Nary a month passes by without someone inquiring as to what’s the deal with the original edition of my Manson book, The Shadow Over Santa Susana—why was the 1st edition 600 pages in length whereas the revised Creation Books version is but a mere 200 paltry pages.
Well, instead of answering the question repeatedly in emails or blog comment replies, I figured I’d just create a blog post which in the future I can refer people to when the question comes up.
Anyway, to answer THE QUESTION, the new edition of The Shadow is probably a third less the size (at least in word count) of the original edition (more or less) and part of this can be attributed to a “A Who’s Who of the Manson Family” that appeared in the 1st edition which doesn’t appear in the Creation Books edition. In fact, I had updated and expanded the Who’s Who for inclusion in the Creation edition, but for some unfathomable reason the publisher decided against including it, which led me later to produce—with our good friends at Feejee Press and the enigmatic Shamus McFarland—A Who’s Who of the Manson Family as a separate entity.
Granted, I did take an editorial scalpel to the first edition, hacking off excess fat and flubber, and removing what I considered superfluous material and fixing portions of the book that had bugged me over the years, thus making the Creation edition a much leaner, meaner and cleaner read, IMHO. A Director’s cut, have you. However this is not to suggest that two-thirds of the book were removed, just because it’s listed at 200 pages.
To reiterate, I guesstimate the Creation edition is about a third smaller than the 1st edition. One reason for this is that the font was considerably larger in the first edition.
Another difference between the two editions is that the 1st edition contained no photos, but instead the marvelous artwork of one Eric York, such as this cool illos of a Satanic Sammy Davis, Jr. However, the second edition is packed full of Manson Family photo fun.
Part of my deal with Creation books was that I’d remove the first edition from publication, which I did. However, I do still have a few tucked away in the Gorightly vaults if anyone is interested in purchasing this rare first edition, which I will sell for the cover price of $28.95 (cheap!) plus shipping and handling. Not to mention my autograph replete with bloody thumbprint. Send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org