Wednesday 4 August 2010

Parker Progress Report: The Richard Stark Allison & Busby Editions (Slight Return)

So, with the addition of The Rare Coin Score, I'm pretty much able to draw a line under my collection of the UK Allison & Busby editions of Donald 'Richard Stark' Westlake's Parker novels. As I mentioned in that previous post, I've got all eight of the original A&B editions (which were published out of sequence) from the mid-'80s:

and all I'm missing from the later waves of A&B editions are a couple of hardbacks where all I currently have are paperbacks. I'm not about to go out of my way to get those though; if I see 'em cheap at any point I'll pick them up, but otherwise the paperbacks I have will suffice. This, then (drum roll, please), is my Richard Stark Allison & Busby Parker Collection, in Parker series order (not A&B publication order, which was all over the shop, although I have included A&B pub dates in brackets):

Point Blank (Hardcover, 1984), The Man with the Getaway Face (Hardcover, 1984), The Outfit (Hardcover, 1988)

The Mourner (Hardcover, 1987), The Score (Hardcover, 1985), The Jugger (Paperback, 1986)

The Split (Hardcover, 1985), The Handle (Hardcover, 1985), The Rare Coin Score (Hardcover, 1984)

The Green Eagle Score (Hardcover, 1986), The Black Ice Score (Paperback, 1986), The Sour Lemon Score (Hardcover, 1986)

Deadly Edge (Paperback Only, 1990), Slayground (Hardcover, 1984)

And that's it as far as Allison & Busby went; far as I can work out, they never published the other two Parker novels in the original run – Plunder Squad and Butcher's Moon – and only issued Deadly Edge in a paperback, not a hardcover. Incidentally, I was chatting with the proprietor of one of the bookshops I visited during my tour of London bookshops, and when I mentioned I'd found an Allison & Busby edition of The Rare Coin Score earlier that day, he made a remark to the effect that he considered A&B a bit of a cowboy outfit, with awful paper stock and production values. That's certainly born out by some of the copies I own, where browning paper is evident – not to mention the dreadful proofing on the A&B Parkers (they're littered with errors that aren't in other editions). A little second hand bookseller gossip there. Still, nice to have hardbacks of most of the Parkers.

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