First UK edition, first printing. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Nancy Burns – Can I ask you to be careful not to treat this book as ‘literature’? Whatever else it is, it’s not that. Of course, there is a good deal of ‘fiction’ in it, but… For example, my publisher’s first question when he had read it: ‘It’s great! But are you working on another novel now? It was as though he hadn’t read it at all. Alex. London, March 1963.” Cain’s Book had been respectfully received on first publication in New York in 1960 but the London edition caused a furore and its publisher was successfully prosecuted for obscenity.
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Octavo. Original red cloth boards, titles to spine gilt. With the dust jacket. Bumping to ends of spine and corners, front board top corner bent, in the mildly toned dust jacket, shallow chipping to ends of spine, light creasing along edges, faint stain along front flap fold. A very good copy.