Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mistaken Author and Rare Find !!


I read a lot during my school days but I was never fixated on authors. The book title and cover page design were the 2 things which helped me decide which books I picked from my school library. After all I was but a child J

It was indeed the interesting titles and cover designs which led me to pick up one of the '3 Investigators' as well as 'Sherlock Holmes' books. Once I read them, the character names stuck in my memory rather than the author which I hardly noticed.

Now … it has so happened that I have lived my life under the misconception that the 3 Investigators stories were authored by Alfred Hitchcock. It was only recently that I discovered that the author was actually Robert Arthur.

This is how it happened.

'The Three Investigators' stories always began with an introduction or foreword which was penned not by the author but by Alfred Hitchcock. I never really cared for who the author was (in school days) so I never noticed the name 'Robert Arthur' which must have been tucked under some corner. Since the name of Alfred Hitchcock appeared at the beginning of every story, I kind of assumed that he was the author.


This also reminds me that a few years ago, I came across an old magazine named after Alfred Hitchcock. It dated back to 1970's or 1980's and its cost was about 10 bucks. It was a collection of many short stories wrapped in mystery. I enjoyed the book thoroughly and wondered if I could find other editions.  The book carried the publishers name and address and I decided to write to them if they had any copies with them. I did not really expect a reply.

Some time passed and i almost forgot about the whole thing when suddenly I got a reply that they had 30 editions of the magazine and i could buy them for 300 bucks. I sent them the money. I got a reply later on that the cost of sending the books was more than the books :(

They eventually send across 18 books but I still wish I could lay my hands on the remaining 12 or even a complete set of 30 of those. Wish someone who knows them, reads this and tells them about it. Wish I get to travel to Delhi someday with at least a day spare to locate the address and physically collect the books.

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