Suntup epitomizes Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo with fine press editions and artwork that emanate the true anti-war classic novel from 1939.
The Following Preview Review of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo and the Suntup Editions limiteds is *Spoiler Free
It is the vital works of fiction that continue to make worldwide waves again and again.
Trumbo’s anti-romantic-war novel is one of the great ones.
The protagonist Joe Bonham wakes in a hospital bed to slowly discover that an enemy artillery shell has taken his arms and legs and left a mangled hole where his eyes, nose, teeth, and tongue used to be.
The premise told from a first-person narrative: he cannot hear or speak, or leave his prison.
The famed filmmaker’s book was published in 1939 and was heavily influenced by the fallout of what Trumbo called the last “romantic war” in World War I.
The meaning I take from that sentiment is that it was a war that could very much have been avoided and various war machines and romantic ideals in politics continued to make larger and larger waves until the Great War was unleashed.
And there were many wars he felt similarly about (World War II was not one of them).
And so this harrowing work truly claws at one’s humanity and brings into focus many uncomfortable realities of the world.
Because of this, it has been very impactful since its publication, its winning the National Book Award and Trumbo’s subsequent adaptation into a film in 1971.
Decades afterward, this film would be used by Metallica in their most successful and popular song titled “One” and its music video, and that would act as a relaunching of Johnny Got His Gun that was again thrust into popular culture to harp on the horrors of war.
Suntup Editions took on this monumental title, which will be shipping in the near future and there are still Artist Editions available for purchase.
The numbered and lettered editions are sold out.
But all of the books feature stunning artwork by Ūla Šveikauskaitė that really captures the soul brought forth in Johnny Got His Gun.
The AE edition is the only one of the three featuring a dust jacket and is signed by the artist.
The image of the skulls and the cover image with the raised peace sign are striking!
This is a book and fine press editions that will forever resonate with you!
The details of Suntup Editions ARTIST EDITION:
6” x 9” trim size.
Limited to 750 copies.
Full cloth, smyth-sewn binding.
Two-hits foil stamping.
Introduction by Dalton Trumbo from 1959, with addendum written in 1970.
Foreword by Cindy Sheehan.
Afterword by E.L. Doctorow.
Six full-color illustrations by Ūla Šveikauskaitė.
Dust jacket featuring artwork by Ūla Šveikauskaitė (the only edition featuring the dust jacket).
Signed by the artist.
Printed offset on archival Cougar Natural.
Housed in a metal mesh paper slipcase with an acrylic coating.
Replay By Ken Grimwood: Suntup Editions Replay Suntup Replay, and as this time travel tale goes on, the suspenseful, metaphysical, time-mind warp grips the reader’s heart tighter and tighter.
This is a Spoiler-Free** Preview Review of the upcoming Suntup Editions for Ken Grimwood’s award-winning novel Replay.
Conjuring all of the mystery of time travel, the philosophy behind its implications and the personal touch of experiencing love throughout the flux is why Isaac Asimov’s The End of Eternity is my favorite book by Asimov, and Grimwood’s Replay has all of these elements and a magic about it, while being an incredibly fresh and vibrant and innovative tale all of its own.
I know of no book like Replay.
The only hint as to the last book release from Suntup Editions was the publisher, Paul Suntup himself, who said this was one of his favorite books.
Despite having the utmost faith in his judgement as an extremely well-read human, a poet, and a brilliant crafter of fine press books, I was taken aback when I saw Replay announced; I had not heard of it.
I will admit to being flummoxed – as a science fiction writer and fanatic, how did I miss this – and I doubted whether or not I should invest in one of the upcoming editions from Suntup, despite their out-of-this-world design and attention to detail.
I was wrong to doubt. I was so wrong.
I read the book in a few days; I could not put it down.
I think the only reason more folks have not heard of Ken Grimwood is that the author tragically died of a heart attack young, not unlike Replay’s protagonist Jeff Winston who dies abruptly at age 43 – at the same day and time – and awakes with all memories of his past life, but back where he was at the age of 18 in the early 1960’s.
What would you do if you could go back with knowledge of 20+ years and experience in a young person’s body?
