Books still to collect: 81

Monday, 19 December 2011

I Am A Brother To Coughing Dragons

WTF?  Another Coughing Dragon?  Surely not.  Yet here it is, bloggers:   
Much, much better than that ex-lib copy that arrived recently, this is a 1st impression, with Graveyard endpapers (some large Coughing Dragons don’t have these) and very clean pages and boards.  A great condition spine tops this awesome book off and it looks great as part of my now complete large hardback collection.  Time to reflect now, bloggers, on what my collecting strategy should be.  I have a complete run of large hardbacks and am missing only Monster Mountain in small hardbacks.  I think it may be a while before it shows up again, so I think I’ll turn my attention towards adding some nice paperbacks and omnibuses.  By the way, I have added up what I have spent so far in amassing this collection, jesus christ its fucking mental.  I will put together a post about this soon, but be warned it will probably put you off buying books for ever.

This Terror Castle Hath A Pleasant Seat

If you’ve been keeping score, bloggers, (and if you haven’t – why not?) you may well think that I only need one more large hardback to complete the large hardback collection.  Well, if you thought that you’d be wrong.  Why?  Because this has just arrived in the post:  
Get in there, Dotch; it’s a lovely large Terror Castle!  Nectar of the gods!  Dillion!  Beezer!  Etc etc.  Condition is generally nice; it does have a bit of a cup ring on the cover, but I think that might clean off.  If you haven’t checked out the movie version of this book, I urge you to do so.  There you will experience the awesome sight of Bob Andrews beating birds off with a shitty stick.  Fuck knows what they see in him, but he’s clearly got something going on.  I’m not sure I remember that scene in the book but it must have happened otherwise they wouldn’t have put it in the film.

Scale Of Coughing Dragon, Tooth Of Wolf

Honestly they are like fucking number 6 buses, these Coughing Dragons.  I never saw hide nor hair of one since March and all of a sudden they are all over the shop.  Take this one for instance:  
Described as being in “acceptable” condition by an Amazon retailer, it turned out to be an ex-library book that has had the boards laminated and the spiderweb endpapers removed.  I suppose it is all to do with how you would define the word acceptable.  It was under a tenner, I suppose, so I shouldn’t really grumble, but the other problem is that the spine is well faded, so it doesn’t look so good on the shelf.  I reckon I’ll need to keep my eyes open for an upgrade.  You have got to love the Mystery of the Coughing Dragon, bloggers.  It gathers some criticism from some fans for being unbelievable.  Of course, Three Investigators books are renowned for their documentary style authenticity so this is a valid comment.  It certainly is a totally ludicrous story which I would urge you all to read.  I have a spare copy if you want to borrow it, but I would invest in some latex gloves if you decide to take up my offer.

And Coughing Dragon Drowns The Parson's Saw

After that small Coughing Dragon fiasco, I was pleased to see another listed by a much better eBay seller, so I bought it:   
 A much better book in all respects: clean pages, tidy boards and best of all not a trace of jizz anywhere.  It’s a sad day, bloggers, when the best thing you can say about a book you buy from an ebay seller is that no-one has wanked all over it.

Cum Not Between The Coughing Dragon And His Wrath

If you thought that the condition of the other books in the parcel were a bit ropey, bloggers, what do you make of this:   
Note the sellotaped cover and the unusual white residue all over the spine and back cover.  I’ve no idea what this white stuff is, but frankly the book puts me in mind of those scud books you used to pass around school (young people – a scud book is what we old people used before the advent of the internet) which for some reason or other had pages that mysteriously became stuck together.  Maybe the previous owner of this book was really excited to own it.  Whatever.  I can put up with worn boards, cocked spines and birthday inscriptions, bloggers, but I draw the line at spunk.  The following is a genuine record of the communication exchange between myself and the seller; you may find his attitude hard to swallow, but I say if he had been better at swallowing stuff that was hard to swallow, maybe the book wouldn’t be in the state it is in.  I kicked the thing off with this: (Note you can click on these messages to display the text more clearly)
His (eventual) reply was as follows:   
Yes, folks, you read this correctly.  I have unrealistically high expectations, or have switched the books in order to swindle him out of his better copy.  What a cheeky bastard.  I replied that his assertion that i had swapped the books was as laughable as it was offensive and he replied as follows:  
Bear in mind, folks, that I had just paid this tosser over £60 for three books, only one of which I was complaining about.  Here was my response:   
This was too much for him, and he went into customer service meltdown: 
 Got that?  I’m a “prat” with no sense of humour and am like the character of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, a show that the seller’s daughter watches.  Bloggers, this is not a show with which I am familiar, but I am assuming that this is an insult. (Maybe not and Sheldon is a tall, slim, handsome Adonis who gets all the birds due to his good looks and great personality – I must check the show out some time).  Before I got a chance to respond, something really strange happened.  Check out his next message: 
 An apology!  Before long this came:  Now some outright contrition!  He followed up with this:   
And then:
And that was the story of his Damascene conversion.  I thought him a complete twat throughout this saga, but really it’s hard to be bitter about someone who expresses such regret for his actions.   

