Tryon, Thomas: The Other
(researched by Elliott Brooks)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Thomas Tryon. The Other. First Edition publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, New York. May 10, 1971. ISBN 0394436083
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition was published in trade cloth: Linen, very red with vivid saturation.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
144 leaves. [6] 1-3 4-11 12-13 14-85 86-89 90-92 93 94-196 197-199 200-201 202-203 204-275 276-277 278-280 281-282 ([=288])
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
This book is neither edited nor introduced. Following the title page is a dedication page, which reads: ìFor My Mother And Father.î
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
Dust jacket illustrated by Paul Bacon. No other illustrations
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The Other is set in Janson type, which I find fairly readable. This edition is in good condition. The book is divided into three parts, which are One, Two, and Three. Chapters are unnamed, but are indicated by Roman numerals. All three parts begin with an unnamed, non-numbered chapter. Numbered sequence of chapters begins with Roman numeral I after each non-numbered chapter. First letters of the first word in all chapters are larger font size and emboldened. With the exception of the three parts, there is no page break between chapters. (see pagination sequence.)
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper is in excellent condition, with uniform wear and color. The paper edges are feathered or penknifed, and the bottom edges of the pages are unusually staggered in various lengths. The top edges of the pages are trimmed flush.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is in a bright red trade cloth. Gold leaf stamp of authorís name on front cover. Spine stamped with authorís name and title. Stamped Borzoi Book logo on lower right side of back cover. Top edge of pages stained dark brown or black. Sewn binding with four signature folds.
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: THE / OTHER /Thomas Tryon [publisherís crest] ALFRED A. KNOPF / New York, 1977 Verso: THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK / PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF, INC. / Copyright 1971 by Thomas Tryon / All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Con- /ventions. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New /York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, /Toronto. Distributed by Random House, Inc., New York. / Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74-136331 / ISBN 0-394-46744-2 / Manufactured in the United States of America / Published May 10, 1971/ Reprinted Two Times / Fourth Printing, June 1971
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Sofar unknown.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Page 282: "A NOTE ON THE TYPE: This book was set on the Linotype in Janson, a recutiing made direct from type cast from matrices long thought to have been made by the Dutchman Anton Janson, who was a practicing type founder in Leipzig during the years 1668-87. However, it has been conclusively demonstrated that these types are actually the work of Nicholas Kis (1659-1702), a Hungarian, who most probably learned his trade from the master Dutch type founder Dirk Voskens. The type is an excellent exampl of the influential and sturdy Dutch types that prevailed in England up to the time William Caslon developed his own incomparable designs from them. The book was printed and bound by the Haddon Craftsmen, Inc.,Scranton, Pa. Typography and binding design by Constance T. Doyle."
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
N/A
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
as of November 1977, there were eleven printings of the first Edition.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Cape: 1971, Dell: 1971, 1987 Reprinterís Corp: 1971 W.J. Black, 1971 Fawcett: 1971, 1972, 1986 Penguin: 1973 Coronet: 1977 Ballantine Books: 1983 Buccaneer Books, 1993
