Monday, 2 April 2012

Ravening



Dammnit! How am I supposed to relax when books I already own in perfectly good condition get rereleased with far superior covers that cry out 'Buy me! Buy me, even though you already own me, and could just look at the new covers online if only you were a normal person, or even not worry about the fact that there are new covers, which maybe you would be able to do if you just liked sport and had social skills!', or words to that effect.

The books in this case are the 10-novel Alms for Oblivion sequence by Simon Raven, collected in three chunky volumes by Vintage UK. I've read half of them so far, and thoroughly enjoyed them: they're the madder, nastier, more body-fluid-soaked warped mirror to Anthony Powell's great A Dance to the Music of Time sequence*. The versions I have are the serviceable, staid covers shown at the top of the post. But in May, they're being rereleased as Vintage Classics with marvellous, luridly coloured, half-sexy, half-horrible covers by Andrew Archer.




So that's more money down the drain buying books I already own.

* This was adapted into an unsatisfactory BBC series in 1997, which attempted the hopeless task of compressing twelve complicated novels into 4 episodes. However, it did open with a full frontal nude Claire Skinner, so I enjoyed it more than it may have deserved.

15 comments:

kagenoshita said...

I know that feeling. LOL

Ian Shimkoviak said...

you can always squeeze one more in.

matthew. said...

You could buy the new garish covers and send me your versions as I am unable to get either version in Canada.... I'd pay for the shipping....

JRSM said...

Not a bad plan! I'll be in touch when I get hold of the new ones...

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys. The illustrations are actually done by Andrew Archer.

matthew. said...

That would be marvelous! I heard the the later books kind of go off the rails.... any truth to this rumour? Also, email me at mmmontycarlo@hotmail.ca which you have already.

JRSM said...

Anon, thanks! I have fixed the info in the post.

Matthew, I shall be in touch. They don't exactly go off the rails, in my opinion, but the weird/supernatural elements do come to the fore more. The seven-volume sequel to Alms, The First-Born of Egypt, is where things go haywire--best avoided.

Booketing said...

For bigger images, feel free to visit my own article on the subject : http://blogs.lesinrocks.com/booketing/le-phenomene-raven-reedite-chez-vintage-books/

jb said...

I swear, 75% of the time I come to this blog I end up buying books I'd never previously heard of.

Damn it/keep up the good work!

JRSM said...

Thanks, Booketing.

JB, if I'm going to throw all my money away, I'm taking as many people with me as possible!

booketing said...

You're welcome ! Thank you so much for sharing all those brillant series and covers !
Where did you find the news for the Vintage series ?

JRSM said...

I found them by accident on Amazon, actually, when I was looking for the covers to something else that Vintage is publishing this year (Elizabeth Bowen).

jb said...

On the upside, as they're Vintage Classics, they should be easy to find for fairly cheap ($12.95 in Australia).

I hope.

jb said...

Just returning to an old-ish thread because, as I said above, I'd never heard of Simon Raven or Alms for Oblivion until I saw this, but last night I finished the first part (The Rich Pay Late) and I loved it. So, thanks.

These new prints are slightly hard to come by, though. I had to get the first volume specially ordered in by my local independent. Apparently, despite being newly published Vintage Classics, Vintage Australia are not actually keeping any in the country...

Looking forward to the rest of volume 1 and then the next two!

JRSM said...

jb, I'm glad you took the trouble to track them down. I'm rereading them now, too--I've just done vol 7, and they stand up really well, with an entertaining mix of genres included throughout the series: campus novels, thrillers, war novels, business world satires...