“START HERE”: FIRST EDITION OF THE MERCENARIES, 1960, INSCRIBED BY DONALD WESTLAKE
WESTLAKE, Donald E. The Mercenaries. New York: Random House, 1960. Octavo, original half black paper boards, original dust jacket. $900.
First edition of the first book by award-winning novelist Westlake published under his own name, launching his career in a crime novel “worthy of Dashiell Hammett,” inscribed on the title page, “To John—Start here—Donald E. Westlake.”
Novelist Donald Westlake, “one of the most successful and versatile mystery writers in the United States, received an Academy Award nomination for a screenplay, three Edgar Awards and the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1993… Westlake’s cinematic style of storytelling, along with his carefully crafted plots and crisp dialogue, translated well on the screen. More than 15 of his books were made into movies. In addition, he wrote a number of screenplays, including The Grifters, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1991” (New York Times). The Mercernaries, which established his career, “dealt with the world of organized crime as seen from within, and did so with a rigor and objectivity worthy of Dashiell Hammett… When the history of contemporary suspense fiction is compiled, he is likely to be recognized as one of its new masters” (Reilly, 1464). “First Printing” stated on copyright page. Also published as The Smashers in a 1962 edition. Westlake additionally published under pseudonyms such as Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt and Edwin West. Hubin I:853. Reilly, 1463.
Book fine; faint soiling, mild toning to spine of scarce near-fine dust jacket.