Close Up: Two Sought Adventure

closeupFritz Leiber

I’ve had these pics over on my Gnome Press Flickr site for almost a year. Since I posted a Review for this title recently, it’s past time to get the Close Up done.

A somewhat odd cover. Kind of stylized and I didn’t like it much at first.  I’m a very classic ‘Golden Age’ cover kind of guy.  The covers for Pattern for Conquest and Cosmic Engineers being two of my favorites.  It grew on me however, and I’m not adverse to it now.  It does thought present a nice segway from Golden Age art into the New Age nonsense represented by the likes of The Philosophical Corps.  Come to think of it, because Gnome Press spanned a period of time running from the tail end of the Golden Age to the beginnings of the New Age, the evolution of their cover art provides an interesting commentary.  I might post about that sometime.  Anyway, check out the cover below.

The artwork quite accurately depicts our two heroes – Fahrfrd and the Grey Mouser.  Some slight rubbing on the cover that is somewhat masked by the appearance of the artwork.  Around the jacket where the block sits against the flaps there is some foxing on the unprotected areas there.

The boards are a little rubbed, but in generally good condition.

From the top and bottom we can see the typical GP browning of the block.

Though it’s not too bad for a book of this vintage.  You can see that the edges of the jacket are in quite nice condition as well.  Except for one thing.
This view, while illustrating the nice condition of the edging, hints at two major problems with this copy.  First, there is a 1cm tear through the ‘W’ on the front.
And you can see the rubbing on the spine of the jacket is quite bad.
Close photography always really highlight cosmetic issues like this.
The tail of the spine presents no issues except that damn rubbing.
The back of the jacket exhibits more of the endemic rubbing.

Year: 1957
Paid: $40
Art: Lionel Dillon
Copies: 4000 (Eshbach, wikipedia)
Binding: Black boards with red lettering on the spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated
Chalker & Owings: TWO SOUGHT ADVENTURE, by Fritz Leiber, 1957, pp.186, $3.00. 4000 copies printed, 3000 initially in black boards, 1000 in 1959–1960 in gray cloth.
Currey: TWO SOUGHT ADVENTURE. N.Y. Gnome Press Inc., [1957]. Two bindings, priority as listed: (A) Black boards stamped in red; (B) Gray cloth stamped in red, (C) Red boards stamped in black (not seen) First edition so stated on copyright page.
Comments: Rubbing, as has been described above, is the major flaw with this copy.  If we set that aside, it’s pretty damn good.  Unfortunately though, we can’t set it aside.  However, $40 isn’t outlandish for this title even in this condition.  Interesting that Currey notes an unseen (C) state binding while officially recognizing only two.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database



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