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Old 06-26-2008, 07:09 PM   #1
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Davis, Richard Harding: Van Bibber and Others (Illustrated). v1.30. August 22, 2008

This is the first in a 12-volume set of Davis' short stories and novels, based on the Scribner's Crossroads Edition, but with some additional material and a lot of illustrations not included in that edition.

I posted an earlier version of this volume in June. This one has quite a bit more polish, from cleaner illustrations to some (fairly basic but automated) kerning support. I've got the rest of the set pretty much wrapped up and will be posting it soon.

This material is all PD in the US, as it was originally published between 1891 and 1916.

From the Editor's Note I wrote for this book, a quick preview:

The stories in this volume revolve around a cast of Manhattan characters. As in the New York stories of O. Henry, they are pulled from all walks of life, from club men to day laborers to thugs to newsmen. Unlike O. Henry's tales, many of the characters appear and reappear. They have a mix of humorous and more serious adventures, leaning a bit more toward the serious than O. Henry's stories.

Van Bibber, the title character, and appearing in most of these stories, is the club man, on a fixed but relatively easy income, wandering through the Broadway nightlife, the racetrack, and his upper class restaurants. Many of his adventures are humorous, but he occasionally finds himself called upon to do something more dramatic, such as defending an acquaintance from street thugs, or capturing a burglar. And sometimes he is confronted with an ethical dilemma even more dramatic, such as whether or not to let a burglar go.

At the other end of the social spectrum is "Rags" Raegan (or Raegen), a street ruffian whose _modus operandi_ when facing a judge is to produce a bunch of pals ready to swear that he's a hero for rescuing them from drowning in the river, but who finds a strange redemption while hiding out from the police in an empty apartment. And along the way we meet all kinds of other characters: an African explorer, singers and dancers, newsmen covering the early release of an ailing convict, even a fake beggar and--odd as it sounds--a fake poet.

My personal favorites in this volume are: "Her First Appearance," in which Van Bibber sees an orphaned little girl embarking on a theatrical career--of sorts--and has to decide whether this is right, and to find within himself a special kind of moral courage. And: the tragic tale of injustice and political hypocrisy "The Man With One Talent", about a deeply idealistic civil engineer trying to stir up public opinion for the enslaved peasants of Cuba. His one talent is his eloquence, but it is not enough, and when that fails, he finds a different one.

Steve
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Last edited by swr2408018; 08-22-2008 at 03:55 AM. Reason: Updated ebook
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #2
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Updated upload and description

I posted an earlier version of this volume in June. This one has quite a bit more polish, from cleaner illustrations to some (fairly basic but automated) kerning support. I've got the rest of the set pretty much wrapped up and will be posting it soon.

Steve
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