Still I gave the fucker a negative feedback, though, I’m not that forgiving.

A Nervous Lion Among Ladies

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a dreadful thing, bloggers, however I probably won’t be writing home about how great its condition is.   
This is of course the second book from my parcel.  It has worn boards (which I can live with) and a creased and cocked spine (which I find harder to stomach).  I suppose it just about fits into the sellers catch all description of his books being in “good” condition, so I’ll bite my tongue and stick it on the shelf, thankful that I have another gap filled.   

Nick West’s two books do come in for some stick from readers for being, er, shite.  I see them, however, as enjoyable romps  Let’s face it, there are many other titles in the series that would benefit from a few more stolen diamonds and rampaging escaped gorillas.

Descend to Darkness and the Burning Phantom Lake

A stoke of luck, bloggers, as I looked at eBay recently and saw that a seller had listed all 24 small hardbacks, including those elusive little devils that I have struggled to locate elsewhere.  A quick check of my shelf indicated that the small hardbacks I had outstanding were Coughing Dragon, Nervous Lion, Phantom Lake and Monster Mountain.  Here was a chance to complete the small hardback collection in one fell swoop, so I placed some fairly high bids.  I managed to win three of the four auctions, bloggers, and my heart was broken as I proved to be the underbidder of Monster Mountain.  Obviously at least one other collector out there finding that a difficult nut to crack.  Anyway, the first one out of the parcel was this:   
Actually a really nice condition Phantom Lake, much better than the over priced ones I’ve seen around the internet recently.  It appears unread and has only minor shelf wear to edges of boards.  I have to say I love this book; Arden was firing on all cylinders and who can resist a classic Three Investigators treasure hunt?   

Angus! Angus! Angus!

On The Barren Monster Mountain Let Him Starve!

I know it doesn’t exactly fit into this collection of UK Three Investigators books, but bloggers, I just had to share this with you.  

It’s a cracking Andragna Gibralter Monster Mountain in really good condition.  I bought it from Ian Regan, who I assume must have upgraded his copy.  That being the case, his new copy must be a complete dillion, folks, because this one is an absolute belter.

My Kingdom For A Headless Horse!

In order to catch as many eBay auctions of interest as possible, bloggers, I have set up my favourite searches to email me as soon as anything that matches the search criteria is listed.  This means that every morning I get loads of emails from eBay telling me what has been put up for sale.  My inbox looks like this:  
Nectar, eh?  As you can see I am also informed of similar sounding titles such as Deadly Double-Cross by Kevin McCarthy and Utah Deadly Double by Jon Sharpe.  It looks like there were lots of Deadly Doubles in the old west; I say we may as well read these, how much worse can than Mystery of the Deadly Double can they be?  I have a similar setup on Abebooks using a series of bookmarks, at least I did until my laptop got stolen when I was in Johannesburg last month.  Also, have a look at my Amazon wish list: 
Top quality, eh?  If you check out the entry at the top you will see that I have received a hardcover Headless Horse and here it is:   

Just lovely, lovely biscuits.  An ex-lib copy, unfortunately, but check out the library card pocket: 
 It still has the original library card.  This will come in handy in case I take the book from my bookcase to read it; it means I be able to  keep a track of when it is due back.  Getting this book means that I only have two large hardbacks to go, folks.  Terror Castle and Coughing Dragon.  Who would have thunk they would have been the stumbling blocks?

And Death Trap Mine, With My Heart In It

I have salted the mine of my collection, bloggers, by peppering it with such tasty treats as this:  

At last a dustjacketted Death Trap Mine!  Behold its magnificent glory!  Bask in its splendour!  Just be careful when you do so, as some of the pages are starting to come a bit loose in the middle.  The book is ex-lib, of course, and has some wear around the boards’ edges.  But check out the nifty DJ!  There’s a bit of a gruesome cover picture on this one, folks.  Several Three Investigators books have skeletons or skulls, or even mummified remains, but this one goes the whole hog and has a grey skinned dead body!  Nectar!   

Seth – my money’s on Jasper.