On the recommendation of a friend, I picked up a copy of Terence Blacker’s Kill Your Darlings. I found a copy on Amazon for the princely sum of one pound. It was on their ‘marketplace’ as an ex-library copy and the postage actually cost more than the book itself.
When it arrived it had one of those very practical plastic covers on it, so the book was in very good condition. But the surprise was that, among the ‘Withdrawn from Library’ stamps on the first few pages, there is actually the signature of the author.
I’m not really a collector of such things – though it’s nice to have (especially for £1). But it did seem strangely congruent with the story within; that of an author whose powers are on the wane and whose best days are seemingly behind him. Here was a book that was no longer considered worthy of a place on the shelf in some library, despite the fact that it was a signed copy.
I just hope that it was replaced with a new version, as it’s a brilliant read so far – especially if you’re an author or an aspiring one.