Berger, Thomas. Little Big Man. New York: The Dial Press, 1964. First edition, presented in original dust jacket and original boards.
Presented is a first edition printing of Thomas Berger's satirical recounting of the American West, Little Big Man. Published in 1964, Little Big Man was Berger’s most popular novel, resulting in a 1970 film rendition by Arthur Penn and a subsequent 1999 sequel by Berger, Return of Little Big Man. Chapter 1 and part of chapter 2 of Little Big Man first appeared in a slightly different form in the March 1964 issue of the popular magazine Esquire, just prior to the novel's release that same year.
Little Big Man purports to be the memoirs of a 111 year-old frontiersman, Jack Crabb, who was discovered in a nursing home by writer Ralph Fielding Snell. Snell decides to chronicle Crabb's experiences and tall-tales of the West; yet notes Crabb was either “the most neglected hero in the history of this country or a liar of insane proportion.”
Readers are thrown into a whirl-wind of flashy Western tales. Crabb incredulously claims to be a participant in many of the West’s famous events, fighting on the side of the Seventh Calvary at the Little Big Horn, acting as witness to a gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Sitting Bull's death, touring with Buffalo Bill Cody and the Wild West Show, and on a first-name basis with many Old West legends from Wild Bill Hickok to Wyatt Earp.
Henry Miller, in a letter to Berger’s publisher, called the novel “an epic, such as Mark Twain might have given us, a delicious, crazy, panorama enlargement.”
Thomas Berger (1924- 2014) was an American novelist whose darkly comic fiction probes and satirizes the American experience. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Berger's first novel, Crazy in Berlin (1958), grew out of his experiences in the U.S. Army during World War II. Although he would occasionally write short stories, non-fiction articles, and plays, Berger preferred the long narrative form of the novel. He produced a steady run of critically acclaimed books throughout his career. In 1965, he received a Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Western Heritage Award, for Little Big Man. In 1984, his book The Feud was nominated by the Pulitzer committee for fiction for the Pulitzer Prize.
Overall, very good condition. First edition printing, presented in original red dust jacket. Dust jacket with light wear and sun fading to jacket's spine. Bound in original brown cloth boards, with title gilt title embossed on black cloth. Interior pages very clean and bright. 440 pages.