6 Last date in print?
6. Febuary 2000. Note: in 1993,a library binding edition was published by Lightyear for Buccaneer Books.(active record) Source: ,Books in Print: Authors S-Z Vol.4. R.R Bowker. New Providence NJ: 1998. P. 9251
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
By 1975, there were 3,594,693 copies sold. Source: Hackett, Alice Payne. 80 years of Bestsellers, 1895-1975.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
9. ìThis suspense-horror story is a new best-seller, doing very well indeed. Knopf;s latest weekís tabulation recorded orders for 7,000 copiesÖî Publisherís Weekly, Bestsellerís list, # 4, June 28, 1971. "It contains enough menace and suspence to chill the hottest hammock afternoon...one thing is sure: for months I shall be grateful for the prickling along my scalp which I felt when I reached page 196. I don't think my Richter scale has registered a more delicious tremor since the time, decades ago, when i first read 'Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!'...Thomas tryon may very well find himself being praised (1) as a First Novelist of uncommon finesse...and (2) as the author of the season's most original and thoroughly mesmerizing [chiller]." New York Times Book Review, June 20, 1971. p.34, 1/4 page advertisement, upper right of page.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A210191000220234047.jpg
11 Other promotion
National publicity tour for Thomas Tryon, Summer 1971. Source: Publisher's Weekly: June 28, 1971
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
12. Motion Picture, 1972. The Other. Twentieth Century-Fox. Videocassette (VHS), 1989. The Other CBS Fox Video. Source: Online: Virgo: Worldcat First Search. Search terms: ìTryon, Thomas,î ìThe Other.î
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Pai y¸an hsiung ti Tëai-pei shih : Hao shih nien chëu pan she, 1981. Chinese Translation of The Other El otro Barcelona : Grijalbo, 1973. Spanish language Fiction L'altro [Milano] Mondadori, 1972 . Italian Translation of The Other Source:Online: Virgo: Worldcat First Search. Search terms: ìTryon, Thomas,î ìThe Other.î
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Thomas Tryon was born on January 14, 1926 in Hartford, Connecticut. His father was Arthur Lane Tryon, who was a clothier. His mother was Elizabeth Lester Tryon. He and his two brothers Arthur and William grew up in the nearby town of Wethersfield, where his ancestors have lived since 1640. After three years of service in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946 as a radio specialist, Thomas Tryon went to Yale University, graduating with honors and a B.A. in 1949. The year after college, Tryon continued to study art at the Art Students League in New York City. He also studied acting at the New York City Neighborhood Playhouse. During the same year, in the summer of 1950, Tryon was a set painter and an assistant stage manager at the Cape Playhouse in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He landed a job with CBS in New York as a production assistant, and appeared as an extra on television shows. From 1952 to 1955, Thomas Tryon appeared in several Broadway productions, including "Wish You Were Here," "Richard III," and "Cyrano de Bergerac." In 1955, Tryon apparently tired of the theatre, and he went to Hollywood, California to become a movie star. In June 1955, he married Ann Lilienthal.(They divorced in 1958.) Less than one year after moving to California, Tyron scored his first film debut as Marsh Marshall in the 1956 Paramount Studios film Scarlet Hour. His film debut marked the apparent beginnings of a rather successful career for Thomas Tryon in the movies. He got his first starring role in the 1963 film The Cardinal, but he said later that he had already started to question his career choice, calling the experience of filming The Cardinalwith the abusive director (Otto Preminger) "anguishing." Unfortunately, Tryon soon fell prey to the stresses of Hollywood, and began to use cocaine and alcohol. However, for the next fifteen years after his first movie, Tryon appeared in at least seventeen Hollywood productions. Tryon also appeared in popular western TV shows such as Disney's 1958 show "Texas John Slaughter" and later shows including "The Virginian" and"Big Valley," in the 1960's. In the late 1960's, Tryon decided to give up his career in acting. He began to work on an idea for a movie project that he wanted to produce. That movie idea developed and grew into the novel The Other, which was published in 1971 by Knopf . It became an instant bestseller, selling more that 3.5 million copies. Tryon wrote the screenplay for the movie version "The Other"1972, but ironically, he did not end up producing it. With the success of The Other, Thomas Tryon was able to quit acting permanently. He wrote three more novels after The Other: Harvest Home (1973), Lady (1974), and Crowned Heads (1976). He also wrote a collection of novellas entitled All That Glitters (1986), The Adventures of Opal and Cupid (1990), which is a novel for children, and a collection of poetry, "In the Fire of Spring," published posthumously in 1992. Thomas Tryon died of stomach cancer on September 4,1991 in Los Angeles, California.