MAN WITH FOUR LIVES. London, Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd, . Octavo, pp. [1-8] 1-244 [245-248: ads], original blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in brown, Heinemann windmill device stamped in rear cover. First edition. A first novel by William Joyce Cowen (1886-1964), American war hero, spy, writer, playwright, film director, who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I. A "very remarkable first novel ... an experiment in the modern realistic macabre, and one of the fine things about it is the way in which it remains so real and actual and at the same time challenges your incredulity ... the war background is admirably done, and it is the human nature in it the gives it it's quality" (Hugh Walpole). "For a first novel MAN WITH FOUR LIVES is quite an exceptional achievement. William Joyce Cowen had a story to tell, and he has proven himself a storyteller born" (NEW YORK TIMES, 8 April 1934). While serving in France during World War I, an English captain apparently kills the same German officer twice, only to encounter him a third time as a spy whose execution he witnesses, an event which drives the English captain insane. Years later, after he has recovered and is skiing in Switzerland with his wife, his life is saved by a German who seems to be the same German officer whom he saw die three times during the war. While much of MAN WITH FOUR LIVES suggests an uncanny element, the actual situation, which is not supernatural at all, is still no less unbelievable. A very good copy in very good 7/6 pictorial dust jacket (designed by Eric Raser) with wear along top and bottom edges. (#170428).
"FIRST PUBLISHED 1935" on copyright page.