Catalog 150, K-L

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53. KEROUAC, Jack. On The Road. NY: Viking, 1957. His second novel, the quintessential "road novel" and the book that defined the Beat generation. Kerouac's fictionalized account of his exploits with his friend Neal Cassady -- here depicted as "Dean Moriarty" -- became a cultural landmark, helped promote the popularity of Zen Buddhism and other Eastern traditions in the West, and popularized the concept of "recreational" drug use, a novel idea in the Fifties but taken for granted a decade later. Unlike many self-consciously "hip" novels, both before and since, it continues to be read and admired today, retaining its freshness by virtue of the immediacy of its writing, the clarity of its youthful perceptions, and the authenticity of the characters' quests. All by itself, it ensures Kerouac's standing as an important American writer. A fine copy in a nearly perfect dust jacket with trace foxing to the rear panel but none of the rubbing to the predominantly black jacket that is so typical of this title. Bright top edge stain to the pages and a complete absence of fading to the spine make this perhaps the nicest copy of this postwar classic that we have ever seen -- certainly the nicest in the past couple of decades, at least. In a custom full leather slipcase and cloth chemise.

54. KEROUAC, Jack. The Dharma Bums. NY: Viking, 1958. A review copy of this classic of Beat literature, by consensus Kerouac's best-loved book after On the Road and the novel that introduced Beat poet Gary Snyder to the world as "Japhy Ryder." Fine in a very close to fine dust jacket, with only a tiny bit of rubbing to the largely black jacket. Very scarce thus. With review slip and promotional photograph by Robert Frank laid in.

55. KESEY, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. NY: Viking (1962). A review copy of Kesey's landmark first book, a pivotal novel of the Sixties, which helped to shape a generation's attitudes on issues of authority, power, madness and, finally, individuality. The early printings of the U.S. edition contain text that was later excised and changed after a lawsuit was brought against Kesey and his publisher by a woman who was a nurse at the institution which Kesey used as a model for the novel; she charged him with portraying a character that was based on her (and had the same first name) in a disparaging manner. The character was rewritten after the third hardcover printing, and later editions, including the mass market paperback and the "definitive" text in the Viking Critical Library Series, have an alternate character in her place. A fine copy, with topstain uncharacteristically rich, in an unfaded, nearly perfect dust jacket with just a couple of tiny spots of rubbing. Inscribed by the author in 1992. With publisher's review slip laid in. By a significant measure, the nicest copy of this book we've ever seen, probably as nice a copy as exists. In a custom quarter leather clamshell box.

