RARA-AVIS: Bragging time: signed Gil Brewer...

From: Ron Clinton (clinton65@comcast.net)
Date: 06 Nov 2008

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    This list has never been about bragging about collectible acquisitions...I suspect we all have items in our respective libraries that would make many among us envious. But we all restrain ourselves so the focus can remain on genre discussion and not become a show-and-tell.

    Having said that, however....I must share a recent purchase.

    I picked up a 1st edition hardcover of Gil Brewer's THE RED SCARF, a novel Bill Pronzini calls one of Brewer's two best: "There are some neat plot turns, the various components mesh smoothly, the characterization is flawless, and the prose is Brewer's sharpest and most controlled. Anthony Boucher said in the New York Times that the book is the 'all-around best Gil Brewer. . . a full-packed story.'"* It's in top-notch condition and, most exciting, is signed by Gil Brewer.

    I'd never seen a signed Gil Brewer book before, nor seen one up for sale; booksignings were not the norm back then as they are these days, and particularly not among authors of Brewer's pbo ilk. Brewer has always been a particular favorite of mine, and while I'd always hoped to someday have a signed Brewer, I'd also always suspected that such an acquisition would be a longshot at best. To finally have such a book -- especially what is perhaps his finest work, and in rare hardcover form -- among my collection is, needless to say, pretty exciting.

    To make matters even more intriguing, the book is from the estate of Harry Whittington, another favorite of mine. Brewer has penned a long inscription to his good friends, Whittington and his wife. The last line of the inscription is poignantly ironic, knowing the dark tone of Brewer's books and the dark, alcoholic spiral that ultimately ended his own career and life.

    Here are a couple shots of it:

    http://home.comcast.net/~clinton65/IMG_4727(1).jpg and http://home.comcast.net/~clinton65/IMG_4732(1).jpg

    Coming closely on the heels of another equally exciting acquisition, a signed 1st hardcover of Charles Beaumont's THE HUNGER AND OTHER STORIES:


    ...this has been a month of very exciting additions to my library. Thanks for allowing me to share.

    Ron Clinton

    *: http://www.mysteryfile.com/GBrewer/FW.html

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