What are the potential consequences of the replays that happen over and over each time Jeff reaches that fatal day at age 43, no matter where he is?
This novel pulls and yanks at your heartstrings, again and again.
There is debauchery, tragedy, loss, love, and so much more.
The ending got me choked up, as 1984 and only a handful of other books have ever done.
And Suntup Editions has done the most amazing job of bringing every facet of this complex story to light in each of their four different stand-alone limited editions.
I will review the numbered edition in detail when it arrives, but for now feast your eyes on each of the incredible works of art that are pushing the boundaries of intrinsic story-encompassing publishing with the art and design.
These editions all floor me, and the artist edition is still available to purchase, as well, signed by surrealist painter Alessandro Sicioldr Bianchi.
The art is, well there are no words; take a look at each edition:
The Artist edition is limited to 1000 copies with a dust jacket illustrated by Alessandro Sicioldr Bianchi. It is a full cloth, smyth sewn binding with two-hits foil stamping. It is the only edition of the three with the dust jacket, and is signed by the artist. The edition is printed offset and is housed in an embossed paper covered slipcase with an acrylic coating. [https://suntup.press/replay]
The Numbered edition of 350 copies is a handbound quarter leather binding with printed Hahnemühle Bugra boards and leather capped fore edges. The edition is enclosed in a quarter leather chemise and a Japanese cloth slipcase. The cover features a letterpress printed label and endsheets are Hahnemühle Bugra. The edition is printed offset on Mohawk Via and is signed by Alessandro Sicioldr Bianchi and Tim Powers. [https://suntup.press/replay]
The Lettered edition is limited to 26 copies and is a Dorfner style binding after master German bookbinder Otto Dorfner, who developed this structure in the early 20th century. The binding is sewn on supports with goat leather strips laminated to silk, with the boards attached to the textblock by the sewing supports. The boards are covered in full goatskin with goatskin onlays and blind tooling on the spine, and the flyleaves are covered with a suede material on one side. The edition is sewn and bound entirely by hand by master bookbinder Jacek Tylkowski in Poland.
The clamshell enclosure is full European cloth with a blind debossed cover. The edition is printed offset on Mohawk Via and is signed by Alessandro Sicioldr Bianchi and Tim Powers. [https://suntup.press/replay]
The Roman Numeral edition is limited to 10 copies and is bound in full leather. The leather features an original design using hand dying techniques and photographs of live models, which are transfered to the surface. The block is sewn onto stubs for a perfect opening. The boards are laced on, for the greatest durability. Doublures and headbands are in leather. The edition is sewn and bound entirely by hand by master bookbinder, Zigor Anguiano Calzada in Spain.
The clamshell enclosure is full leather with a rounded spine and suede inner linings with Japanese cloth. The edition is printed offset on Mohawk Superfine and is signed by Alessandro Sicioldr Bianchi and Tim Powers. [https://suntup.press/replay]
H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s 125th By Suntup Editions is celebrating the shocking and classic work of early horror and science-fiction in deservedly grandiose fashion 125 years after its initial release.
To say the art, designs, bonus content give this novel the proper anniversary treatment is a big understatement.
The following Preview Review of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau’s By Suntup Editions will have mild plot/events *Spoilers* in the story review and then get into a perusal of the fine press editions themselves, which will be examined more thoroughly after the books arrive.
The lone survivor of a deadly shipwreck that claimed two ships, Edward Prendick washes ashore on the elusive Noble’s Isle claimed by the infamous Dr. Moreau.
The novel brings in mystery, adventure and exploration themes, as well as good old-fashioned shock-horror and sci-fi.
The science and exploration of the 19th Century, and the preceding years, birthed interesting thoughts on the wings of Darwin and Mary Shelley’s publications: that of man playing god by merging animal and man into living chimera.
H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau is disturbing, suspenseful and has many unexpected twists along the island’s paths.
H.G. Wells took a character in Edward that is grateful for being nursed to health and through his uniquely thankful perspective examines the mysterious noises and shadowy visages that send shivers down his spine and lead him to delve deeper into the mysteries Dr. Moreau seems to have hidden on his island.
