and minor chipping along top edge, slight paper loss at top of spine, a couple of small tears at top of rear panel]. "...being a NOVEL about THE WAY THINGS ARE as discovered in the adventures of an innocent HERO and illuminated by his forthright reaction to WOMEN, men, progress and other contemporary phenomena." The title character's full name is J. Gorilla Gorilla Primate. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Reflections in a Glass Eye [*SIGNED*], Prince, Don
18 Prince, Don Reflections in a Glass Eye [*SIGNED*]
San Francisco Hesperian House (c.1960) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj design) James Buck Signed by Author
[light shelfwear only, minor discoloration/staining along top edge of rear board; jacket slightly chipped at top of spine, small closed tear and associated horizontal crease at top edge of rear panel]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. Strange and uncommon novel, written from the point of view of a ventriloquist's dummy. The author's father, Arthur Prince, was a world- renowned ventriloquist, who toured with -- and was buried with! -- his "ventriloqual figure," Sailor Jim. According to the jacket blurb, the author "suggests that the puppet enlarged his area of domination from father to son, and acted as a macabre muse in the shaping of this work of fiction. Creeped out? Me, too! Signed by Author 
Price: 75.00 USD
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The Gogglers: A Political Satire, Raiden, Edward
19 Raiden, Edward The Gogglers: A Political Satire
Los Angeles Saturn Books (c.1967) NO First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by Penelope Oshatz, Joe Johnson 
[lovely copy, tight and clean, appears unread; jacket shows the slightest bit of surface wear]. Satirical sci-fi novel, apparently self-published (I've turned up no other titles from a Los Angeles-based "Saturn Books"), and yet another reason why vanity-press and author-published novels are worthy of a comprehensive bibliography of their own. (If one already exists, please tell me about it!) I mean, what's not to love about a novel in which an astronaut travels to a planet (Goggle) that was colonized eons earlier by an Earthman, whose personal idiosyncracies have now become the bizarre customs of an entire civilization? Central to the story is the idea that the guy with the biggest schlong (oops, can I say "schlong"?) is the Chief of State -- and since our astronaut's hero's name is (ahem) Peter Longfellow, you might suspect that he's got a lot of, shall we say, leadership potential. The author, per the jacket blurb, was a lawyer and a writer of satirical poetry. (++) 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The Second Son, Sailor, Charles
20 Sailor, Charles The Second Son
New York Avon Books (c.1979) NO Book Club Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[nice clean copy, light wear at spine ends and bottom corners, bookplate on front pastedown; jacket bright and attractive, minor wear at extremities, one itsy-bitsy tear at top of spine, light rubbing/soiling to rear panel]. "Exclusive Hardcover Edition for Members Only"; originally issued as a paperback original, with this printing being the only hardcover edition. Novel about a construction worker who survives a 24-story fall and finds himself with Christ-like powers; apparently has something of a cult following. An exceptionally nice copy of a book that generally does not wear well. 
Price: 80.00 USD
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