David Barker - Death at the Flea Circus from BoSP (1 Viewer)


Bottle of Smoke Press is proud to announce the upcoming release of

Death at the Flea Circus, a Novel by David Barker

Release date is May 15, 2011.

In a 1960s California beach town, someone is murdering wayward girls visiting from Kansas. Staying at the same hotel as the girls is the enigmatic Mr. Barker, who is either a college student spending his days poolside, or a Victorian British detective investigating the crimes, or a vagrant wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of tools, or a mystic poet"”or the killer himself. Or are the unfolding events merely the sinister daydream of a nameless man sitting in an air-conditioned cafeteria, watching a waitress wipe down the tables? In this surreal comic novel, people, places, and possibilities leak from one century into another, and identities run together like warm blood and sea water. Written forty years ago and left forgotten in a closet, this newly discovered novel is unlike any other you've ever read.

Limited to an edition of 260 copies.

The paperback edition is limited to 200 copies, perfect bound in wraps with letterpress printed dustjacket ($15 plus shipping.)

The Hardcover edition is limited to an edition of 50 copies signed by the author and quarter bound in 180 year old re-purposed sheep vellum ($40 plus shipping.)

The bureau edition is limited to 10 copies, in over-sized clamshell, each containing both editions of the book as well as appropriate inclusions, including items mentioned in the book, printing plates, original art, holographic poems, etc. ($650 plus shipping.)

Please visit www.bospress.net/order.html to reserve a copy.

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Thanks John,
Nope, but it will get here before you know it!

The paperbacks will probably be around for a little while, but the hardcovers, with 180-year-old sheep vellum (formerly from antique legal indentures), will go fast. I know of no other book bound like this. It gives a really cool look.

Plus, the book is an amazing read.

Bill's been working me like a mule, proofreading. Buy enough copies and he'll put me out to pasture. I like the tall grass by the fence post.
Order sent! I really need to stop clicking on the "Small Press" section of the forum because I always end up leaving it lighter in the wallet, it's a damn near guarantee!

And will by hardcover version include some Barker DNA or some coffee he spilled on it, seems to be the trend with e-bay sellers these days. Or maybe Jesus tended to the sheep that was later used for the sheep vellum.
I am actually a vegetarian, but I wanted the hardback and sometimes you have to make small sacrifices for art. I have now paid for my HB copy, and cut off my little finger (the other one was removed for a beautiful pair of antique leather brogues) as karmic balancing for the sheep.

Walking into the Bospress shop was like waving some perky titties in my face though, so I ended up walking out with a copy of Hosh's book and A.D.Winans. To pay for them I'm selling that little finger to a German Satanic Metal group through Ebay.
Your karma can rest easy. The sheep vellum was recycled from 180 year old legal indentures, so no animals were harmed in the making of this book. The fact is that had I not used the vellum for a book, it would have stayed as a collectible legal document. Also, it is cool as you can still read some of the old legalese on the other side of the vellum...

Bill: I was hoping you'd be able to preserve some of the original writing on the vellum. The good thing about using "repurposed" vellum is that the sheep was long dead before any of us were born. Vegans can read it with a free conscience. I am a bit worried about my own karma after calling a bunch of teenage girls from Kansas that I didn't really know "wayward" -- but it's fiction, so maybe I won't burn in Hell for slandering their virtue.
yeah, you can see the writing through the vellum on all the pieces and some pieces have writing on both sides, so on those pieces there will be very visible writing....

Can't wait to see these in person, can I call dibs on a copy with writing on both sides? And David I think there are much worse things you could call someone than 'wayward', so sleep easy.
i conveniently find a way to except non-vegan book materials from my otherwise fairly strict belief system. i guess it makes me a dirty hypocrite. and while there probably won't ever be any chance press books bound in leather, we do end up using many different types of paper that use gelatin in their construction.
If you ever decided to use leather, you could always find an old thrift-store leather jacket and make it from that. Of course, the leather would need a lot of paring down to get it to work, but you could then know that you are using a material that was rescued from the trash bin...

Of course, trying to explain that to some other vegans may be tough....