For those that enjoy stories of the monster within, the monster that we as humans carry and sometimes unleash, and the monsters out in the world, The Island Of Dr. Moreau is a stark reminder that repulsion can shift its allegiances, despite appearances.
Science fiction writers have used human-animal chimera experiments as the inspiration for creating characters that challenge us to consider what is quintessentially human and what is animal. Since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) created a manufactured man from parts of dead animals and humans combined.
To have the ethics of bioengineering examined in such an evocative manner by Wells in 1896 is incredible.
And Suntup Editions have outdone themselves again with their treatment of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau made into three limited edition states.
Suntup’s Artist Edition is limited to 1000 copies and is the only state with a dust jacket illustrated by Benz and Chang. The book is a full cloth, smyth sewn binding, is printed offset, has two-hits of foil stamping, and is signed by the artist.
The Numbered Edition of 350 copies is a quarter cloth binding with Japanese cloth boards, a cover foil stamped in gold and endsheets are custom designed for this state. It is printed letterpress on Mohawk Via and is signed by Megan Shepherd, Adam Roberts & Benz and Chang.
The Lettered edition is 26 copies with a full goatskin binding and a letterpress-printed spine label. The cover features a letterpress printed, die cut map of Noble’s Isle that looks amazing and the endsheets are hand marbled, while the pages are printed letterpress on Mohawk Via, and it comes in a clamshell enclosure covered in Japanese cloth with marbled paper floors. It is also signed by Megan Shepherd, Adam Roberts & Benz and Chang.
The books all look fantastic with six stand-out full color illustrations by Benz and Chang!
But as is befitting such an entertaining and historic work of fiction, Suntup has also included a bevy of bonus material, including a new exclusive foreword by Megan Shepherd and an afterword by Adam Roberts, who sign both the numbered and lettered states, and three Appendixes:
Included in all editions is the following bonus content:
Appendix A: Wells Explains: Two Essays Relating to Moreau’s Argument. H.G. Wells, The Province of Pain (1894) H.G. Wells, The Limits of Individual Plasticity (1895)
Appendix B: ‘The Terrible Medusa Case’: An Historical Source for Prendick’s Shipwreck. A narrative account of the infamous shipwreck Méduse (1818). Reproduction of Théodore Géricault’s masterpiece painting The Raft of the Medusa (c.1819).
Appendix C: Wells’s First Draft of Moreau. A study and excerpt from H.G. Wells’s original draft of Moreau.
We will thoroughly review the physical books themselves, the numbered and artist editions, after they arrive.
But seeing such trippy and befitting art, along with two letterpress editions, designed with bite for our inner explorer, the wait to see these in person is a difficult one.
Letterpress will make reading and rereading the numbered edition a sensational experience.
I do have one critique: I would have loved the numbered edition to match the previous Wells installments in the book’s outer design – but I understand and am very happy with the incredible design of the editions that have been created here (I love the images on the covers and I love Japanese cloth) and since this brought in Artist Editions and a wild lettered edition (what a MAP!) I feel my OCD inner-Sheldon Cooper can be quieted and content – but I still cannot wait to put this on the shelf!
In between my H.G. Wells trilogy and Robert Heinlein set on my shelf in the “Pillars of Sci-fi Suntup Section” The Island Of Dr. Moreau will go and continue to be an inspiration.
Suntup’s upcoming S/L: The Silence Of The Lambs & The Wolfen, signed by Thomas Harris and Whitley Strieber, respectively, highlight genre-defining literary moments with moving art and a design tone that make each of the books’ three editions stand apart.
This is a Spoiler-free Preview of the latest author-signed titles from Suntup Editions.
We will wait to review the stories and the facets of the different limited states, in detail, until after the Suntup editions of the novels come out, but it is worth looking at the exciting flair and literary soul that these two gems offer up in their overall design aesthetic and their stirring illustrations.
Because the ARCs of these two beauties are out in the wild, we can briefly review the sneak peak pb’s, if you will.
We are privileged to bring an inside look into the ARC for the Thomas Harris masterpiece The Silence Of The Lambs.
The story ends after 365 pages in this heavy and gorgeously crafted paperback.
