[RADICAL & PROLETARIAN LITERATURE] APPEL, Benjamin
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934. First Edition. Octavo (19.5cm). Tan cloth boards stamped in red on front cover and spine; dustjacket; 356pp. Slight lean to spine and a little dusting to cloth, still a tight, Very Good copy in the notoriously fragile silver foil dustwrapper which has delaminated at spine ends and extremities, with some minor loss of text at base of spine and front panel. Still a better than typical example, and uncommon thus. Appel's first novel and a classic of Depression-era hard-boiled fiction, concerning the rise of a young hoodlum in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York, where Appel himself was born in 1907. Critics have remained divided on whether to call Appel an economic novelist (themes of poverty and its atendant miseries are never far in the background in his novels) or a crime novelist (his favorite milieu is the New York criminal underworld of the Thirties). We would suggest that Appel's work, typical of the best Depression-era writing, lives comfortably in both genres. HANNA 97.