SARDONICS: SIXTEEN SKETCHES. Harris Merton Lyon.

SARDONICS: SIXTEEN SKETCHES. New York: Metropolitan Syndicate, Inc., [1908]. Octavo, pp. [1-8] [1-2] 3-225 [226-228: blank] [note: last leaf is a blank], original light green cloth, lettered in red on front and spine panels. First edition. The rare first issue with integral title leaf bearing the "Metropolitan Syndicate" imprint and bound in non-pictorial green cloth. SARDONICS is the first of Lyon's two books, both collecting some of his short fiction. Lyon's untimely death at age 33 cut short a promising literary career. His fiction was of high caliber and has been favorably compared with that of Stephen Crane and Ambrose Bierce. "The 31 tales and sketches in [SARDONICS and GRAPHICS] can be properly compared with the work of Crane and Bierce for vivid, highly characterized and purposeful narrative. 'The Second Motive' in SARDONICS and 'Revenge' in GRAPHICS are psychological murder tragedies at the two extremes of the social scale. Lyon, like Crane and Norris, died before his talents had fully matured and, unfortunately, when his work had only begun to appear in McCLURE'S MAGAZINE and to attract special attention." – Bennett, A Practical Guide to American Book Collecting, p. 204. Most of the stories in SARDONICS are mystery or detective shorts, some with fantastic elements. "Into the Fourth Dimension" concerns the fate of the inventor of a device to project people into other dimensions who is poisoned in a Chinese restaurant, kills his tormentor, and escapes into another dimension with disastrous results. Smith, American Fiction, 1901-1925 L-615. Not in Hubin (1994). Spine panel darkened, stain on lower spine, else a very good copy. (#150825).

Price: $650.00

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