Does anybody know why people pay so much online for a copy like this? Why is it out of print if it's in such demand. Why doesn't Dzanc reissue it? Or Dalkey Archive? Or Green Integer? Walter Miller was so impressed by the book, he wrote in his review in Commonweal as if he were speaking directly to Thomas S. Klise, writing,
"Thomas S. Klise, you have written more than a novel, you have written a revolution. Not since the first time I read Moby Dick have I so enjoyed an American novel."
And that was just the blurb on the back of the book. Look to the left at what Walter Miller is quoted as gushing on the front cover of the book. The "turning point ... the final climax" in American literature! No wonder people who haven't found the book, as I have, for $1.13 at the thrift store, are willing to spend fifty, sixty bucks for it online. Damn Walter Miller has got them all hyped up for it! Is the hype deserved? I'm so hyped, I'm afraid to open The Last Western, let alone read it, if it is indeed worth so much. Should I? I mean read it? Get my sticky fingerprints all over the unknown, alleged masterpiece? Or maybe I should just stare at it instead? Be like The Man Who Stared at The Last Western like it were goats. I'm perplexed. Why is this novel so special? Why is it rated so high on both Goodreads and LibraryThing? As of April 19th, 2013, it has a 4.58 rating on LT. Granted, less than forty people even own it there (it has twenty-five ratings on GR) but those who do, the ones who've read it, think very highly of it obviously, enough to stick their neck out for it with slews of five star ratings -- even though it's been out of print for nearly forty years. Klise died four years after its publication, which probably accounts for some of its disappearance. But it can't account for it all, can it? Even so, the book is clearly alive. Some people, I fear, who spent crazy money online for it recently, for The Last Western, may become crazed hearing that I bought it for only $1.13. I hope it's safe what I'm doing, posting this post, saying I only spent $1.13 for it....
Did I say I bought it for only $1.13? Oh dear, silly me, those damn decimal points, holy cow how they just up and jump two places to the left of their own volition sometimes. Yeah, that's it. I really bought this book for $113. See how crazy for The Last Western I am? I can't stand people who brag about paying an absurdly low sum for it at the thrift store.