“A WRITER OF UNCOMMON IMAGINATIVE POWER”: FIRST EDITION OF SETTING FREE THE BEARS, SIGNED BY JOHN IRVING, HIS SCARCE FIRST NOVEL
IRVING, John. Setting Free the Bears. New York: Random House, (1968). Octavo, original half red cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $2800.
First edition of Irving’s first novel, boldly signed by him in green ink.
“Imagine a mixture of Till Eulenspiegel and Ken Kesey, and you’ve got a range of the merry pranksters… on a 700 c.c. Royal Enfield motorcycle, tossing flowers, staling salt-shakers and planning the biggest caper of their young lives” (New York Times). With the publication of Setting Free the Bears, the Saturday Review prophetically called Irving “astonishing… A writer of uncommon imaginative power. Whatever he writes, it will be worth reading.” Michaud, 42.
Book fine, light wear to extremities of bright, price-clipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy.