Thursday, July 17, 2008

Whittemore and Wolfe

Most of the books in my personal library are paperback, but after losing countless copies of my favourite books in paperback to borrowers who failed to return them, I acquired hardcover copies and rarely loaned them out.

Such is the case with my Edward Whittemore collection. Actually I acquired the first edition hard covers of Sinai Tapestry and Jerusalem Poker through the auspices of a work colleague who noticed them on a remainders table, and knowing how much I admired the author, bought them for me for $2.00 each for which I reimbursed him.

I had first discovered the amazing writing of Whittemore in paperback, when I stumbled across Sinai Tapestry in 1979. He became an obsession for me and over the years I kept an eye out for the news of the remaining two volumes of the Jerusalem Quartet. This was before the Internet, so I had to pester booksellers for information, and order them in when I discovered one had been published. So I have ended up with the Quartet in first editions, and also have a British first edition hard cover of Quin’s Shanghai Circus.

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Possibly my all time favourite writer; I have read Whittemore’s books many times and treasure these editions dearly. Check out Jerusalem Dreaming, my tribute site to Edward Whittemore, for more information.

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Gene Wolfe’s sequence The Book of the New Sun I read initially in paperback and still retain my copies of the paperbacks with the beautiful Don Maitz covers, as have the hardcover Timescape editions below.

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Sometime later I bought the hardcover set in the Timescape editions, excepting the Urth of the New Sun which I purchased at the time of its publication in a British hardcover edition. I have not read these books for some years, but I was immensely impressed with them when I first did.

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