Friday 4 June 2010

New Arrival: The Man with the Getaway Face by Richard Stark (US Pocket Edition)

Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking. I mean, other than, 'Who are you and why am I reading this blog?' You're thinking, 'Doesn't this guy already have a 1984 Allison & Busby UK hardback of this one, and a 1971 Coronet UK paperback of the same book (under the title The Steel Hit)?' And yes, it's true, I do. But, hopeless collector that I am, I just couldn't resist this when it popped up from a UK seller on eBay:

Because it's the 1963 US first edition, and therefore a little piece of history. The Man with the Getaway Face is the second of Donald 'Richard Stark' Westlake's Parker novels, and like, I believe, the eleven other Parkers up to and including The Sour Lemon Score, it was first issued in paperback in the States, by Pocket Books in this instance. And thus far it's one of my favourites in the series, for a couple of reasons: for the way Westlake details the meticulous, methodical planning of the heist for over half the book, and then dispenses with the crime itself (and its double-cross aftermath) in about eight pages; and for the misadventures of Stubbs, my favourite Stark Stooge. I also really like the scratchy cover illo on this paperback, by one Harry Bennett.

The original American first editions of the Parker novels don't crop up on eBay too often, at least not from UK sellers, so I'm glad I nabbed it. Even though I do now have three different editions of the same book...

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