04 February 2007

Johnny Got His Gun. Dalton Trumbo. 1939.

Dalton Trumbo. JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN. Lippincott, 1939

Current Selling Prices
$2000+ / £1200+- Want level 15 - 30 Quite High

Classic anti-war novel. Indomitable La- La land writer who had his collar felt by communist hunter McCarthy - being one of the Hollywood 10. From the blurb on the paperback: "This was no ordinary war. This was a war to make the world safe for democracy. And if democracy was made safe, then nothing else mattered--not the millions of dead bodies, nor the thousands of ruined lives.This is no ordinary novel. This is a novel that never takes the easy way out: it is shocking, violent, terrifying, horrible, uncompromising, brutal, remorseless and gruesome.but so is war. Winner of the National Book Award." DT seems like Faulkner with 'As I Lay Dying' to have written out the book in a very short time - 'in a fury.' One thinks of L.A. as producing deeply shallow writers but then you get guys like Trumbo, Fante, Chandler,Nathanael West and even in our time the underrated Bruce Wagner.

VALUE? A still saleable book despite signs that Trumbo's star is not in the ascendant. A very nice copy that was around at $5k seems to have sold or been knocked out, and another copy (also bright) was on offer at $3500. A copy in an unpleasant supplied jacket 'flatsigned' resided in an ebay shop at $7500 and is no longer there but is unlikely to have sold, although such sellers occasionally have 50% off and 'let's talk' sales. In 2005 at Sotheby's a copy made $1035 signed in an unremarkable jacket: "For Bill Lipman - who has ridden on Felton's coat, and hence knows a terror quite beyond anything in this book. Dalton Trumbo."
Trumbo's first book 'Eclipse' first published in UK 1935 (Lovat Dickson) used to be a classic sleeper esp as no one has heard of DT in 'darkest England.' $4000 book, fine in fine. It wasn't published in USA until 2005.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I got a beautifully red and white hard cover Copy-writed in 1939. It is the 1st in the 7 series of the Lippincott editions released in september 1939. NOT ONE WORD HAS BEEN OMMITTED-JESSICA M. GILKEY IRR. Requesting assistance.