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0041 Clemmie

July 10, 2011
  • Title: Clemmie
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1958
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: S777
  • Cover Price: $0.35
  • Cover Artist: Barye Phillips


This is one of my favorite JDM stories. I know, I know, I’ll bet you say that to all the books. This one is written so well that it’s a punch in the gut every single time I read it. I’m screaming “You idiot! Leave her alone! Don’t you know what’s going to happen?” Trust me, this does not work out well when one does one’s reading on the bus. The police were more understanding than one would have thought, but the event was unpleasant nonetheless.

I’m not spoiling anything when I tell you that Clemmie is a Very Bad Girl. The blurb writer says it all:

She was very young. She was dangerous.
She was a girl who lived too close to the edge of violence.
She hunted trouble. She was an exhibitionist, a body-worshipper, a sensualist.
She was without morals, scruples, ethics. She was beautiful. She was CLEMMIE . . .

Barye Phillips did another great job with the cover. This is the first paperback edition (there was a previous hardcover edition, unusual for this point in MacDonald’s career). This is the “standing” cover. You’ll see the equally good “sitting” cover when I get good and ready.

Update (08/21/2013): I originally said this was the first edition printed in 1959. The first printing was really in 1958, but the same cover was used for the second printing in 1959, so both statements were both right and wrong. Take your pick.

Milk Carton

Have you seen me? I am the afore-mentioned USA hardcover version of Clemmie, printed in 1954 by Appleton-Century-Crofts.

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