As a thank you, Suntup Editions gave their loyal readers, they offered this Gift SOTL ARC, with the reader’s name in it, for free to all who had placed a number of orders over the year; it is truly remarkable.
This cover of The Silence Of The Lambs Gift ARC features the Artist Edition slipcase artwork, a stunning representation of the death’s head moth on a gray backdrop.
What never ceases to amaze is that Suntup ARCs are made of a better quality than many a trade paperback sold for retail.
The bright white paper is quality, as is the layout, and of course, the incredible illustrations by Tom Bagshaw.
Each of the three states of the book will have their own motif that captures the spirit of the writing and also works off of the editions of The Red Dragon By Thomas Harris that Suntup made previously.
This is no easy feat and finding a truly innovative, thought-provoking, and moving artist for each work is equally marvelous.
The art that Tom Bagshaw has done for this book is truly special.
The greatness of the story warrants art of this caliber and each piece delivers.
Here is a Preview of The Wolfen signed by author Whitley Strieber and the accompanying art portfolio.
I know little of the story, but a New York City-bound detective thrill ride after a new species of werewolf is the type of noir-horror genre-bender that captures my attention.
And I have no doubt, as with all other Paul Suntup selections, that this book will be quite enjoyable on the fiction front.
We will review it with a Yea or Nay after it is out.
What I am very familiar with is the artist François Vaillancourt’s great work on many novels.
Take a look at the illustrations François has created for this incredible book!
There are no words.
The snarling wolves! The snow-spatter! The Brooklyn Bridge? The detailed buildings and backgrounds and shadows!
And accompanying them even the slipcase and traycase and wooden case for each edition is as gritty as the pieces for the book!
These Suntup Editions of The Wolfen are going to be deep-rooted horror, thrilling, and impactful.
And with the bevy of astonishing artwork there is an accompanying Art Portfolio available, limited to 300.
The Art Portfolio and the Artist Edition of The Wolfen are still available atSuntup’s site here!
Suntup’s art prints are among the best there are, and TFF will review the Portfolio along with the editions when they come out, as the fiction is given an extra amount of livelihood with this kind of brilliant art and design.
My biggest critique of these books – and it is a big one – is that I have to wait to get the limited editions now; but that is not the publisher’s fault.
So buckle up, hone your favorite fava beans recipes and replace your claw-marked clothes, because the two newest author-signed editions from Suntup promise to set the bar ever higher, and they will hit us all too soon in the coming months.
P.S. I want to personally thank Paul Suntup for such a generous and beautiful gift in the ARC of SOTL. It means a lot.
Suntup reforges a classic in The Auctioneer by Joan Samson, the 1975 novel that sold over a million copies, went out of print for nearly forty years, and returned to trade publication in 2018.
The Auctioneer is a chilling tale of suspense and a literary masterpiece, and Suntup Editions has truly given the book as wild and classy a design as is befitting the story of the Moore’s in Harlowe.
To say the spirit of Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer is vivacious in these pages is an understatement.
Here is the story synopsis from Suntup Editions, and the review continues below it.
One of the finest and bestselling horror novels of the 1970’s, Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer is a chilling masterpiece of terror. In an isolated New Hampshire farming community where little has changed over the past several decades, John Moore and his wife Mim do their best to maintain the family farm and live a modest, hardworking life. But from the moment the charismatic Perly Dunsmore arrives in town, soliciting donations for his auctions, the community of Harlowe slowly and insidiously starts to change. As the auctioneer carries out his terrible, inscrutable plan, the Moores and their neighbors will find themselves gradually but inexorably stripped of their freedom, their possessions, and perhaps even their lives.
Upon its release in 1975, The Auctioneer was received with wide acclaim. Newsday hailed it “a suspenseful, engrossing novel with the most gripping and violent ending we’ve encountered for some time.”
The Auctioneer By Joan Samson
First Published 1975
The level of creepiness seeps in more and more, page by page.
It is such a uniquely fun experience that speaks to the ingenuity of living on a steadily dwindling farmstead, and using the land to get by, or in this case to read the echoes of Harlowe’s rural inhabitants while smelling the sweet forest that gave us the leaves within the gorgeous book.