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Initial reviews of Thomas Tryon's first novel The Other were a curious mix of both high praise for Tryon's successful initiation into the annals of macabre literature, and denouncements of it as an unbelievable and "corny" horror story. In a review in Lifefour days after The Other was published on May 10, 1971, Robert Phelps called The Other a "ghostly gem," praising Tryon as a "first novelist of uncommon finesse, who can prune as shapely a sentence as anyone in the tale-telling business this year." Phelps went on to say that this novel might prove to be 1971's "most original and thoroughly compelling ghost story." This is high praise indeed, for it must be noted that William Peter Blatty's now famous novel of demonic possession The Exorcist was also written in 1971, and both of these horror novels by Tryon and Blatty competed for several weeks on the same top ten bestseller lists. In the June 5, 1971 issue of the Saturday Review, Irma Pascal Heldman wrote a comparative review of both The Other and The Exorcist. Both novels are about supernatural events surrounding children. Heldman wrote that the "corruption of children is one of literature's most durable and fascinating themes. When the source of the corruption is supernatural, the result is chilling as well as compelling." She called The Other "a Jamesian nightmare of psychological tension in a brooding atmosphere of insidious terror and madness. [The Other] is a special horror story that casts a subtly savage spell," but she claimed that The Exorcist was a less subtle story that "assaults the senses" and was full of "mediocre excess." Clearly, Heldman believed Tryon to be the better macabre storyteller. The glowing praise for The Other was shadowed by a scathing review by Martin Levin in The New York Times Book Review. Levin claims that the supernatural misdeeds and deadly pranks of the evil child Holland are not believable: "you would think," wrote Levin, "that a lad as far out as this one ? who can transmogrify himself into a chicken... would arouse immediate suspicion. It remains for a final-ugh-disclosure to write finis to this rather corny horror story." However, Levin accurately predicts the future of The Other as the basis for a movie, suggesting that "it's corniness should not prevent The Other from being translated into a successful horror film. That's what horror films are made of." The Other was made into a movie in 1972.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Initial reviews of Thomas Tryon's first novel The Other were a curious mix of both high praise for Tryon's successful initiation into the annals of macabre literature, and denouncements of it as an unbelievable and "corny" horror story. In a review in Lifefour days after The Other was published on May 10, 1971, Robert Phelps called The Other a "ghostly gem," praising Tryon as a "first novelist of uncommon finesse, who can prune as shapely a sentence as anyone in the tale-telling business this year." Phelps went on to say that this novel might prove to be 1971's "most original and thoroughly compelling ghost story." This is high praise indeed, for it must be noted that William Peter Blatty's now famous novel of demonic possession The Exorcist was also written in 1971, and both of these horror novels by Tryon and Blatty competed for several weeks on the same top ten bestseller lists. In the June 5, 1971 issue of the Saturday Review, Irma Pascal Heldman wrote a comparative review of both The Other and The Exorcist. Both novels are about supernatural events surrounding children. Heldman wrote that the "corruption of children is one of literature's most durable and fascinating themes. When the source of the corruption is supernatural, the result is chilling as well as compelling." She called The Other "a Jamesian nightmare of psychological tension in a brooding atmosphere of insidious terror and madness. [The Other] is a special horror story that casts a subtly savage spell," but she claimed that The Exorcist was a less subtle story that "assaults the senses" and was full of "mediocre excess." Clearly, Heldman believed Tryon to be the better macabre storyteller. The glowing praise for The Other was shadowed by a scathing review by Martin Levin in The New York Times Book Review. Levin claims that the supernatural misdeeds and deadly pranks of the evil child Holland are not believable: "you would think," wrote Levin, "that a lad as far out as this one ? who can transmogrify himself into a chicken... would arouse immediate suspicion. It remains for a final-ugh-disclosure to write finis to this rather corny horror story." However, Levin accurately predicts the future of The Other as the basis for a movie, suggesting that "it's corniness should not prevent The Other from being translated into a successful horror film. That's what horror films are made of." The Other was made into a movie in 1972.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Today, Most people who are familiar with Thomas Tryon remember him as a figure who managed to make a sudden transference under the scrutiny of the public eye. Almost overnight, it seemed, Tryon changed careers in mid stream, and transformed himself from a well-known Hollywood actor into a successful best-selling author. Soon after his first novel The Other was published, Tryon revealed in an interview that his career change was partly out of conscious choice, and partly due to the fact that he had suffered some sort of nervous breakdown during the filming of The Cardinal, which was to be his last attempt to act. Tryon claimed that years of living the Hollywood highlife as an actor led him to abuse drugs and alcohol, and that somewhere along the line in his career, he simply "lost his actor's nerve." He said that he realized that he just did not have it within him to continue as an actor. Luckily for Tryon, it seems that he had a lucrative and previously undiscovered talent: Writing. Soon after he got his first novel The Other published in 