56. KESEY, Ken. Sometimes a Great Notion. NY: Viking (1964). Kesey's second novel, the presumed first issue, with Viking ship logo on first half-title, in the first issue dust jacket with photo credited to Hank Krangler instead of Hank Kranzler. Inscribed by Kesey with a full-page drawing on the front free endpaper -- a drawing of a shelf of books, the titles of which comprise the inscription, above a record player, the music of which is represented and gives the message "I'll be seeing you/ Ken Kesey." The inscription reads as follows: "For Bill & Ann.. - / [The following as book titles on a shelf] So/ until/ more/ time or place/ when face to face/ we try one/ other scene/ or what I mean/ is/ when again/ we see/ what then/ ?/ and lock/ our horns/ in trial and/ laff and/ talk.../ [As music] I'll be seeing/ [As knobs on an amplifier/ YOU/ [signed] Ken Kesey." The image also contains what appears to be a supersonic jet flying over the bookshelf, with the annotation "ROAR" trailing behind it. The recipients were Bill Gilliland and his wife, Ann. Gilliland was a Texas friend of Larry McMurtry, who worked in a bookstore with McMurtry in the early and mid-1960s and who, as a result of his friendship with McMurtry -- who was a good friend of Kesey's -- hosted Kesey when he came to Dallas in 1964, shortly after the publication of Sometimes a Great Notion, to give a reading and talk at the Wellesley College Club Books & Authors luncheon. McMurtry and Kesey had become friends at Stanford University, where they both participated in Wallace Stegner's Writing Workshop, and McMurtry hung out with Kesey at Perry Lane, where an early psychedelic scene flourished, which later moved to La Honda, where the Merry Pranksters were born. McMurtry's Perry Lane time was recounted in his novel All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers. Kesey's talk at the Wellesley College Club was controversial and in some respects famously unsuccessful. He was invited because he was a promising, up-and-coming young author of a critically acclaimed second novel, just recently published; but Kesey was already embarked on the trajectory that would lead him away from the literary life and toward becoming an icon of the counterculture, having recently completed his cross-country trip with the Pranksters in the school bus they called Furthur. Instead of simply giving a reading as everyone expected, Kesey turned the occasion into a piece of performance art, engaging the audience -- largely made up of wealthy, rather formal Dallas matrons -- in unexpected and provocative ways, tossing rubber balls at them unexpectedly and generally disrupting any sense of decorum that might have prevailed on the occasion. Afterward it was made clear he would never be invited back; it wasn't clear if he would even receive the agreed-upon fee for his speaking, and when he returned home to Gilliland's house he got very stoned, if he wasn't already, and drew the inscription in this book. Gilliland described all this later, and a Dallas newspaper apparently covered the occasion as well. An early, unique inscription by Kesey, roughly contemporary with publication of the book and perhaps the closest thing to a poem that we have seen Kesey write. Probably the best Kesey inscription we've ever encountered.

57. KNOWLES, John. A Separate Peace. London: Secker and Warburg 1959. The author's scarce and indifferently manufactured first book, a classic and influential coming-of-age novel. Filmed once theatrically (in 1972 with Parker Stevenson) and twice more for television. Nominal age toning to the pages, else fine in a fine and beautiful dust jacket.

58. -. Same title, the first American edition. NY: Macmillan, 1960. Fine in a fine, first issue dust jacket. Apparently the publisher and author felt that this first issue jacket made the title look too much like a children's book and it was quickly changed; the later jacket, all text, is much more common than the first issue.

59. KNOWLES, John. Peace Breaks Out. NY: HRW (1981). The sequel to A Separate Peace, which by this time had become a generational classic. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

60. LE CARRÉ, John. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. London: Gollancz, 1963. Le Carré's third book, the definitive Cold War novel, which brought a new level of realism to the genre of spy fiction. Le Carré's first two books had enjoyed only modest success and the first printing of this title was therefore modest; it was reprinted immediately, numerous times, becoming a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic. Maybe a slight spine slant; still fine in a fine dust jacket, with none of the fading to the spine that is common with this title. A beautiful copy of what is arguably the most important espionage novel of the 20th century.

61. LE CARRÉ, John. Morrab. [Penzance]: [Morrab Library], 1997. Le Carré's speech accepting the presidency of the Morrab Library. Computer printout; thirteen pages; double-spaced on cream paper; one of approximately 50 copies signed by Le Carré. Fine.

62. LEE, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia & New York: Lippincott (1960). Her only book, a huge bestseller upon publication which won the Pulitzer Prize, was selected for two different book clubs, and was made into an Academy Award-winning film. The first edition (i.e., first printing, which has been estimated at having been 5000 copies) is not only very scarce, it is virtually impossible to find in collectable condition due to a number of factors: a large percentage of copies of the first printing went to libraries; the dust jacket is unlaminated and printed in dark ink, which tends to rub and show the white paper through the ink; and, because it is one of the best-loved books in American literature, copies tend to have been read, handled, passed around, and re-read -- and show the wear and tear of such use. This copy has a bit of a lean to the spine; otherwise it is fine in a fine dust jacket with only the most minute bits of rubbing at the folds and the spine extremities. Probably the nicest copy of this book we've ever seen, and certainly the nicest in the past decade or more. A nearly immaculate copy, completely unrestored, and virtually impossible to find in this condition.

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