AMERICAS "BEST WAR NOVEL": FIRST EDITION OF THE NAKED AND THE DEAD, INSCRIBED BY NORMAN MAILER TO JOURNALIST JOE HAAS
The Naked and the Dead.
Item Number: 4625
New York: Rinehart and Company, 1948.
First edition of the author’s first book. Thick octavo, original black boards. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to journalist Joe Haas, "For Joe Haas in Jamaica after our Lady Norman Mailer May 1969." Some of the usual rubbing to the boards, near fine in a very good first issue price-clipped dust jacket with light wear to the extremities.
Norman Mailer claimed to have four books on his desk while he wrote The Naked and the Dead: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Wolfe's Of Time and the River, Dos Passos' U.S.A. and Farrell's Studs Lonigan. It was with this tongue partly in cheek that he asserted that the "overspirit is Tolstoy, the rococo comes out of Dos Passos, the fundamental slogging style from Farrell and the occasional overrich descriptions from Wolfe." The Naked and the Dead follows the story of an army platoon of foot soldiers fighting for the Japanese island of Anopopei. "The best novel to come out of the . . . war, perhaps the best book to come out of any war" (San Francisco Chronicle). "The narrative presents, with great accuracy and power, the agony of the American troops in the Pacific campaign It remains Mailers best, and certainly the best war novel to emerge from the United States" (Burgess, 42-43).