I use second hand leather from purses that I buy cheap at yard sales -- 25 or 50 cents -- to repair old leather-bound books. The cheapest way to get nice leather.
All of the editions are selling well. We are down to only 20 hardcovers and 3 bureau edition copies left. Paperbacks are selling well, but there are going to be 200 of those, so they will be around for a bit.

... and for those that were asking about the vellum spines. Here they are after being cut from the documents and before they are bound on the books....

great lookin' book, bill! think i'm gonna have to order a copy...

i've been busy lately and haven't been on the forum much, so i'm just now catchin' up on all the great stuff on buknet!
Reusing old vellum manuscripts in book bindings was standard practice back in the olden days (that's a technical term meaning before about 1700), and some rare texts are only known through fragments visible on bindings. These are very cool looking. You'll have book from the 1500s with lettering from the year 1000 running vertically across the endpapers or covers. No doubt there's a name for this sort of thing but I've forgotten it.
Here are some photos of some cool printing (letterpress) that I did tonight:

Broadside that will be tipped in for Chapter 51. This is the version on laid paper that will be in all of the hardcover and paperback copies of this release:
datfc broadside paper.jpg

This is the same broadside, but printed on the back of a sheep vellum indenture from 1830. This will go in the hardcover that is in the BUREAU EDITION:
datfc broadside vellum.jpg

This is a photo of the backs of the broadsides with legalese from early 19th Century England:
datfc vellum backs.jpg
Aghharfff! So cool. I want one of those vellum ones with a tax stamp on it, if that's possible. Bill has not mentioned that there is also an alternate version of the broadside that will be very similar but with slightly different wording, that is not planned for inclusion in the book, although I suppose he could throw them in with all the other stuff going into the Bureau edition.
I had to buy the missus a new bag to get over the news that I'd bought the hardcover, imagine what I'd have to do for the bureau edition. I want it though; those shots are like book makers pornography.
Just a thought, but it would be great if the missing chapter and/or alternate vellum broadside could be made available for separate purchase for those of us (and there are many) won't can't splurge for the bureau edition. If there are enough of them, that is.
I will not make these vellum broadsides available separately. The biggest issue is that I would not feel comfortable selling these as stand alone pieces as they are really meant to go in the book. Outside the book, they do not even credit the author of the piece. The copies on paper really were meant as promo pieces to stir up interest to friends of the press and of the author. The vellum is somewhat pricey, but that is not what is stopping this. I may do another broadside in the future on repurposed vellum. It is too amazing to not use.

I am also working on a wicked cool letterpress printed prospectus, so that will be something that I'll offer to this group free, of course.

There are other bits of text from Flea Circus that -- so far -- are not planned for use in the published book. These are early drafts of chapters that later got revised. One or two are significantly different from the later version of the chapter, perhaps enough to make sense as a stand-alone mini-chap or broadside using vellum. Or -- God forbid -- you could print something written by some one else.
... so, I am good at some things and not so good at other things. One of the things that I am not good at is taking photos, especially of books.

Then the fine folks at Lead Graffiti agreed to help me.

Photograph by Ray Nichols and photoshop magic by Tray Nichols.

Reusing old vellum manuscripts in book bindings was standard practice back in the olden days (that's a technical term meaning before about 1700), and some rare texts are only known through fragments visible on bindings. These are very cool looking. You'll have book from the 1500s with lettering from the year 1000 running vertically across the endpapers or covers. No doubt there's a name for this sort of thing but I've forgotten it.

"Palimpsests" is the word you were groping for, Rekrab. My, my! Bill does biblio-porn like no other... Remember, the police can only trace you if you use a credit card.
Right you are, Mr. Kafka. Palimpsests is the word for it. I remember reading that many ancient Roman Catholic manuscripts were trashed during the Reformation in England and scraps of them ended up being used in book bindings. Now some of those fragments are the only known surviving pieces of those old texts.
Bill sent me a stack of the broadside flyers (a chapter from Death At The Flea Circus), and they are beautiful. One is on vellum, with old legal writing in pen and ink on the back. It is cool beyond belief. He's a wizard.
Release of Death At The Flea Circus is days away. To whet your appetite, here's my mock up ticket to the Flea Circus. I don't know yet if Bill plans to use this concept or not in the Bureau edition. If he does, it would likely be a typeset letterpressed version, not my funky handwritten version.


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