Advance Publicity: Help I Am Being Held Prisoner–back in print! (next year)


Got the word from Charles Ardai, just a few weeks ago–he read my piece on what a Westlake Library of America edition might look like, and this book was high on my list of criminally out of print Westlake crime.   It’s not being released until February 13th, 2018 (not a Friday, I’m disappointed to say), but Amazon already has a page up for it, so I’m not giving away any trade secrets here.  Behold! Cover art!

Yes, of course I bitched and moaned to Ardai about how The Girl in this book is a blonde, but seems like the artist wanted a brunette, and I shall privately entertain my own dirty-minded suspicions as to why that was.  The spirit of Robert E. McGinnis lives on, as indeed does McGinnis himself, but this isn’t his handiwork.  This version of the not-too-maidenly Marian is suitably zaftig, and that’s what really matters, right?  That and getting one of Westlake’s best Nephew Books back in print–and not just as an ebook.  (Though the nice thing about ebooks is that once you’ve got something digitized, it tends to stick around.)

In early 2019, Hard Case is planning to come out with a new edition of Brothers Keepers, and there are subsequent reprints in the works.

I must say, it’s getting a bit spooky how as soon as we here express our desire for a particular Westlake book to be reprinted, Hard Case turns out to already be on the case.

(C’mon, Adios Scheherazade! Or is that too hard a case even for them?)



Filed under Brothers Keepers, Donald Westlake novels, Help I Am Being Held Prisoner

5 responses to “Advance Publicity: Help I Am Being Held Prisoner–back in print! (next year)

  1. That Marian is sure no librarian.

    • Oh, I don’t know. Aren’t you forgetting the librarian from Butcher’s Moon? Who wasn’t a brunette either. As Ardai and I discussed, there’s a long tradition of the covers for these types of books featuring girls with different hair colors than the ones in the book. Anyway, this Marian is a schoolteacher. There’s certainly a long tradition of sexy schoolteachers. Not only in Van Halen videos.

  2. Geoff

    Either way, glad to have HCC release another Westlake reprint. It’s unfortunate his books aren’t as well known to the current generation of readers. Sadly, both new and used bookstores I frequent tend not to have a terribly large Westlake collection due to many of his books no longer being in print. Glad to see HCC continues to play their small part in changing that – should be an exciting couple years ahead.

    • If it wasn’t for Amazon Marketplace and eBay, I would have had a hell of a time reviewing all these books. Westlake is actually doing very well in terms of staying in print–electronically, at least. But so many of his best books have fallen by the wayside, because they lack some kind of promotional hook (series character, film adaptation, etc).

      It’s hard to promote his overall body of work, because it’s so diverse. He has not one readership, but many–it’s been my hope that this blog will make a contribution to bringing the factions together, but for many he’ll always stand for one type of book, and they’ll avoid the others religiously. Missing the connecting skein that unites them all. But it’s there, regardless.

      There are a fair few younger Westlake readers–hard to say how many, but I’ve encountered them hither and yon. And you know, most younger readers aren’t going to bookstores, assuming they even know what that is.

      Parker and Dortmunder will remain the mainstays of the catalogue, but once you’ve finished with those, there’s this pilfering primate on your back that won’t leave you alone, and more books must be acquired and read. If Hard Case is willing to be the supplier, I’m more than happy to be the streetcorner hustler. That analogy falls flat when I consider how much I’m getting paid for this. 😐

      • Corner boys make less than McDonald’s wages, according to Freakonomics. Bloggers are a level below that, of course; the only ones we beat are unpaid interns that have to pay for nice clothing and commuting out of their own pockets.

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