Item #5028 The Great Fake Book. Vance Bourjaily.
The Great Fake Book
The Great Fake Book

The Great Fake Book

Franklin Library, 1986. First Edition. Full Leather. Near Fine / No Jacket as Issued. Item #5028

A handsome dark brown leather First Edition SIGNED by the author. With marbled endpapers, gold-gilt cover designs and page edges, and bound-in silk bookmark. There are some scratches on the gilt, not seriously affecting the gilt; otherwise fine. By the author of "The End of My Life," "Girl in the Abstract Bed," "The Violated," "Brill Among the Ruins," and "A Game Men Play".

A talented instructor, Bourjaily spent many years teaching at the renowned Iowa Writer's Workshop, where he mentored many writers including John Irving and T. Coraghessan Boyle. Raymond Carver named his son after Bourjaily.

Bourjaily wrote about his wartime experiences and was often compared to Ernest Hemingway in both style and tone. Before his writing career, he was an ambulance driver for the American Field Service in the Middle East and Italy. He was drafted in 1944. Bourjaily wrote a play while in the Pacific and shared it with his mother, also a writer, who passed it onto her agent. Not long after, Bourjaily debuted with "The End of My Life," which follows a young man's deterioration in self and spirit during World War II. Critic John Aldridge has stated that "The End of My Life" was "the most neglected, but in many ways, the most promising" of stories published post WWII.

A "fake book" or a lead/fake sheet, is a simplified musical notation that usually includes the melody, lyrics or chords of a song. Often used by jazz musicians as a reference guide for playing the "gist" of a song, it provides just the essential information needed to perform the song, allowing the musician the freedom to improvise and interpret the music in the moment. Bourjaily wrote "The Great Fake Book" in the 60s. It follows multiple generations of jazz musicians with an experimental tone.

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