Re: RARA-AVIS: Quick Question about JD Macdonald book

From: pabergin (
Date: 15 Jun 2000

Earlier today I stopped at my local used paperback
>place and found a copy of John D's AREA OF SUSPICION.
>Up top there's a brief blurb -- "Specially revised by
>the author". Does anyone know anything about this
>revision? Why it was revised? What the old one was
>like? (According to the copyright page I have the 1961
>edition, but there's also an earlier 1954 copyright
>date? Was that the copyright of the earlier edition?)

Doug, AREA OF SUSPICION was first published as a Dell PBO in 1954. The '61 edition was the first Fawcett printing, and only the second printing of the book. I'm not familiar with the particulars of this title, but JDM was an habitual rewriter. He may have felt some references -- usually details like prices, fashions, etc -- had grown dated and needed changing. He took pride in not rewriting in such a way that he appeared to be a better writer than he was when the work was originally issued. (At least according to his intro to THE GOOD OLD STUFF.) Presumably, he took the same care with AOS. CAVEAT: The Dell edition was 254 pages, but all the Fawcett editions were 207, so more rewriting than was customary with JDM may have taken place. PB

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