29 June 2005
BURNETT, William Riley (1899-1982). Little Caesar. New York: The Dial Press, 1929.
8o. Original dark blue cloth, lettered in yellow (extremities rubbed, front free endpaper removed, front hinge repaired, rear hinge cracked; pictorial dust jacket design by Irving Politzer (spine ends chipped, a few tears, price clipped); quarter morocco folding case with onlaid cloth design based on dust jacket design. Provenance: unknown recipient (presentation inscription).
FIRST EDITION, of author's first book. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by Burnett on the front flyleaf: "Maurie again this is the book that started it all. W.R. Burnett." Burnett's first novel provides an unprecedented insider's look at Chicago gangsters that established the author's reputation as a leading writer in the hard-boiled style. The novel would be made into a 1931 film starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Edward G. Robinson, whose memorable Rico helped define the stock character of the Hollywood gangster. BURNETT PRESENTATION COPIES ARE RARE.
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