1971, it shot into the bestseller lists, and remained there for seven months. At the end of the year, it was listed as the ninth best-selling novel of 1971, rating seven notches below The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, another bestseller in the horror genre?a novel which is today known as one of the most famous supernatural thrillers ever written. Whether through a stroke of marvelous good fortune, or because of a keen insight into the current demands of the reading public, Thomas Tryon managed to produce his first novel at just the right place and time. As stated previously, Tryon portrayed his transition from actor to writer in an open and candid manner, expressing freely that he had some very personal and dark demons to conquer. On the inside cover of the hardcover dust jacket of the novel, Tryon's unsmiling and brooding countenance suggests that writing the novel was a cathartic exercise in trying to free his own personal demons. Yet, when interviewed, Thomas Tryon appeared to be completely up front about his own self-promotion and reputation as an actor-cum-author. Apparently, the success of The Other as a bestseller was due in part to Tryon's own self-promotion. "At first I was against [promoting] it," Tyron once said. "After sixteen years of personal appearances to sell movies, I was fed up with that kind of selling. But once I got started, I was insatiable. I'll do anything to sell books." As a self-acknowledged reformed drug addict and alcoholic, Thomas Tryon was now billing himself as a newly reformed ex-actor who had shunned the life of a Hollywood playboy, and had now found a new and self-fulfilling direction in his life as a writer. But there is more to the story of how The Other became a bestseller than meets the eye. Obviously, one cannot dispute Tryon's claim that he had essentially become burned out with his acting career, but when one digs a little deeper, one finds that Thomas Tryon had initially harbored an ambition to be a movie producer. He began to work on a story for a screenplay that he thought he could try to sell as an idea for a film that he wanted to produce. According to Noam Cohen, a writer for the New York Times who wrote a bibliographical obituary on Thomas Tyron in 1991 after he died from stomach cancer, the screenplay project crystallized into a novel, which became The Other . Although Tryon later claimed that writing instilled within him a sense of accomplishment that was "infinitely more rewarding than acting," one cannot help but to wonder whether he had strategically gauged the current trends of the American public's growing interest in reading suspenseful and armchair-gripping stories of horror and the supernatural. In an uncanny coincidence, The Other was published on May 10, 1971? on the very same day that Newsweek magazine reviewed The Exorcist as a "superb" and "horrifying" novel. Curiously, both The Exorcist and The Other both dealt with the "chilling as well as compelling" theme of the corruption of children, according to a comparative review by Irma Heldman of both novels in the June 5, 1971 issue of the Saturday Review. According to both Heldman and Robert Phelps, who wrote a review of The Other for Life magazine on May 14, 1971, both Tryon and Blatty had tapped into an aspect of the American public's macabre interest in literature that deals with children and the supernatural. Phelps claims that this American "obsession" with twisted and strange children who are afflicted by the supernatural goes all the way back to Edgar Allen Poe's poem Annabelle Lee. Heldman agreed, suggesting that the macabre corruption of childhood is one of American literature's most "durable and fascinating themes." One can conclude that Thomas Tryon's first novel The Other was a best-selling success in part because of his astute sense of what the American public found compelling and interesting at the time it was published. It is significant to note that The Other was made into a movie one year after its publication?once again mirroring The Exorcist. Unfortunately for Tryon, he did not produce the film, but he did write the screenplay. The fact that both novels were made into movies seems to substantiate both Phelps' and Heldman's sense that American popular culture was intent on delving into the macabre themes of stories involving haunted and possessed children. Perhaps Americans were feeling like vulnerable children themselves, especially during the political turmoil of the Vietnam War, where the youthful protests against the war merged in the American psyche with the fact that so many young and innocent lives of American soldiers were forever corrupted with the very real horror of war. Thomas Tryon's first novel successfully tapped into this growing American concern, and luckily for him, it seems to have been published at just the right time to meet these undercurrents of the concerns of the American public. Sources cited: American Bestsellers Database at the University of Virginia: Online: search term "The Exorcist." Online: "Http://www.engl.virginia.edu:8000/courses/bestsellers/forms/search.db.html" Hackett, Alice Payne. 80 Years of Bestsellers, 1895-1975. New York: R.R. Bowker Co. 1976. Heldmann, Irma Pascal. Review of The Other and The Exorcist. Saturday Review: June 5, 1971. Phelps, Robert. "Two Small Boys in a Ghostly Gem." Review, Life: May 14, 1971. Online Database: Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. Search "Newspapers" ,"Obituaries," "Tryon, Thomas," "1991." Online Database: Galenet.com. search "contemporary authors," " Thomas Tryon."
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