Return of the Brute Signed by Liam O'Flaherty 1st / 1st 1929
London: The Mandrake Press (1929). First UK edition. This is a very good copy. The wrapper has a slither of loss to the top of the spine and some minor wear to the corner tips. The book is in a very presentable condition with no foxing marks and browning only to the first couple of pages. Overall a very good copy. The striking dust wrapper of a brute maurading over the trench is unmarked.
Based on the author’s experience as an Irish Guardsman in World War I, this short novel tells the story of a squad of British soldiers in an unidentified area of the Western Front.
The squad is led by Corporal Williams, an obtuse NCO, and consists of nine infantrymen, one of whom, William Gunn, is plagued by PTS and mentally unbalanced.
The novel focuses on the last hours of this group of doomed individuals, which will be killed or wounded in a fruitless attempt to occupy a section of the enemy front line.
Gunn will inevitably go crazy, turning into the Brute of the title, and what ensues most likely won’t lead to a happy ending.
This rare copy has the signature of the author to the front free end paper with his inscription.