Close Up: Shambleau And Others

closeupC.L. Moore

I live in South Korea as you might know, but searching the wonderful Internet, I found this copy in New Zealand a few weeks ago.  I’m a Kiwi, and I was going back to NZ for summer vacation, so I purchased this (along with a couple of other GP titles) and had it sent to my folks house to await my arrival.  I knew the significant flaw it had, but aside from that I also knew it was pretty good.  It met my expectations.

Now, I’m in a bit of a quandary as to how to grade this.  I hope someone can offer an opinion.  I think this is a solid Near Fine if not for that darned flaw.  I’m just not sure how far to downgrade it.  Have a look.
You can see it in this pic, but before we focus on it, let’s enjoy the good stuff.  The cover is just a little soiled but still nice and bright.  The art is another super Ric Binkley special.  Edges are nice as you can see.
A bit of reflection down the spine – I shot this outside in the fantastic sunshine of my hometown, Napier, not in the semi-controlled pseudo-lightbox I have back in Korea.  Sunshine isn’t exactly the best, but it’s served it’s purpose here. You can see a bit of darkening on the bottom of the front board in the center – this comes from reading the book without a dust jacket on.  Otherwise, aside from that and the ever-present bruising on the head and tail of the spine the boards are nice.
If we crack it open there is some foxing on the rear free endpaper.

Strangely enough, the rest of the book is free from such blemishes.

The block looks nice.  Very white and the spine sits nice and square.  A couple of spots on the top there and the edges of the jacket are a touch worn.  From the bottom you can see the big problem.  Lets take a closer look.
Big tear, not good.  It speaks for itself.
The spine extremities are reasonable though.

A small amount of general wear.  A bit of unfortunate chipping to the book at these points however.  If we flip it over and check out the back at the top there is a short closed tear.

Nothing too major though.  The back is reasonably clean and clear.

Looks good.  All in all a pretty nice copy of a sought-after book.

Year: 1953
Paid: $31
Art: Ric Binkley
Quantity: 4000 copies
Binding: Green boards with deep red lettering on spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: That darned tear is the big let-down. Despite this, $31 is a darned good price for a very popular and usually pricey title.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database



2 Responses to “Close Up: Shambleau And Others”

  1. That’s a great classic in very good condition, and for only $31, I would have been extremely happy if I had bought it. It’s sad that the dj has such a large tear. Do you do anything to try and repair it, or put it in mylar?

  2. Thanks James.
    As I do with all books I put it in mylar, which makes the tear practically invisible. I’m not sure about repairing it. I guess special repair tape applied to the interior of the jacket would be effective, but I suspect that just leaving it as it is would be more the purist’s preference, and in the fullness of time any attempt at such a patch-up would likely devalue the book.
    It’s a very good read – I just love Ms. Moore’s style. I’d had hints of it through the odd isolated short in collections here and there, but this is the first time I’ve been exposed to it over an extended read.
    Review will be along sometime soon.

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