RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS
12 January 2011
Neil Gaiman. Duran Duran 1984
Neil Gaiman. DURAN DURAN. THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF THE FAB FIVE. Proteus, London 1984.
Current Selling Prices
$1000/£650 (hardback) $60/£40 (paperback)
ROCK/ POP / CURIOSITY
Neil Gaiman's first book. Not common as a paperback but decidedly rare in hardback and dust jacket. The book itself is a small quarto art book size glossy job, slightly trashy in appearance falling into the sleeper category of 'a book that looks like nothing.' Gaiman refers to it as his 'dark secret' and would probably like to see it obliterated and consigned to pulp oblivion. The publisher Proteus went bust shortly after releasing it. In hardback it is probably his most valuable book and he looks a decent enough guy to sign a copy if one was proffered. See pic below of him and his new bride Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer - they were married Jan 2 this year in Berserkley, California with Michael Chabon and Lemony Snicket in attendance. Snicket (real name Daniel Handler) played accordion as the duo walked down the aisle. 100 years ago it would have been James Branch Cabell, Baron Corvo, H.G. Wells (possibly with his teenage lover Rebecca West) and Edward Elgar on the harmonium.
If you pop Neil Gaiman into the ABE search system and ask for highest price the only Gaiman book worth more is Spares: The Special Edition with contributions by him and Michael Marshal Smith and Alan Clark - limited to 52 lettered copies in a wooden box is priced at at an unwieldy $1600. A special of McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales from 2003 signed twice by all 12 contributors who include Micheal Crichton, Elmore Leonard, Michael Chabon, Aimee Bender, Dave Eggers, Harlan Ellison and Laurie R. King commands a hopeful $2000. Signing twice is a newish practice and may become de rigueur in multi author signings... The Duran Duran book comes in at $1500 in hardback, although it can be had for $100 or less in paperback. The man charging $1500 is a reasonably sober citizen and not one of the usual 'dream on' over-pricers (Books Tell You Why, Bookbarn, Bad Books of Idaho etc.,) so this price may be just possible to achieve with discount, time to pay, swaps etc.,. Game on, Gaiman. Gaiman (pronounced Guyman?) is likely to get more famous, richer and more exalted so this book may be one to lay down. The only problem is that it is not a work of fantasy. Conceivably the book could also be bought by a fan of the 'fab five'...
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I suppose this is Gaiman's equivalent of Amis's Space Invaders book. That said I can't see too many takers now or in the future at prices quoted for hardcover. You could "lay this down" but I doubt you'll be picking it back up at a profit at these prices. BTW I am fairly sure it is pronounced "Gay-man", at least here in the UK in comic circles.
Thanks-- I thought of Space Invaders by Amis when I saw this too, although that looks even more dated now...but worth more as a paperback and possibly better written, the young Amis having a prose style not far short of Nabokov himself imnsho
as for pronunciation you are right -- Neil confirms it here http://www.teachingbooks.net/pronounce.cgi?aid=1433
Gaiman looks kind of smug. Is he smug?
Ah, I have this book...and as a Gaiman fan AND a Duran Duran fan...I guess I should keep it!
Thanks for the info on it!
It is GAY-man ... he was applauded at a talk for a Gay & Lesbian orgainzation and said it was the first time he'd ever received a standing ovation for saying his name. And no, he's not smug. Well, pleased as a Versace worn by Angelina Jolie, maybe...cuz he's with his überBabe Wife :)
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