Confessions of a Crap Artist

Written in 1959 but not published until 1975, Confessions of a Crap Artist would be Philip K. Dick's only mainstream novel to be published during his lifetime. Of a total edition of 1000 copies, this is one of 410 unsigned hardbound copies. The other 90 were numbered and signed.  This copy has the first edition statement present on the copyright page. Octavo, maroon cloth with gold lettering on spine with the letters "P.K.D." stamped in gold on the front cover. Issued without a dust jacket. [Levack 5a].


Item#: 10512
Binding: Hardcover
Publisher: New York: Entwhistle Books, 1975.
Edition: First Edition, First Printing

Originally written in 1959, Confessions of a Crap Artist was one of Dick's numerous failed attempts to break into mainstream-fiction writing. It is mostly a character study of several people living in Northern California in the 1950s. Jack Isidore, the "crap artist", is obsessive compulsive and lacks basic life and social skills. He moves in with his sister Fay Hume and her husband Charlie, and their complex marital affairs become the focus of most the story. The novel consists of multiple narrative points of view, each chapter shifting from first person to third person perspective for all the main characters. Dick considered this book "easily the best of all his mainstream efforts."

There were three issues of Confessions of a Crap Artist published by Entwhistle Books and each issue exists in two states. What happened is the publisher printed 1000 sets of sheets of which the first 500 included a first edition statement on the copyright page. But the sheets got mixed and all three issues of the book were prepared using sheets with and without the first edition statement. Of the 500 hardbound copies, 90 were selected at random to be numbered and signed by Dick. [L. W. Currey].