Tuesday 5 April 2016

Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest (Panther, 1958)

No. 6 in a series of posts on books I've bought but haven't got round to blogging about properly – indeed may never get round to blogging about properly – so this will have to do. NB: linked in Friday's Forgotten Books, 8/4/16.

What is it?
The first British paperback edition of Dashiell Hammett's classic 1929 noir novel Red Harvest, published by Panther in 1958.

Who illustrated the cover?
John Vernon, who also illustrated the 1957 Panther edition of The Maltese Falcon; perhaps that's why the Continental Op on his Red Harvest cover bears a passing resemblance to Humphrey Bogart (who played Sam Spade in the 1941 John Huston film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon).

Where and when did I buy it?
On eBay, last year.

Why did I buy it?
It was a bit of an impulse purchase. I'd been on the hunt for an affordable first edition/first impression of the The Dashiell Hammett Omnibus (Cassell, 1950), and managed to find one, in its dust jacket, on Amazon Marketplace for under twenty quid (see previous post). At the same time I spotted this paperback of Red Harvest on eBay, and even though Red Harvest is one of the novels in The Dashiell Hammett Omnibus, I couldn't resist snapping up this rare first British paperback edition of Red Harvest too. In my defence, at least it means John Vernon's cover is now freely available to view online – possibly the first time that's been the case.

Have I read it yet?
I have.