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The Buk Shop

Four Steps to the Wall by Jon Edgar Webb: Bantam Books Mass Market Paperback (1953)

Four Steps to the Wall by Jon Edgar Webb: Bantam Books Mass Market Paperback (1953)

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This is a rare, near pristine copy of the 1948 Jon Edgard Wedd novel published by Dial Press Books in 1948.

Even though it was well received at the time, hardcover copies are not easy to come by and the book jacket is rarely found in this condition. With some very minor edgewear and creases around the edges, this jacket is in Near Fine condition. The interior pages have toning around the edges, but for a 76-year-old book, they’re in pretty great shape.

The inside of the jacket has a great publicity photograph of Webb and a short profile. The rear inside has a description of the book with a unique design graphic at the bottom.

Jon Edgar Webb was a crime beat reporter at the Cleveland News when he decided to try to be a criminal himself. He robbed a jewelry story and managed to get in and out of the store with the goods, but during the getaway he went down the wrong alley and ended up serving 30 months in the Ohio State Reformatory. He was the editor of the prison newspaper and learned to set type before being paroled.

While still in prison, Webb began writing chapters for the novel, and wrote several published short stories about prison life before the novel was finally published.

As it directly relates to Bukowski, Jon Edgar Webb and his wife Louise were the founders of LouJon Press. The couple was responsible for transforming Bukowski into an established writer, even if fame wouldn’t occur until years later. TLouJon published Bukowski’s first true books, “It Catches My Heart In Its Hands” (1963) and “Crucifix in a Deathhand” (1965). These books are true works of art in and of themselves. The detail, the printing methods, the craftsmanship, and the pure insanity it took to undertake these endeavors was as unparalleled then and as it is today.

They also published Outsider magazine, which became the standard for poetry journals at the time. No other publication attracted nearly the talent that appeared in its pages and the production value of the magazine itself was unrivaled. Bukowski appeared in all four issues, with a large collection of poems in Outsider 1 (1961) and as the named “Outside of the Year” in Outsider 3 (1963), featuring Bukowski on the cover and a large center section.

Box 25

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