Monday 2 November 2015

Existential Ennui on eBay: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Point Blank and Pity Him Afterwards

At long last I've finally gone and done something I've been promising to do for bloody ages: I've listed some books for sale on eBay. All three books have featured on Existential Ennui at various points, and two of them have even featured on The Violent World of Parker too – not that either of those facts are especially salient or will make a blind bit of difference as regards determining whether or not the books sell or, if they do sell, how much they sell for, I'm sure – I mean, why should whether a book has made an appearance on a little-read blog collecting blog – and a better-read crime fiction website – and indeed sat on the shelves of the proprietor of the little-read book collecting blog for, ooh, a good few years, in any way impact its relative desirability? – but I just thought I'd mention it. Er, at length.

The books are as follows:

A first edition/impression of John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, published in hardback by Hodder & Stoughton in 1974, as seen on Existential Ennui here, here and here (among other posts), eBay auction here;

A British hardback first edition/impression of Richard Stark's Point Blank, alias The Hunter, published by Allison & Busby in 1984, as seen on Existential Ennui – and, no doubt, The Violent World of Parker – all over the bloody place (I can't be fagged to find all the posts) but certainly on the British Thriller Book Cover Design of the 1970s and 1980s page, eBay auction here;

An American first edition/impression of Donald E. Westlake's Pity Him Afterwards, published in hardback by Random House in 1964, as seen on Existential Ennui here and here and The Violent World of Parker here, eBay auction here.

I suppose they're all quite obvious books in a way: better known titles (although less so in the case of Pity Him Afterwards) by authors who are firm favourites on Existential Ennui. But they're all collectable first editions of a sort, and they all have low starting prices – £4.99 in each case – so they're a good way for me to test the waters, to see if it's going to be worth my while to persist with selling on eBay. If they do well, I have other, more obscure delights waiting to be listed (not least some more Westlake books).

All three auctions finish on Sunday 8 November around 7pm, and all three are UK only affairs, I'm afraid; I may offer international shipping on future auctions (if there are future auctions), but for these initial ones I wanted to keep it simple. There's information about the condition of each book in each respective listing, but anyone looking for more details can either ask me questions on eBay itself, or post a comment below, or drop me a line on the usual Existential Ennui email address (see the contact details in the sidebar on the right) and I'll respond as swiftly as I'm able.


  1. Good luck with ebay Nick - I've added you to my favourite sellers list and shall be watching with interest.

    Might even place a bid or two.

    1. Thanks, Steve. I shan't ask which auction you might be bidding on; don't want to tip off the competition! That said, bidding's already started on one of the books...