Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Bonus FFB on Wednesday: Another Man's Claim -- Henry Whittier (Harry Whittington)

Another Man's Claim is one of the hardest Harry Whittington books to find.  I've known about it for around 40 years and have only recently found a copy.  That's the only reason I'm commenting on it here.  If you took the sex scenes out of this book, it would be only 10 or 12 pages long, 15 tops.  I can't even show the cover, since I maintain that this is a more or less family friendly blog.

The story's a variation on James M. Cain: A named Joel needs money to keep his ranch going.  The man Joel is going to talk to about investing in the ranch turns out to be married to Joel's old girlfriend.  She married the guy on the rebound and hates him. She wants Joel to help her kill him. Joel is no dummy, so he's not going to get involved in any such scheme.

The guy does get killed, and it appears that his wife is to blame.  But through a complicated set of circumstances, she's proven innocent by someone Joel hired, a guy who's introduced to us while he's having sex with a thirteen-year-old girl.

There's a line in William Faulkner's Light in August where Faulkner describes Joe Christmas' sexual relationship with Joanna Burden.  I'm quoting from a very old memory here, but this is close: "It was as if he'd fallen into a sewer."  That's sort of how I felt when reading Another Man's Claim.  

7 comments:

George said...

I know what it's like to find a book you've been searching for for years. Art Scott has the most complete Robert McaGinnis collection in the world, but you must have the most complete Harry Whittington Collection in the world!

Rick Ollerman said...

Bill you dog, I don't have that one. Harriet's sitting next to me and she doesn't recall it. I search on the internet and can't find it. I feel an obsession coming on.

When I get back to NH I've got a DVD to send you that few outside of the Whittingtons' circle have ever seen. E-mail me your address when you get the chance and I'll get it out to you.

Colby Jackson said...

Now I'm really curious. I can't find it on the internet either.

Bill Crider said...

As I said, it took me 40 years to find a copy. It doesn't turn up often.

Howard said...

There are lots of good books left to read, so I won't bother trying to find any Harry Whittingtons, unless you can recommend some worthwhile ones. On the other hand, I am sort of curious about that cover that's not fit to publish here. I wish there was some way just to see that -- the only dealer listing I could find of Another Man's Claim was already sold and the cover picture had been removed.

Bill Crider said...

Nearly all of Whittington's work is worth looking for. A few that come to mind: Brute in Brass, Saddle the Storm, A Night for Screaming, A Ticket to Hell.

Anonymous said...

Bill -- I haven't read or seen that book. I don't think that Harry had a copy of this one, and it has been identified as several different titles. I have seen a rough synopsis from Harry that sounds like this novel. Whatever, the experience was bad enough to get Harry to shut down his writing career a second time.

David Laurence Wilson