And whatever printer printed this Suntup beauty, she smells sooo good (for all my book sniffers out there; you know who you are).
SPOILER ALERT** For The Following Review Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer.
It is not a stretch to compare this book to Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”
The tale centers on the small family in the small town falling to imminent ruin thanks to a new resident auctioneer.
Percy Dunsmore is the name that Gore, the one-man police department gives to the protagonists in John and Mim Moore, their young daughter, Hildie, and John’s Ma.
Percy is a man with big ideas for a small town on the fringes of the Boston suburbs where the population boom is pushing crime and more vacationers their way.
And his menace is instilled long before the reader ever meets him.
Gore explains that new sheriff deputies are needed – Percy’s idea, John Moore notes – and the auctioneer will be selling off donated goods to the new visiting out-of-towners at a healthy premium to bolster the town.
With a little homely nudging and imploring, Mim and John decide they have something they can do without and give them if it will help.
But every Thursday the demand for goods comes, and the new deputies remark with regret as to the accidents that start befalling any who refuse to give their weekly donation to the auction.
The writing style of Samson is tight and holds a remarkable voice all its own.
What do you do when your most prized possessions are taken out from under you under a tense threat?
What befalls the land, the cows, the children?
The maddening fright of the Moores in their plight, as the town around them is gutted, as they struggle to eat, and plan escape or an effective rebuttal is so realistic and so alarming that it carries a swelling anxiety that dials in on the reader more and more as the story continues.
The pacing is terrific and the suspense leaves you breathless.
And the book is written in a way that it could take place during any time frame in New England, as it represents interesting and intense characters in a small town we may not all be from, but we could all have visited or at least imagine.
The graceful description of the land, the pond, the pines, and the rustic interiors on the Moore’s farm all frame a fully fleshed world full of sounds and smells.
It feels so real.
At the halfway point, it seems anything can happen, any evil can come from the sharp smiling auctioneer for his private gain and any cost could be reaped to do so for the residents of Harlowe.
The madness of action sweeps over John Moore a few times, but he never succeeds in starting anything except a small fire that inspires the town.
The edginess that swallows the reader as his wife and mother wait for the deputies to come for the arsonist soon becomes a panic, as Mim continues to, despite boiling and scrubbing all of his clothes, smell gasoline in their kitchen.
The word that comes to mind as the town summons its inner fury, its Shirley Jackson-like “The Lottery” spirit, is realistic.
Crowd mentality is a real thing and the mayhem that ensues, and especially the wily fox’s getaway while the town lights its own on fire alive is the last thing I expected and quite spectacular.
The closing lines speaking of where the snowflakes fall is poignant and impactful.
Review of Suntup Numbered Limited Edition Of The Auctioneer
Suntup goes far beyond the fine press treatment with the three limited editions of The Auctioneer of which the numbered edition of 250 will be reviewed here.
The original cover art by Wendell Minor is included along with new pieces from the cover artist of Stephen King’s novel Salem’s Lot, Dave Christensen, a forward from Ms. Samson’s widowed husband, Warren C. Carberg, Jr., and a preface by New York Times bestselling author and screenwriter Grady Hendrix.
And what is more, Paul Suntup, Rebecca (Ninja) and their team brought forth three magnificent limited editions in a stunning lettered and a gorgeous artist gift edition (AGE) featuring the brilliant original cover art by Wendell Minor.
As these have yet to ship, I will stick to the numbered edition of Samson’s The Auctioneer and the sheer fun in just holding this copy hits home.
To read of such a small-town American horror story and continually brush against the handmade Indiana Wheatstraw paper boards that are somewhat pebbled and smooth and rough at the same time is remarkable.
The layout, the font setting, the paper, the old-fashioned illustrations that almost seem cut from a wood panel made up of the same art with Grady’s cover art, are all perfect for this great novel.
The heart-wrenching opening from Joan’s widowed husband is moving beyond words.
The careful thought and attention to every detail of this work has once again shown the shine of Suntup Editions.
This is a truly befitting homage and work of art to house such a work of art as was the great Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer.