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The Man Who Turned Into a Stick. Three Related Plays – SIGNED - K b Abe

1975 - University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo - First Edition in English
Inscribed by Kōbō Abe in Japanese and signed in English. Translated by Donald Keene.

This work contains three plays written between 1957 and 1969, usually presented together and symbolising the different stages of life. The first, representing birth, is
The Suitcase. The second, The Cliff of Time, represents life itself, or The Process and the third, The Man who Turned into a Stick, is death.

The Man Who Turned Into A Stick (棒になった男 – Bō ni natta otoko), is considered a primary example of magic realism in Japanese literature. 
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Price HK$ 6,000



Watership Down - Richard Adams

1972 - Rex Collings, London - First Edition
A beautiful copy of this classic heroic fantasy and political novel about a small group of rabbits who are anthropomorphised, possessing their own culture, language (Lapine), proverbs, poetry, and mythology. Evoking epic themes, the novel recounts the rabbits' odyssey as they escape the destruction of their warren to seek a place in which to establish a new home, encountering perils and temptations along the way.

The novel takes its name from the rabbits' destination, Watership Down, a hill in the north of Hampshire, England, near the area where Adams grew up, and is based on a collection of tales that Adams told to his young children to pass the time on trips to the countryside.

Though it was initially rejected by thirteen publishers before eventually being accepted by Rex Collings,
Watership Down has never been out of print, and was the recipient of several prestigious awards. Adapted into an acclaimed film and a television series, it is Penguin Books' best-selling novel of all time.

‘As much about freedom, ethics and human nature as it is about a bunch of bunnies looking for a warm hidey-hole and some mates.’ – Paul Hughes.
 
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Price HK$ 15,000



The Man With the Golden Arm - Nelson Algren

1949 - Doubleday & Company, New York - First Edition
There’s people in hell who want ice water…’

Algren’s shockingly brilliant novel of the disinherited,
The Man With the Golden Arm tells the sordid tale of Frankie Machine, the ‘golden arm’ dealer of a back street Chicago gambling den, whose heroin addiction and failing marriage drive him to the depths of despair.

The character of Frankie Machine was memorably brought to life on the silver screen by Frank Sinatra, in Otto Preminger’s 1955 film adaption of the novel, which co-starred Kim Novak and Eleanor Parker.
 
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Price HK$ 2,600



1928 - The Nonesuch Press, London - Limited edition of 1475 copies of which this is number 442.
‘Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, where the right of way was lost.’ – Hell.

To run over better waters the little vessel of my genius now hoists her sails, as she leaves behind her a sea so cruel.’ – Purgatory.

In the heaven which most of His light I have been, and have seen things which he who descends from there above neither knows how nor has power to recount.’ – Paradise.

A gorgeous large limited edition of this medieval epic, combining Botticelli’s 42 sepia drawings (34 on double sheet, 8 on single sheet) with Dante’s
Divina Commedia in both Italian and English. Showing only a modicum of the usual spine fading to which this vellum is notoriously prone, and in the original matching leather trimmed and felt lined slipcase.

Reportedly based on Dante’s experiences during his banishment from Florence, this reinterpretation of Christian themes had a seminal influence on philosophy, literature, and art, inspiring Chaucer, John Milton, Salvadore Dali, and T.S. Eliot, among many others.

‘Dante and Botticelli represented the Florence of two very different generations. No Renaissance artist contemplated the verities of Christianity with a depper faith. Botticelli’s drawings are so much more than a commentary on, or a two-dimensional summation of, the
Divina Commedia. They are breathtakingly beautiful. And in realising his project, Botticelli refined his own mysticisim and thus anticipated the intense lyricism of his final years’ – Francis Russell on the 2001 Botticelli exhibition at the Royal Academy (Country Life). 
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Price HK$ 19,000



An African Millionaire - Grant Allen

1897 - Grant Richards, London - First Edition
A bright sharp copy of what is considered to be the first work to feature a criminal protagonist, and the first great gentleman rogue of mystery fiction - Colonel Clay.

‘Wealthy, confident and handsome, Charles Van Drift is not accustomed to being swindled and his brush with Colonel Clay both rattles and infuriates him. As his South African diamond fortune takes hit after hit from the quick-witted master of disguise, Allen leaves even the reader guessing: who can you trust? Van Drift grows more suspicious of those around him and a few too many misguided accusations shake the millionaire's confidence. Colonel Clay is in his head.’
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Journey into Fear - Eric Ambler

1940 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A clean and wonderfully bright, thus rare, jacketed first edition of this thrilling tale of international intrigue, beginning in Istanbul at the outbreak of World War II.

‘Returning to his hotel room after a late-night flirtation with a cabaret dancer at an Istanbul boîte, Graham is surprised by an intruder with a gun. What follows is a nightmare of intrigue for the English armaments engineer as he makes his way home aboard an Italian freighter. Among the passengers are a couple of Nazi assassins intent on preventing his returning to England with plans for a Turkish defence system, the seductive cabaret dancer and her manager husband, and a number of surprising allies.’ [from a later edition]
 
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Price HK$ 14,000



The Night-Comers - Eric Ambler

1956 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of this thriller set in Southeast Asia. 'The Night-Comers' covers 24 critical hours in a military coup d'etat. Published in America as 'State of Siege'. Filmed by Rank in 1959.

Written by Ambler on his return from travelling through Southeast Asia.

Batik style patterned dust jacket designed by Judith Bledsoe.
 
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Price HK$ 1,100



Cause For Alarm - Eric Ambler

1940 - Alfred A. Knopf, New York - Second Printing
A classic Ambler spy thriller.

It seemed to me that the train had started to make a curious thumping noise. I tried to separate the noise, identify it, and realised that it was the sound of the blood pumping in my head. I knew suddenly that I was scared, scared stiff

‘Nicky Marlow needs a job. He's engaged to be married and the employment market in Britain in 1937 is pretty slim. So when his fiancée points out the position with an English armaments manufacturer in Italy, he jumps at the chance. Soon after he arrives, however, he learns the sinister truth about his predecessor's departure and finds himself courted by two agents with dangerously different agendas. In the process, Marlow realizes that it's not so simple just to do the job he's paid for - not in fascist Italy, on the eve of a world war’ [
Penguin Classics] 
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Price HK$ 2,000



 
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