Νεκρή σαιζόν (Off Season) (Greece)
Greek edition of Off Season, translated by Nick Roussos.
Released as Joyride in the United States.
Wayne keeps a record of offences. The kids who trash his fence, the dog that dumps in his yard, the guys who give him stress in the bar – they’re all in his book. He hasn’t hit back yet, though the urge is strong. He’ll give in one day. He wonders why he hasn’t dared. So far.
Carole doesn’t want to do it but murder seems like the only solution. The only way to solve the problem of her ex – drunken, sadistic, clever. If the courts can’t protect her and the police can’t keep him away, how else will she ever be free?
On the sunny mountainside, above the creek, that’s where Carole has the courage to solve her problem. Her lover, Lee, has the baseball bat but she’s the one with the rock – and the nerve and desperation to crush a man’s skull and pitch him off a mountain.
Wayne sees it all. Every moment. It’s the very best day of his life. Because it points the way down the road for him. The killing road. And the way he plans it, he and Carole and Lee are all going to do a little traveling together…
This edition is slightly different than the original American edition, but not as complete as The Unexpurgated Edition.
From the Afterword to The Unexpurgated Edition (edited to avoid possible spoilers):
“There was one…change I made…for the British paperback.
At the very end of the original, [a character is] in the ambulance, shot up with painkillers and speculating through her haze on whether these people who are treating her are paramedics or doctors. She hoped they were doctors, reads the line.
A few months after the book was published I got a letter from a fan who said he’d enjoyed the read immensely. Until he got to that line.
He went on to say that he was in fact a paramedic and in [her] situation, she’d be far better off in the hands of a trained ambulance crew than with a bunch of doctors. I checked it out and he was right of course. Whoops. I hadn’t done my homework. I wrote back and apologized and thanked him for bringing the error to my attention and promised that if the book ever went into another printing anywhere I’d fix it.
In ’95 the Brits at Headline came along and I did.“
This edition restores cuts made for the original Ballantine paperback edition.
From the Afterword:
“I have very few regrets as a writer…A particularly graceless line here and there. An occasional bad edit. And that’s about it except for what happened to Off Season. What happened, exactly, was negotiation.
When Marc Jaffe at Ballantine bought the book it was on the condition that I’d be willing to rewrite. And I was. Of course I was. It was my first novel and I was delighted to have the contract. Did they think I was crazy? I’d rewrite in a minute. We were all very much aware that the book was over-the-top violence-wise, that it had the kind of teeth pretty much unseen before in mass-market fiction. It was just that quality that they were buying. But I knew I’d have to make some cuts.
I just wasn’t prepared for them to want so many.
…There were times we fought through paragraphs line by line. Word by word.
…This went on for a couple of weeks.
By then my manuscript was sporting a lot of red ink. [The editor’s] notepad had a lot of scratch-outs.
When it was over I went home and a few weeks later produced [this] version of Off Season… The original I tossed in the garbage.
Yeah, yeah, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’m an asshole. What can I say?