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By Arthur Hailey
SIGNED, First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: 1968's Airport was not the first book of Arthur Hailey's to become a big hit -- just three years previous had been his bestseller Hotel, and his literary debut Runway Zero-Eight in 1958 had already spawned the Canadian television movie Flight Into Danger AND the Hollywood feature Zero Hour! -- but certainly it was the book that vaulted him from simply a popular author into a pop-culture icon, staying at the #1 spot in the New York Times bestseller list for an amazing 33 weeks in a row, and selling tens of millions of copies as a result (to say nothing of the whopping 200 million books Hailey sold over the course of his entire career). Then if this wasn't enough, the 1970 Oscar-winning film adaptation became a huge hit in its own right (still to this day the 42nd biggest grossing movie of all time), and with its '75, '77 and '79 sequels almost singlehandedly created the "disaster movie" genre that is now such a popular Hollywood staple; and then on top of this, it was both this novel and his earlier Runway Zero-Eight that the Zucker Brothers decided to combine and spoof in their now classic comedy Airplane!, thus tertially becoming the foundation for yet another Hollywood genre that's now become massively popular with the general public. That's a lot of notoriety for a man who famously used to declare that his ultimate hope as a writer had only been to see his name on the spine of a hardback; and although his dozen bestsellers over the decades were derided as hack work by critics, Hailey spent years of meticulous academic research on each one, resulting in this case with Airport still being a surprisingly precise and relevant examination of how airports work even 46 years later. A largely panned novel at the time, but now a profoundly important document of the Postmodernist arts, this book proves that it's not just the critical darlings of the literary world that are worth collecting; and with few signed first printings even still in existence, this is a volume that will do nothing but increase in value as the years continue, and a great acquisition for a young serious collector with the long-term view in mind.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Minus (VG-). Generally still in good shape, although with a little wear to the top and bottom spine. Dust jacket: Good (G). Small tears to the bottom spine and right top flap, and a quarter-inch tear on the top front, as well as a good half-inch chunk missing on the top spine (see photos for more). SIGNED on the first blank page of the manuscript. As confirmed by the McBride Guide to the Identification of First Editions, a stated "First Edition" on the copyright page, and lack of additional printing notices, makes this a first edition, first printing.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP in 2013 at Ravenswood Books, Chicago.