RARA-AVIS: More on Bouchercon

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 23 Oct 2003

A bit more information on the unproduced and unpublished Jonathan Latimer screenplay adaptation of Hammett's RED HARVEST. The dealer was Kevin Johnson of Royal Books in Baltimore and the listing (and pic) can be found at www.royalbooksonline.com or linking via abebooks.com. It says the manuscript dates from 1941 and has many penciled notations, presumably by Latimer. This is one year before his adaptation of THE GLASS KEY hit the theaters. The listed price is
$6,500, which to me seems like a bargain. Of course, that's easy for me to say since I am not about to buy it.

Once my shipment arrives I will report on more of my finds there. I shipped all the pulps and hardbacks because I had to swing through Chicago on business before getting home. I am really spending too much money on these things. I came home to find a stack of packages from eBay wins, which got me some kidding from the family. Good thing they didn't open them and find the copies of Rogue Magazine, the Playboy imitator, or I would have been kidded. At Bouchercon I ran into William Nolan who was a regular contributor to Rogue. He said all the unsigned Rogue profiles in the early years when pulpish paper was used were either by him or Charles Beaumont. The mag switched to all slick pages around 1959 or 1960.

Nolan has completed his third book on Hammett and says it is more than 900 pages. He told me he had submitted it to Knopf but they wanted changes he could not agree to and asked his agent to withdraw the book. He's confident it will find another publisher and given his track record I am certain it will. I liked his first two books on Hammett. My favorite recent book on Hammett was the one a couple of years ago by his daughter. She was at a convention I attended (Washington Bouchercon?) and I regret not going to her session as she has a very different perspective and articulates it very well.

Richard Moore

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