NB: A version of this post also appears on The Violent World of Parker blog.
After a run of Patricia Highsmith posts, it's time for a Westlake Score – and further evidence, as if any were needed, of the madness which consumes me. Because despite already owning three different editions of the seventh Richard Stark Parker novel – both under its original title of The Seventh (the 1966 US Pocket Books paperback first edition) and its later title of The Split (a 1969 UK Hodder movie tie-in paperback, and a 1985 UK Allison & Busby hardback) – I've now acquired a fourth edition on eBay:
A 1968 US Gold Medal paperback printing. Really, I can offer little in the way of defence here. I mean, The Seventh/The Split is one of my favourite Parkers, and this edition does boast Robert McGinnis cover art (featuring Parker modelling a fetching roll-neck), and furthermore copies of the Gold Medal paperback aren't easy to come by here in Britain; but even given all that, I'm still not sure I can justify this purchase – except that it does give me an opportunity to point out that, as with the 1967 Gold Medal edition of Point Blank, which is often mistakenly credited as being published in 1962 due to the appearance of a "Copyright © 1962" line in the indicia, the Gold Medal paperback of The Split – which, again like Point Blank, was retitled in order to tie in to its then-forthcoming movie adaptation – often suffers a similar fate; just take a look at the listings on AbeBooks, half of which are currently incorrect. Reason for that being the same as for Point Blank:
The only indication of pub date is the copyright line from the original publication.
...Yeah, I'm clutching at straws for justification even there, aren't I?
No matter. At least this post gives us another opportunity to gaze at that great McGinnis cover art. And next week I should have a pair of much more interesting Westlake Scores, neither of which, to my knowledge, have ever been shown online before, making them Violent World of Parker/Existential Ennui exclusives. Mind you, I haven't seen the covers of either of the books yet (they're currently en route), so we could all be in for a crushing disappointment if they turn out to be the same as the American editions...
Next on Existential Ennui, though: it's the return of Anthony Price...