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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Bukowski Crucifix in a Deathhand

Charles Bukowski is an incredibly polarizing writer, both for his work and his legacy as a person. He tends to evoke strong emotions in those who are familiar with his work, which of course means his biggest fans will jump at the chance to own a true Bukowski collectible. Luckily for them, Crucifix in a Deathhand has some incredibly affordable collectible options.

Crucifix in a Deathhand was first published in 1965 by Loujon Press, a run of 3,100 copies, all of which were signed. Prices for signed first editions top out at about $1,500, though these more expensive copies often have a defining characteristic, such as a drawing by Bukowski with his signature, or the inclusion of some related newspaper articles from the time of publishing. These signed first editions of Crucifix in a Deathhand often sell for as little as $300, even at auctions where that is generally the lower end of the estimate.

Because these signed first editions are basically the only versions of Crucifix in a Deathhand that are collected, it is especially important to ensure that the copy you buy is a genuine one. The book is a softcover one, with a cardstock cover and, if the copy still has it, a wrap-around band. The cover has a sketchy black and white illustration that is rather abstract and includes an image of a man playing a guitar. True first editions are also numbered from one to 3,100.

Bukowski, Charles. Crucifix in a Deathhand. Lyle Stuart (1965). 3100 copies (with Loujon Press)

Bukowski, Charles. Crucifix in a Deathhand. Loujon Press (1965). 3100 copies (with Lyle Stuart)