brian cassidy bookseller: dec. 2019

Some new arrivals just in time for the holidays...

It's not too late! If you're feeling like Hunter above, here's a quick list of nineteen modern firsts countercultural, experimental, daring, or otherwise just plain cool. Order by this Thursday for guaranteed delivery by the 24th. Simply reply to this email to inquire or purchase.  And if you missed our latest catalogue from TPM, there are some great gift-worthy firsts (PDF) in there as well. Thanks for taking a look and happy holidays!
Incredibly scarce first printing of the first book in the Harry Potter series, the softcover issue, rarely seen in this condition.

First edition in first state binding.  (London): Bloomsbury, (1997). Original color pictorial paper boards. “Philosopher’s” misspelled on rear board; “Joanne” printed on copyright page; “1 wand” repeated on page 53. 223, [1] pages. Just a hint of a bump to corners; faintest toning to text block edges, as always. Otherwise bright, clean, unmarked. Fine. 

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against.”

First printing. The political, spiritual, and philosophical formation of Malcolm X. Written in collaboration with Alex Haley, and published after his assassination in 1965.

New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1965. Minor wear to boards; faint toning and shelf-soil to dust jacket. Fine in near fine jacket.


“Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!”

First English language edition of Beckett’s influential and enigmatic “tragicomedy in two acts.” Written in French, like all of Beckett’s post-World War II works, and translated by the author. Vladimir and Estragon wait in their obscure holding-place, captives of an unseen tormentor or their own self-inflicted tragedy of repetition, and the audience waits with them. A good-time holiday classic.

New York: Grove Press, 1954. Original blind-stamped black cloth with silver and gilt lettering to spine. In original unclipped ($4.75) black and white photographic dust jacket. Grove Press postcard laid in. Jacket lightly scuffed at upper edge, with a few very small chips to extremities. Pencil marking below jacket price. Fine in near fine jacket.



First printing of Tom Wolfe’s chronicle of the American effort to send humans to space, triply signed by the author,  test pilot Chuck Yeager, and astronaut John Glenn. Wolfe's story of Project Mercury and the Mercury Seven astronauts also discusses the contributions of test pilots Chuck Yeager and Scott Crossfield, their wives, and many other players in the central drama of the first manned spaceflight.

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979. Signed by Chuck Yeager and inscribed (“Best regards”) by John Glenn on front free endpaper; signed by Tom Wolfe on half-title. Creasing and minor wear to jacket edges; small stain to upper edge of verso only. Faint traces of soil to upper and lower edges of text block. Fine in near fine jacket.



Inscribed first edition of the hugely influential classic by a towering figure of the counterculture, the basis for one of the defining films of 1970s cinema.

New York: The Viking Press, (1962). Kesey’s inscription scrawled in black ink across front paste-down (“For Darrel / Kesey 1993”); previous owner’s signature penned to front endpaper. Jacket spine faintly sunned; only a touch of rubbing at spine folds, faint scratching (close inspection only) on front panel. Mild patches of offsetting and small stamp “Fe 21 ‘62” to verso of jacket. Small water spot to cloth. Presents beautifully. Very good in very good plus jacket.



“[E]very crime is committed for a reason.”

First edition of the Edgar Award-winning account of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders, inscribed by Bugliosi, the successful prosecutor of Charles Manson and author of the true crime genre's best-selling work. Helter Skelter reinforces its gripping narrative with an encyclopedic supply of reference materials: a lengthy cast of characters, an index, and a first-person account of the trial itself,  straight from a primary source and participant.

First Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1974. Inscribed on half-title: “My best personal wishes, / Vincent Bugliosi.” Spine lightly rubbed; minor scuff marks to extremities. Dust jacket scuffed along edges, with toning and creasing to flaps and jacket verso. One-inch tear to flap along fold. Jacket verso faintly foxed. Bright and attractive. Very good plus in very good jacket. 
“Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.”

The greatest haunted house novel of the twentieth century.

First edition. New York: The Viking Press, 1959. Jacket with minor chipping and rubbing to spine ends and corners; light shelfsoil to rear panel. Boards lightly bumped at corners and spine ends.  Near fine in very good jacket. 


“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that all the dunces are in confederacy against him.” (Jonathan Swift)

First printing of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic novel. Unpublished during Toole’s brief lifetime, CONFEDERACY at last found an audience eleven years after the author’s death. Championed by Walker Percy and received with extraordinary enthusiasm by critics, the novel is beloved for its two immortal characters: the lonely, grandiose disaster Ignatius C. Reilly,  and his city of New Orleans.

Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1980. Minor bumping to boards. Slight edgewear to jacket edges; small closed tear to center spine. Very good plus in near fine jacket. 



"I am the twentieth century. I am the ragtime and the tango; sans-serif, clean geometry. I am the virgin's-hair whip and the cunningly detailed shackles of decadent passion.”

First printing of Pynchon’s expansive and experimental picaresque novel, following Benny Profane, discharged sailor and “human yo-yo,” and the obsessive Herbert Stencil, in pursuit of the mysterious figure “V.”

