The Familiar Stranger

Published by:

ISBN: nonenone
Edition size: 275 numbered (softcover)26 lettered (hardcover)
MSRP: $14.00$150.00

Take it away, Andy!

I had been wanting to get my hands on a Necessary Evil Press lettered edition for some time now. They are sold out pre-publication and very hard to come by on the secondary market. When I saw this one posted up on the Bloodletting Books website, I knew that I had to have it - the only problem was I didn't have the money. Lucky for me, though, they had just instituted their lay-a-way plan. A few months later it arrived. I was very impressed with the production values for what is essentially a lettered edition of a chapterbook, or novelette as NEP calls them.

The metal traycase is very well done. While I won't give the story away, the license plate theme fits perfectly with the book. The door is held securely closed by a magnet, but opens easily to reveal the book inside. The only fault I can find with the traycase is that it would be nice to have it lined to help protect the book, maybe in black felt.

The book itself is excellent. It is bound in bonded leather, with the cover art set onto the leather. The black endpapers have a very nice leather look and texture to them. The limitation sheet is unique to the lettered edition and contains additional signatures. There is no ribbon bookmark, but with a chapterbook it really isn't necessary.

As an added bonus included with each lettered edition is a manuscript page and an original sketch by the cover artist. This is a very nice touch; something I haven't seen from other publishers. The manuscript has handmade corrections to it and it is very cool to see how your page evolved into its final form. The sketches are unique to each lettered edition and very well done. I am thinking of having mine framed. The only fault I can find is a very small one - the sketch is protected within a hard plastic sleeve, but the manuscript page is held within a soft plastic sleeve. Something easy enough for me to fix myself, which I plan on doing soon.

In short, for the very low MSRP of $150, you get an excellent book in a very well done package, with some unique and very cool extra features.

Comparison pics of the lettered and numbered editions follow. The lettered adds the following enhancements:

- N U M B E R E D -

NEP's numbered productions are softcovers only. Hardcovers are reserved solely for lettered editions.

The rear of the softcover, with testimonials from Simon Clark, James Newman, and Scott Nicholson.

And the spine.

The limitation page. Notice that this is printed in a one-color process whereas the lettered is at least two-color (possibly more).


- L E T T E R E D -

NEP's numbered productions are softcovers only. Hardcovers are reserved solely for lettered editions.

The traycase spine, with NEP's signature bloody handprint logo.

Opening the traycase reveals a man you don't want to meet in a dark alley.

A close-up of the book in situ.

And the book itself.

The back of the book, with its angry red pattern fully apparent.

The faux-leather front endpaper.

The limitation sheet for the lettered edition.

An original sketch by the cover artist, Caniglia.

An original manuscript page. These pages are included in all of NEP's lettered productions.