Thursday, February 06, 2014

An Innes and a Gilbert instead of Seven Starks?

When I fell in love with Donald Westlake's Richard Stark novels a few years ago, I would have given anything to be able to find used and or collectible copies of his books.  I never saw anything by Stark. (By which I mean for sale in bookstores, not online.)  Now that we are a few years into what looks like a fairly solid Westlake revival, I am starting to see more Westlakes for sale in used bookstores.

I stopped by two used bookstores tonight and in the second one I found seven Richard Stark first editions for sale (and some paperbacks reprints, too).  Three Allison & Busbys, two from Gregg Press, and two of the Grofields from Macmillan.  The Rare Coin Score was signed.  All were between $29 to $50.

I am embarrassed to admit that I passed on all of them, especially the Grofields.  (I have all of the Starks in one form or another now though most are not especially collectible, though they are cherished.  Except for my $80 Butcher's Moon paperback, that still makes me angry.) Instead I spent 50 cents on a green Penguin Michael Innes, The Daffodil Affair.  Did a bit of research on it when I got home and the consensus seems to be that it is the strangest novel Innes wrote.  Perhaps not the best place to start reading him but I do like the cover a lot.

I also bought a first American edition of Michael Gilbert's The 92nd Tiger for eight bucks.  I researched all of Gilbert's books to see which ones I wanted to read and this one was definitely not on the list.  But it has been slow-going finding copies of Gilbert's books so I grabbed it.  (Also picked up a reprint of After the Fine Weather over the weekend.) Read the first chapter and realized I kind of liked it.  Or maybe its just that I really like Michael Gilbert.  If this story of an actor being recruited by the Foreign Office to act as a security advisor to the ruler of a small, fictitious Middle Eastern country were written by anyone else, I would automatically skip it.  I hope it turns out okay.


OlmanFeelyus said...

Wise choice, the prices for Parker books are insane. That Slayground is tempting, though!

Book Glutton said...

I have you to thank for introducing me to Michael Gilbert. So thanks.

Honestly, if I were still reading the Stark books for the first time and still caught in the mania of it all, I would have sprung for some of these books without thinking. I have a uniform set of all the Univ. of Chicago books (and random duplicates) and having a nice set to look at diminishes the urge to buy first editions of which it is unlikely that I will ever have a complete set.