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New on eBay: books and manuscripts

April 24, 2012

Recently I listed the computer-generated manuscript of The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart on eBay. The woman who’d bought it in 2003 had since passed away, and her daughter wanted to see it go to another collector. I decided to trust the market, and put it up with an opening bid of 99¢ and no reserve. My faith was rewarded; after ten days of spirited bidding, the manuscript was hammered down for $1125.

I found this sufficiently heartening to go through a closet and see what else might draw some interest. I’ve just finished listing ten collector items— five books and five manuscripts—and they too will open at 99¢. But I have a feeling they may go a little higher.

Here’s what’s on offer:

Something to Remember You By. A short story original manuscript.

Someday I’ll Plant More Walnut Trees. A short story original manuscript.

The Merciful Angel of Death. A Matthew Scudder short story original manuscript.

A Little Off the Top. A short story original manuscript.

A Ticket to the Boneyard. Original typewritten manuscript of the 7th Matthew Scudder novel.

Burglars Can’t Be Choosers. #999 of the Bookplate First Edition of the first Bernie Rhodenbarr novel.

The Burglar in the Closet. A second printing copy of the rare Random House first edition.

The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza. The Random House first edition of the 5th Burglar book.

In the Midst of Death. A mint copy of Dell’s true first edition of Matthew Scudder #3.

The Triumph of Evil. The 1971 first edition of the second Paul Kavanagh novel.

Once again, all items open at 99¢ and are offered with no reserve. The auction closes the morning of May 4. There are more photos, including some unusual ones of the much younger author, in the individual listings, along with notes on condition, etc. Look them over, and have fun!


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  1. george permalink

    OK, I know I won’t get it and can’t afford it, but I did drive the price of the Boneyard manuscript up from $26 to $56. That was fun.

  2. Can I point out at this time how outrageous it is that the first Burglar book has that errant apostrophe? Also, I am definitely going to come back next week and see if I can snag some of these. I imagine that the Boneyard ms will be way too much for me, but I don’t have Triumph of Evil in my collection. Hmm…

    • That f’ing apostrophe irritated the hell out of me back in the day, but I’ve had 36 years to get over it. This sort of thing happens because art directors never really pay much attention to words, beyond how they look on the page.

  3. Thomas Pluck permalink

    I’ve always admired your titles, but it’s amusing to see what the original draft titles were. A Ticket to the Boneyard is one of your best- title and story.

    I’ll drive that one up a bit, but if Scudder fans are as loaded as Bernie fans, some other lucky bidder will be snagging this treasure.

    I hope “8 Million Ways to Die” wasn’t originally “Machetes and Bad Coffee”…

  4. Chrissie permalink

    Ah, such a tease for fans across the water! We’ll watch like naughty children not picked to play.

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