Philadelphia and New York: J.P. Lippincott Company, 1963. Deckle edges. Mustard-yellow endpapers. Boards lightly faded along edges, spine ends gently bumped. Jacket lightly sunned at spine with minor edgewear. A few spots of adhesive residue to jacket flaps. Near fine in very good plus jacket.


"A screaming comes across the sky."

Pynchon's most celebrated achievement. Winner of the National Book Award, which the author refused to dignify by accepting; "obscene" and "unreadable" to the Pulitzer board members of 1974, who chose to withhold that year's prize altogether rather than see it go to GRAVITY'S RAINBOW.

First Edition. New York: The Viking Press, 1973. Minor wear to boards; jacket spine faintly sunned; light wear, creasing to jacket folds and extremities. Fine in near fine jacket.

First printing of Angelou's autobiographical masterpiece, lengthily inscribed on the front endpaper: "To Mr. Quinn, A "Play Gentleman" /  I hope this is the first of many mutual exchanges. Write On! Maya Angelou".

New York: Random House, 1969. Light rubbing to extremities; faint smudge to half-title page. Minor creasing to jacket at spine, with one small tear to lower edge of rear panel. Near fine in like jacket.


"I believe in low lights and trick mirrors."

Signed second printing of Warhol's collection of aphoristic sayings and longer pieces, much of it adapted from taped conversations with the artist's collaborators and ghostwriters. Fancifully inscribed /annotated across title page in black marker.

New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975. Minor wear to spine ends; tiny stain to fore-edge. Slightest wear and creasing to jacket extremities. Near fine in near fine jacket. 



First edition of Kerouac's first published novel, issued under his given name "John." Like his more experimental works to follow, The Town and The City makes extensive use of autobiographical material, including a somewhat altered version of the killing of David Kammerer by Lucian Carr. 

New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1950. Faint bumping to spine ends; minor creasing and one small closed tear to jacket. Near fine.


“--So I make an excellent pan of muffins and tell myself "Blessed is the man who can make his own bread"--Like that, the whole three weeks, happiness--"

First printing of this elegy to the Beat generation, written by Kerouac on a large continuous scroll over a ten-day period.

New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1962. Minor wear to boards at spine ends. Dust jacket lightly worn at extremities with shelf-soil to front and rear panels. Near fine in very good plus jacket.


“You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.”

Though written in the United States, Lolita found no publishers in its native country willing to take it on -- some calling it obscene; others, reading further, finding it disappointingly literary. The novel was thus first published in Paris by Maurice Girodias’s Olympia Press in two volumes, where it was promptly banned by the French government even as smuggled copies made their way to England and America. 

Paris: The Olympia Press, 1955. Two volumes. Original green printed wrappers, priced Francs: 900 on back covers. Mild edgewear to both volumes; light toning and creasing to spines. In custom green clamshell box. Near fine.

First printing of the dark romantic comedy, later expanded into a cult-classic screenplay. This copy is unusual for its double inscription, signed by Higgins twice to the same recipients at different dates. 

Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1971. Inscribed in black pen to front free endpaper: “For Jinette & Paul Emile / With all best wishes and much love, Colin / Mar 1973,” followed by: “To Jinette and Paul Emile / Who will always be / My first family in France, with all my love, Colin / Jan 1974”. Light wear and faint traces of shelfsoil to jacket, short tape repair to jacket verso. Near fine in very good plus jacket. 


Signed copy of the landmark culinary memoir by the late, beloved Anthony Bourdain.

Bourdain’s flamboyant account of a thrilling, dirty underworld of cooks and restauranteurs fueled by cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, adrenaline, and raw, bloody ambition. Beneath his fondness for shocking phrases and absolute judgments, Bourdain’s passion for food extended to passionate respect for the people and cultures that produce it. Kitchen Confidential showcases not only his wit and nerve, but also a good-hearted humor that only grew more kind and humane over the years. 

Later printing. New York: Bloomsbury, 2000. Original black boards with spine lettering stamped in red. In original unclipped ($24.95) photographic dust jacket. i-x, 308, [2] pages. Signed by Bourdain in black ink on title page. Minor wear to extremities. Near fine in fine jacket. 


“There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man on an ether binge.”

A desperate, drug-fueled experiment in ‘gonzo’ journalism, FEAR AND LOATHING was written in feverish hotel-room notebook-scribbling sessions 
during Thompson’s stint as Washington Correspondent for Rolling Stone. Surreal, hallucinatory, endlessly quotable.

First edition. New York: Random House, (1971). Original unclipped dust jacket illustrated by Ralph Steadman. Black and white illustrations by Steadman throughout. Jacket with barest rubbing to spine foot, faint spot to verso of spine head, close inspection only. Book edges just sunned, minimal foxing to text block edges. Near fine in fine jacket.


“I have in a sense begun to see the entire universe backward. With the other side of my brain!

A pristine first printing of Dick’s semi-autobiographical novel of an investigator and drug addict whose private life and psyche come apart under the influence of the reality-reversing Substance D. With jacket illustration by legendary film-makers Stephen and Timothy Quay, who began their careers designing science fiction book covers before turning to animation. 

Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977.  Jacket illustration by The Quays. Minor wear to spine ends and jacket edges. Fine in fine jacket.


Copyright © 2019 Brian Cassidy, Bookseller ABAA, All rights reserved.

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