"The best of Dennis Wheatley"

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Sun 21 Aug, 2011 14:11:45

Garry Holmes wrote: Once the Sallust series gets into its swing, the continuity is pretty straight, although it does fray a bit if you try to fit all of the books in. It's really the Modern Musketeer stories that have the biggest problems.
It's easy enough for you or me to pile up our Arrow paperbacks, and buzz through Gregory's wartime adventures in the space of two or three months (with other stuff in between), but these were originally published over a span of 24 years (1940-1964)! The chronicles of the Duke and his friends are far worse, running from 1933 until 1970--and, as noted, not written in any order--it's hardly to be wondered at that trifling details don't always add up.

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sun 21 Aug, 2011 23:05:13

To be honest, I've never really cared that much whether all of the details add up (I'm a Sherlock Holmes fan, and Doyle never bothered with continuity), but it does fascinate me that DW took enormous pains to make sure that the real facts were accurate, but took less care with his own creations. Like I said, he apparently finishes the saga, but then brings them all back and introduces a potential romantic interest for Simon, with Miranda. The act of creativity was more important to him than tamely going along with his original plan, which does say a lot about his writing.

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Post by Alan » Thu 25 Aug, 2011 13:15:35

Garry Holmes wrote:Once the Sallust series gets into its swing, the continuity is pretty straight, although it does fray a bit if you try to fit all of the books in. It's really the Modern Musketeer stories that have the biggest problems. I do love the fact that, having finished the series pretty definitively, he suddenly decides to write another instalment introducing an important new character (Miranda) who don't appear in the final volume! It's as if the author was determined not to be hemmed in by what he had already written.
It's really only "Black August" that doesn't fit in with the others - incidentally, I have argued elsewhere in this forum that it may be regarded as an "alternate universe" novel in which WWII never happened, Britain became a dictatorship, Gregory never moved out of his flat, kept Rudd as batman, etc!

The "Modern Musketeer" series has a few minor contradictions, but nothing that really mars. It's as well to remember that even in non-fiction, there are sometimes contradictions about dates, that provide fodder for scholarly argument and debate. "Gateway to Hell," to me is an unfortunate thing, obviously written as a potboiler (it's my guess DW was made to write it, against his wishes) with its lackluster plot and lazy writing, and I really think he felt it needed a romantic interest to spice it up. And after all, Miranda is a fascinating character, and Simon deserved a love interest, since everyone else had one during the series! I guess one would have to assume their relationship didn't work out, long-term...

I don't know if I prefer having a love-interest from a (chronologically) earlier work simply vanish (as Miranda had to, of course, since the "later" part of the story was already written) or have an off-stage death as happened to poor Tanith.

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Post by Garry Holmes » Thu 25 Aug, 2011 21:05:30

I've always had my suspicions that the reason DW wrote GATEWAY TO HELL was in order to cash in on the film version of THE DEVIL RIDES OUT. GATEWAY was published within two years of the film, and you can't help but notice that the most famous scene from the movie (the night in the magic circle) appears here with a few changes. The fact that his heroes suddenly need to have certain magical ideas explained to them is also suggestive. I wonder if he thought that the book might attract a new readership who had seen and enjoyed the movie. The shorter, simpler story might also have been an attempt to lure Hammer into making a new adaption. Same heroes in a similar story with some vaguely similar set pieces.

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Post by Garry Holmes » Thu 25 Aug, 2011 21:44:32

Call me an old romantic (or even a loony), but I can't help hoping that things worked out in the long run between Simon and Miranda.

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Post by duffellbag » Fri 9 Sep, 2011 15:55:14

A couple of questions for those Wheatley specialists out there...

Will this new edition count as a first, like some of the other omnibuses?

Also does anyone collect more than one edition of the same title? IE the various editons of TDRO?

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Post by Jim » Fri 9 Sep, 2011 17:16:37

duffellbag wrote: A couple of questions for those Wheatley specialists out there...
Will this new edition count as a first, like some of the other omnibuses?
We're told that some of the racial slurs have been quietly edited out, and the charts have been dropped from the discussion on numerology in The Devil Rides Out. If this is the first time these novels appear with the new text, then I think it qualifies as a first. In the same way, though, you could argue that the Herons are firsts, as the DW novels had never before been issued in illustrated editions. I don't imagine it's ever going to become particularly collectible. Personally, I bought it because I liked the garish cover, I got a good price by pre-ordering from Book Depository, and I wanted to encourage further reprinting of Wheatley.

duffellbag wrote:Also does anyone collect more than one edition of the same title? IE the various editons of TDRO?
That depends on what sort of collector you are.<g> In my case, I have TDRO in this new Prion book, in the Octopus compilation, in the BCA reprint of a few years ago, the Fleshcreepers abridgement, and in Italian (Il Battesimo del Diavolo)! I have the British and American firsts of The Black Baroness. I have an early edition of The Forbidden Territory, and the signed Lymington first, and I hope at some point to have both the short story collections in their original texts and in the updated Lymington versions. As we say in the States, your mileage may vary...

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Post by duffellbag » Fri 9 Sep, 2011 20:38:37

hi Jim
Im not decided what kind of collector I am re Wheatley, although I have a few firsts. I have an early 10th 1000th edition of TDRO, which I have now added a facsimile dustjacket to, courtesy of the website listed in other posts. This has recently arrived and is now gracing my bookshelf. I too am quite fond of the cover to the new Wheatley compilation. Perfectly captures that 70s feel for the occult. Faked Passports and V for Vengeance have also been given the dustjacket additions of late and a nice colourful collection of Wheatleys is growing in my household; of which I am a proud owner. Lets hear it for DW!

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Post by Charles » Sat 17 Sep, 2011 10:45:07

duffellbag wrote: Also does anyone collect more than one edition of the same title? IE the various editons of TDRO?
Hi Duffellbag, and I fear it's time to confess the progess of my own addiction ... and perhaps to 'warn off' those who are in the early stages of a similar affliction before it's too late :D

When I had my first conversation with the late and still much lamented Bob Rothwell some years ago, he asked me what I collected, and I replied with no hesitation "I want to build up a collection of signed firsts of the Duke de Richleau novels. They're my favourites, that's it, and there's absolutely nothing else I'm after". Bob chuckled and said "I started out that way and my house is now stuffed full of Dennis Wheatley material" (it was). "Don't be so sure" he said. "No way will I collect anything else" I said, "apart from anything else, I don't have rooom for anything".

Now, a few years on, one thing has led to another .... as an example, I had no interest in the early paperbacks ("who would be interested in them ?", I used to ask myself. Now, the more I look into them, the more fascinating they become, and I collect them avidly. The same in several other areas.

As for the various editions of the same title, the answer for me is a qualified 'yes'. I'm always on the lookout for editions I haven't logged on the website, and when I come across a reprint in a second hand bookshop (though these are now a disappearing breed) I always have a look at the publication history, and when I come across a reprint with a dustjacket that I haven't logged on the website - particularly if it is a previously unrecorded design like the dustjacket on the 12th thousand of 'Such Power is Dangerous' I put on the website a while back, it really makes my day.

Time for anyone else to confess their addictions ???

SW - for some reason you come to mind !!!

All best to all as always !

and a PS - I'll be sending out emails about final arrangements for the Convention shortly ...
Charles

Jim
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Post by Jim » Sat 10 Dec, 2011 19:34:46

Well, what a surprise! Prion is going to issue The Best of Dennis Wheatley in the States! It's already listed at the Barnes & Noble (big book chain) website, and at Amazon...although it's shown, in the listings I've seen, under its "original" title.

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