Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jewish Heritage Month titles: 4 Herman Wouk first editions for his second century


One of America’s longest-lived authors, Herman Wouk, turns 102 years old this coming week. His first of 24 books appeared in 1941; his last, a memoir of turning 100- came out in 2016, eight decades later.

Henry Bemis Books has four of Wouk’s works on offer, including this new arrival:

Herman Wouk, Youngblood Hawke (Doubleday, 1st ed., 1962). LOC 62-7698. Hardcover, unclipped dustjacket, mylar protective cover. 783 pp. Grey boards with gold cover imprint of Wouk’s signature and the pen-and-ink set of the dut jacket design; spine title in gold in a black block. Slight edgewear and sunning. Very good condition. Rare. HBB price: $40 or best offer.

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Kirkus Reviews wrote in 1962,

Herman Wouk has the rare gift of the natural story teller. Youngblood Hawke carries one in tumultuous crisis after crisis...Hawke is a rough-hewn Kentucky egocentric, convinced that he has written a masterpiece which is only the beginning; that he will cut a wide swathe across the whole of literary America. And this he does, against almost insuperable odds. He is incredibly naive in many directions:- the victim of a rich older woman's passion, a credulous- but never venal- fool in the clutches of a smiling small-time operator, an idiot when it comes to tax matters, a man ridden by his emotions, unable- it seems- to achieve happiness with the one right woman for him, and scarred through life by his mother's lust for money. He makes unbelievable fortunes- books, movies, plays, and so on; and loses them on a grand scale. And in the end, when security is within his grasp, he burns out his life on the altar of a sort of basic integrity. The scene shifts from New York to Kentucky coal mining country, to Hollywood, to Europe's playgrounds, even to Peru. And always the rewards of success elude our hero, and even his lust is sated and leaves him destroyed and unsatisfied.

Henry Bemis Books is pleased to offer two of Wouk’s earlier bestsellers and one of his later works:

Wouk, Herman, Marjorie Morningstar (Doubleday, 1st ed. 1955). LOC 55-6485. Well-regarded story of a Jewish girl who takes on Broadway, and the bad choices that follow. Made into a hit movie. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket. good condition. HBB price: $35 obo.

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Wouk, Herman, The Caine Mutiny (Doubleday, 1st ed., 1951). Wouk’s wartime tale of a Navy commander coming unglued on duty won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952 and was made into a perennially popular movie with Humphrey Bogart. The first printing was of 22,500 copies, but, as First Edition Points notes, “It is unclear how many came  with first issue dust jackets.” The jacket was changed to correct the misnaming of Wouk’s 1948 novel, City Boy, as The City Boy. We assume this copy is a second printing. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, and in very good condition. HBB price: $100 obo.


Wouk, Herman, The Hope (Little Brown, stated 1st ed., 1st printing, 1993). ISBN 0-316-95519-1. Now in his centenary and still writing (his last, a memoir, was published in 2016) Wouk is one of America’s masters of sweeping historical fiction. The Hope tackles the first twenty years of the State of Israel through the lives of four couples living through those turbulent times. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket. One small scratch on the back of the dust jacket removes this from a “fine” classification. HBB price: $40 obo.



Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at  Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like. #HermanWouk #LiteraryBirthdays #Book of the Day #RareBooks #HenryBemisBooks #Charlotte

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