Thursday, July 22, 2010

Screen Romances #210 - November 1946

Now here's an unusual version of The Razor's Edge!

Screen Romances was not your standard movie/gossip mag of the 1940s, which usually were a series of commercials for different movies, with some articles on the stars giving the reader some tiny glimpse into their "real" lives.

No, Screen Romances surprised me, and here's why: on page 37, there's an article on The Razor's Edge movie.

What's odd about this magazine's movie articles is that they're not about the movies, exactly: they're more novel-like summations of the plot, written in prose style. So in the couple of pages on The Razor's Edge, you've got a prose version of a movie adaptation of an original novel. Weird!

I love that I found this very obscure piece of Razor's Edge arcana; and for only a few bucks. I wonder what other movie magazines with RE content might be out there...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Armed Services Edition - 1944

This is my all-time favorite edition of The Razor's Edge: one made especially for the Armed Services!

For anyone not familiar with these, Armed Services Editions were specially-made books for servicemen in WW II, reformatted so they could be more easily carried in a G.I.'s back pocket.

As the cover indicates, these are the complete books, not abridgments. Dozens, if not hundreds, of titles were produced. The first forty titles are listed on the inside back cover, and a quick glance at the titles tells me The Razor's Edge was by far the most famous book so chosen for this series.

I was stunned when I saw this for sale on eBay; I had no idea this existed and couldn't believe its survived all these decades. But while this copy is pretty weather beaten, its still complete and readable. I can't imagine what it must have been like, reading about Larry Darrell and his quest for The Absolute while sitting in some filthy foxhole, wondering if you were going to live through the day.

This is the last copy of The Razor's Edge I have in my collection (I wanted to save the best for last), but I have other versions of the story in other formats I still plan to talk about, so keep an eye out for future posts coming soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hebrew Language Edition - 1940s

This is probably hands down the strangest version of The Razor's Edge in my collection, a version of the book printed in Palestine and entirely in Hebrew!

I found this on eBay for just a few bucks, and I couldn't resist buying it. This was certainly the moment my collecting of this book kicked into another gear, because I wasn't able to read this one--I simply wanted to own it.

Except for the words "Printed in Palestine" on page three, there is no other English in this edition, so I have no idea when it was printed. Considering what a huge hit the book was when it first came out, I'm betting this edition hails from the late 1940s. But of course I can't be sure...