Tuesday 6 July 2010

Westlake Score: Jimmy the Kid

I've got two Westlake Scores to showcase today, both from the same dealer in the US. First up:

A US hardback first edition of Jimmy the Kid, published by M. Evans & Company in 1974. It's the third in Donald Westlake's Dortmunder series, following The Hot Rock and Bank Shot. I was hoping to carry on collecting the UK Hodder & Stoughton firsts of the Dortmunders, but the Hodder edition of Jimmy the Kid is particularly elusive (although having said that I might now have a lead on a copy...), so I've switched to the American firsts instead.

Jimmy the Kid is notable for the fact that Dortmunder and his crew plan a kidnapping based on the plot of a novel... a novel written by one Richard Stark, called Child Heist. And as I'm sure we all know, Stark was the name under which Westlake wrote his series of Parker novels, of which Child Heist is purportedly a part. Except it's not a 'real' book. It's a phantom Parker novel, existing only in the pages of Jimmy the Kid. How meta is that? Apparently Westlake was outed as Stark in the New York Times, and Jimmy the Kid was his response. This is a really nice copy, bright and clean, with a jacket by Don Bender, and it boasts another author pic of Westlake on the back to add to my collection (see also The Hot Rock and Pity Him Afterwards), this one by Diana Bryant:

Lookin' kinda groovy there, Mr. W. So, what's the other Westlake Score of the day? See the next post...

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