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King Rat.

Published: Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1962

Stock code: 100124

Price: £1,750

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First edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: “This is for Larry Kramer – not because he is a friend of Mr. Big (Little, Brown) – but because he liked a story whispered to me on an ancient wind – and because, too, of understanding. Salam al likim [approximate phonetization of traditional Arabic salutation], Oct. 29 ’62. Jamie.” Kramer later rose to prominence in the 1970s as an author, gay rights activist, and founder of ACT UP. Kramer and Clavell would have met when Kramer, then an unknown, was working in Hollywood rewriting scripts for Columbia Pictures. King Rat was written by Clavell in an intense period of three months in 1960. “The book was also a catharsis for Clavell, as it told of a power struggle among a group of Japanese prisoners of war. It was an immediate best-seller and the first of what Clavell called his Asian saga” (ODNB).

Octavo. Original buff cloth, titles to spine in dark green, publisher’s device to front board in blind, top edge dark green. With the dust jacket. A few slight marks to boards; an excellent copy in the lightly rubbed jacket with slightly toned spine, a few nicks and chips to extremities and short closed tear with minor loss to foot of spine.

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