Scarcity of of "Haunting of Toby Jugg"?

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lukehoney
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Scarcity of of "Haunting of Toby Jugg"?

Post by lukehoney » Tue 24 Aug, 2010 10:36:33

I've just bought a 1950's reprint of "Toby Jugg' on ebay, in a reasonable condition with dustjacket. I'm sure others will have noticed the apparent scarcity of this title- especially as a first edition. My question is why? I would have thought that the print-run on the post-war titles would have been large and that, logically, there should be a decent amount of copies out there. This doesn't seem to be the case. Any ideas?

Thanks

Luke

p.s. The cover art for "Toby Jugg" is especially attractive. Which has made me think: The dust-jacket for Graham Greene's "Brighton Rock" is so rare, that it's virtually unheard of. One theory is that readers hated the garish bright pink design so much that they threw it away on purchase, (it also clashed with the design of the other Greene titles). Maybe the opposite applies to "Jugg"? The book is so attractive to look at, that owners want to hang on to their copies? It's also, in my opinion, one of the better DW novels.

Jim
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Post by Jim » Wed 25 Aug, 2010 23:25:41

I don't see a whole lot of copies on eBay or on bookfinder.com (except for the Heron reprint). I can't account for why this one should be hard to come by, or why I still can't get my hands on the Lymington reprint of Gunmen, Gallants and Ghosts with the additional material. That's part of what makes collecting fun!

lukehoney
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Post by lukehoney » Thu 26 Aug, 2010 07:58:14

Jim

Absolutely! Another one's "The Satanist". Not that long ago there seemed to be quite a few first editions floating around on ebay which you could buy for a few pound each. Recently, it's suddenly become pretty scarce, or if there are any copies out there, dealers are asking punchy prices for it. Again, this one must have had a huge print run- it's very strange! Having said that, I think it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that because there are no copies listed on the internet, a title has to be rare. There may well be dealers who have copies- but have decided (for various reasons) not to list them.

I've no doubt that books published in the 1950's have suddenly become much harder to find in general bookshops. Stock from house clearances has now been snapped up by collectors and we're on to the next generation. Those sensational trashy paperbacks from the 1960's (with garish cover art, often published by Arrow) have suddenly become much harder to find too. My favourite second hand bookshop has a designated Dennis Wheatley shelf full of paperbacks, and they haven't had any copies of the early 70's DW paperbacks (the version with the girl dancing, the flames, and a satanic mask) for several years now. In my opinion, the best DW cover art of the lot. It looks like other collectors agree...

Jim
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Post by Jim » Thu 26 Aug, 2010 10:37:36

I saw a copy of The Satanist in a Brooklyn bookstore not that long ago. I couldn't remember which edition I had at home (not the actual first, as it turned out), so I made a note to check it out. When I went back, it was gone...so I'm not the only DW collector in the NYC area.

I was very lucky to find a copy of the first Lymington box at an excellent price, here in New York. The box itself was in poor condition, and I tossed it, but I'd have paid what I did just to get the signed copy of The Forbidden Territory.

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sun 26 Sep, 2010 13:59:24

I picked up some very nice, if rather beaten up, copies of the Crime Dossiers from Hay on Wye a year or two ago. I also found a very nice 1st edition of THE RISING STORM with dust wrapper at the same time, along with the Sallust omnibus PLOT AND COUNTERPLOT. They didn't cost an enormous amount, either. A few years ago the Midlands area was absolutely flooded with pristine copies of those red-bound, hardback Heron editions (maybe a warehouse had been cleared out somewhere?). These mostly ended up in charity shops, and my local Oxfam was flogging them for £1 each! Apart from the recent paperback re-issues, it's almost impossible to find paperback copies on the high street nowadays. Amazon has absolutely loads of paperback and hardback Wheatley of a 60s/70s vintage. Most of them are pretty reasonable in price, although someone ought to tell the poor soul who is trying to sell a 1991 paperback copy of GATEWAY TO HELL for about 63 quid that they are probably in for a long wait!

When I was collecting DW in the early 80s, one of the hardest books to find was THREE INQUISITIVE PEOPLE. I always got the feeling that the publishers didn't want to push it as much as some of his more representative titles, but maybe its unavailability was just a geographic quirk.

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Post by Cibator » Wed 29 Sep, 2010 10:26:53

Good score, Garry, with those Crime Dossiers! Never seen any of those anywhere, including Hay-on-Wye. Did they have the sealed bit (with the solution inside) intact?
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Post by duffellbag » Thu 30 Sep, 2010 19:35:17

Hi All,
The point about TJ scarcity seems to have generated a discussion about what people are collecting in terms of Wheatley. Im trying to track down post war first editions, Lymingtons and various interesting signed copies.

Just wondered what other peoples prefered collecting habits were.

I recently too picked up the intial six Lymingtons, without box with the Forbidden Territory signed by Wheatley for a reasonable sum on Ebay. It includes TJ.

This means I now have a spare copy of Toby Jugg, a 50s reprint hardback with that attractive dust wrapper. If anyone is interested in this copy please let me know

regards Martin

Garry Holmes
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Post by Garry Holmes » Sun 10 Oct, 2010 17:13:28

Cibator: No such luck! All of the inclusions were in there, but someone had obviously played the games a long time ago and then slipped them away in some relatively safe nook. They looked as though they had been sat on at some point, but it was just nice to find any old copy.

Duffelbag: I'm a really undiscriminating collector. I just look at what's in the bookstore shelf, and if it strikes my fancy (and it's not too expensive), then I'll get it.

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Post by Jim » Mon 11 Oct, 2010 01:20:32

Garry Holmes wrote:I'm a really undiscriminating collector. I just look at what's in the bookstore shelf, and if it strikes my fancy (and it's not too expensive), then I'll get it.
My DW collection is also a complete hotch-potch. Generally, I only have the latest novels in first editions, and if it was signed, I didn't care what printing it was. I have ten of the Lymington Edition reprints and a dozen books in the Heron version (which do look very nice). I have a few U.S. editions--most of his books were never printed here in hardcover--and three foreign-language editions. Looking quickly, I believe the oldest novel of which I have a first printing (with jacket!) is The Man Who Missed the War.

duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sun 31 Oct, 2010 20:44:00

Similar to Jim my Dennis Wheatle books are a mixture of editions. I would class myself as a reader rather than a collector of his book.

However, when I rediscovered DW in late 2006 I made it my aim to have a copy of each one of his books and had great fun trawling second hand bookshop and charity shops to find them, finally using good old amazon to obtain the last two.

Just got to find the time now to read them all.

duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sat 13 Nov, 2010 09:51:20

Visiting one of my local charity shops yesterday, was able to purchase a copy, not the originals but the Webb&Bower reprints , of two of DW's crime dossiers, Who killed Robert Prentice? and The Malinsay Massacre, fortunately it appears both with the seals intact.

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