The Reader's Digest analogy is not valid in that they are not abridged. It's
a good way to get copies of hard to find books such as Goodis' Of Missing
Persons and the Lionel White you mention.
Jeff and all
DBC books were not abridged, per se, but they were censored. I remember
reading an A. A. Fair novel in which the word bitch was replaced by witch,
and a James Bond novel in which all of the "sexy" scenes are not to be found.
They began in 1942 and continued to come out all the way up through at
least the year 2000, though I've never been able to determine what the last
one actually was.
It may be
<http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=53788456&searchurl=bi%3D0%26bx%3Doff%26ds%3D30%26pn%3Ddetective%2Bbook%2Bclub%26sortby%3D2%26sts%3Dt%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26yrl%3D2000>BLOOD RAIN (Aurelio Zen Mystery) / THE HARD DETECTIVE / MANIFESTO FOR THE DEAD
[Dibdin, Michael / H. R. F. Keating / Domenic Stansberry] which according to an ABE seller, came out in 2000.
They're becoming hard to find and slightly collectible, but for the most
part they're not expensive. Even with their limitations (see above) I
agree that they're often worth the money, as Jeff says.
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