This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment is about collections, and specifically about certain kinds of collections. Yes Yes I know what you’re thinking. As a horrible monster, I probably have some kind of grisly collection of terrifying specimens. You might expect that maybe I have collected the pinkies of all my victims, or perhaps I have row after row of shrunken heads preserved in jars filled with a curious, swirling liquid. Perhaps you might think that I keep a small wooden box, that I secured in a trade with a mad Tibetan witch doctor, which is filled with hundreds and hundreds of dragonfly heads, all with strange bumps on their foreheads and glinting eyes that follow you about the room.
If you guessed the last, you would be very close.
Unfortunately, I can’t drag these sorts of collections out for you today because the Weekly Geeks is about books. I actually don’t even collect horror novels like you might expect (although I do have a modest Edward Gorey book collection). I have a rather large collection of books written by Australian author A.G. Yates, who wrote under the pseudonym of Carter Brown. Carter Brown books are the zenith of trashy detective fiction. As Carter Brown, Yates wrote well over 100 novels from the early 1950s on into the 1980s. He also wrote under quite a few other pen names, so there are really more books out there. Here’s a shot of my collection in their boxes. Each box contains almost 30 books.
To make matters more complicated, his books were published in different countries, in different languages, and sometimes each book was reprinted. A person who wants to collect something like this actually needs to decide what they AREN’T going to collect. For example, at some point I decided to stick with US and Australian editions.
The books he wrote as Carter Brown are quite trashy. The detectives are abrasive, the ladies are 100% trouble, the bad guys are heels, and the suspects are usually dumb and/or perverted. I love these books and have read almost all of them.