Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Delicate Dependency by Michael Talbot (1982): Collecting Madness

Book collecting - all collecting, I'm sure - is maddening. Take The Delicate Dependency, a paperback original vampire novel, by a late author more known for his pseudoscientific books than his horror fiction, Michael Talbot. Way back when, probably 1990 or so, I had this book in my hands at my old job in a used bookstore, thinking it was just another historical vampire Anne Rice clone by a nobody author, and shelved it along with a hundred other moldering and worn old horror paperbacks. Hell, I probably even took it home, read a page or two, and just brought it back to the store. And now a copy on eBay is going for - get this - $1,149 (it's at $500 as of November '10. And now in March '11 it's $90! Nope - as of September '11 it's at 50 bucks). Yup. One thousand one hundred and forty-nine dollars. That's more than even other perennial vintage paperback collectibles like Jim Thompson. On Amazon the cheapest copy is about $65 used.

It's not that I'm some vampire fiction completist or anything, but when you dangle a horror paperback novel like this in front of me and demand the cost of a nice new TV for it, well, I'm just more than determined to find a copy for, like, a dime. The guy on eBay has "Best Offer" on his listing. Think he'll take a buck for it? Two bucks, tops, that's as high as I'll go. Wish me luck.

13 comments:

Joe Monster said...

Damn, that's a shame. It sure bites (I seriously didn't intend a pun there) when you find out those kinds of things after the fact. Best of luck to you in your search, sir! I have faith that you'll track a copy down. What I'd like to know is what is it about the book that makes it so special.

Richard of DM said...

Lameness! If it was a Craigslist deal, at least you could mug the guy in a Wal-Mart parking lot for it.

Will Errickson said...

Joe, I gather the book is quite good from Amazon reviews. Not sure otherwise. The internet has really inflated the price of collectibles, I fear; everybody gets talking about something, then everybody interested in that field wants it or wants to rip you off for it.

Richard, I'd totally risk ending up on People of WalMart for it!

I just found out about a bunch of used bookstores just outside of my town & I'm hitting 'em up this weekend. It's on!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm......I guess I'd better go dust the bookshelves.......my copy purchased way back when it was new is looking kinda dusty, but otherwise fine......gently read. I liked the book, and made it a part of my vampire collection but never dreamed I'd see it listed at such a price.

Phaedra said...

I just received my copy in the mail and I'm so excited to read it. I got it from a used bookstore in Germany - for $50! I saw the eBay listing, as well as several others with prices over $500, so, when I found it for $50, well, I just had to have it! Good luck with your search! Oh, I saw a few on Amazon for around $100....

Woodside Skulk said...

It's only a matter of time before you find it for a dollar or two. I'm confident you'll find it. I found a f/nf non-circulated copy of Stephen King's "The Gunslinger" Donald Grant first edition at a library booksale for $2 and sold it for $400. Things like that do happen all the time, just have to put in the time but for book zombies like us books are like brains. It's the thrill of the Hunt!

Will Errickson said...

Well, everybody, guess what I found this past weekend while on vacation? Not one but *two* copies... cost me TWO DOLLARS. Didn't think it'd happen so soon!

KT said...

Hey Will
Would you be willing to sell a copy? I have owned this book 2 times and both times it was stolen. Would offer $20 for it.

Will Errickson said...

Thanks, but right now I have no plans to sell.

Woodside Skulk said...

It's my lucky day.
I got a copy of this book today @Value Village for 99¢
It is in G+/VG- condition. Minor crease on front cover, a little shelf wear, creased but legible spine text, slightly leaned but tightly bound! Looks much better than it sounds. I got a copy of another, less rare, Talbot book called "The Bog", Michael McDowell's "The Elementals", a fine condition pb 1st of "Cabal" (with orig "A Human's Guide to the Night Breed" insert inside) and fine 1st British pb of "Books of Blood vol. 1" all for 99¢ each, too. Actually, it is buy 4 books, get the fifth book free, so less than 99¢ each. Great day!

Cindy Gooding said...

Wow - and to think I sold a copy of this, my favorite vampire novel of all time when I was moving - needed room, of course. I sold it for a couple of bucks on ebay - at the time I guess it wasn't worth that much. Kick me in the a$$. Dang.

Stefanie said...

This is actually my very favorite book ever. I'm not a huge vampire book fan or anything like that. I really love to read, so I've read every kind of book imaginable but for some reason I just love this book. I've read it many times and the one copy I have is starting to show its years. I got online today to try to find a new copy...I had no idea it would be such a hard find :(

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