THE SHADOW LAUGHS, rare 1935 Ideal Library edition, above-average copy

The first three “Shadow” novels—written in 1931 by Walter B. Gibson as Maxwell and originally published in The Shadow Magazine—were reprinted between hard covers under the auspices of the Ideal Library, a division of Street & Smith. The Ideal Library editions sold for a quarter at a time when most hard-cover novels were priced between 75 cents and two dollars, so they were produced incredibly cheaply and clearly not meant to last.  The woodpulp paper used for the text blocks was even cheaper and coarser than that used in pulp magazines, and the color dyes used in printing the pictorial cover boards (there were no dust jackets on these books) were applied in thin coats and therefore are prone to rubbing. Therefore, the three Ideal Library Shadow reprints—The Shadow Laughs was the third—generally turn up with brown and brittle paper and badly worn covers.

The front cover uses Jerome Rozen’s painting for the third issue of The Shadow Magazine.

This copy is an above-average example of the title. There is some minor soiling and rubbing to the covers, but the paper is considerably better than usual, being just lightly tanned and not brittle.


Price: $100.00