First Editions and Revisiting Wolfe

May 14, 2011 | Rare and Collectible, Titles

We’ve teamed up with Gatz Hjortsberg to put his collection of first edition, 20th century writers on the shelves. A lot of good, solid fiction, but a couple stand out in particular: a 1951 Book of the Month Club edition of Catcher in the Rye with J.D. Salinger’s picture on the back (the famously reclusive writer was rarely photographed); the 40th Anniversary edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and the first Book Club edition of Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

It’s a great time to re-read Wolfe’s chronicle of Ken Kesey (author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest) his band of Merry Pranksters, as Magnolia Pictures is set to release a new documentary about their acid-fueled road trip to the 1964 World Fair later this summer.

Wolfe’s early books—including Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flack Catchers (also on our shelves)—marked an evolutionary turning point in American journalism, freeing writers to express their experiences more subjectively, paving the way for classics like Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing books, and leading to the cacophony of voices that characterizes journalism in the United States today.


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