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Robert Deane Pharr

12 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0714506966 / ISBN 13: 9780714506968
Published by Caler and Boyars, London, 1969
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Andre Strong Bookseller (Blue Hill, ME, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since November 8, 2004

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About this Item

5 1/4 x 8 in. 374 pgs. Scarce first UK edition, 1969. Gray cloth boards with gilt lettering on spine. Condition is VERY GOOD+ ; no wear to corners or edges, binding tight, text perfect. FINE except extremely faint yellow spotting to cloth, and old Strand price sticker on front pastedown. DJ condition is VERY GOOD ; not price clipped (40s) no chipping or tears and edges hardly worn at all, very clean and bright except again, extremely faint yellow spotting. A fantastic copy overall. Fiction. RG. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # 5894

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Caler and Boyars, London

Publication Date: 1969

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Edition: First Edition

About this title


In the hardboiled tradition of Chester Himes and Walter Mosely, Robert Deane Pharr's novel tells the tale of two black men, Dave and Blueboy, traveling waiters who establish themselves as numbers runners in a fictionalized Richmond of the 1930s. Published to great acclaim in 1969, The Book of Numbers centers on powerful themes of truth and illusion, myth and legend, and vividly conveys a sense of African American life on the periphery of white society. The new Virginia edition complements Pharr's text with an Afterword by Washington Post editor Jabari Asim.

About the Author:

Robert Deane Pharr was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1916. The son of a minister and a schoolteacher, Pharr graduated from Virginia Union University and went on to graduate studies at Fisk, Columbia, and New York University, but spent most of his adult life as an itinerant waiter who moved from track to track, following the racing season. He wrote The Book of Numbers while working in New York City. During a stint at the Columbia University Faculty Club, Pharr showed the manuscript to a professor in the English Department who helped bring it to the attention of Doubleday. Pharr went on to write several other novels, among them The Soul Murder Case and Giveadamn Brown. He died in upstate New York in 1989.

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Andre Strong Bookseller and Red Gap Books have two shops in Blue Hill, on the coast of Maine. One is a used book shop with a wide selection of subject for big readers, and the other is Red Gap Rare, an elegant space with a large, ever- changing collection of books for collectors. The entire stock of Red Gap rare is listed on

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Andre Strong
PO box 1300
Blue Hill ME 04614

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