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MELODY, Roland
MELODY, Roland
MELODY, Roland
MELODY, Roland
MELODY, Roland
MELODY, Roland

MELODY, Roland

Narco Priest [Signed]

NY: The World Publishing Company, 1971. First edition.  Octavo. 133pp. Black cloth boards, metallic red spine titles; dust jacket. About near fine (mild foxing to textblock fore-edge, former owner’s name stamped on front and rear endpapers and pastedowns) in a very good (+) jacket, sunned from brown to amber along spine panel. Signed and inscribed by Melody on the front free endpaper.

Inscribed first edition of this well-meaninged if somewhat naïve memoir about “the havoc caused by drugs,” written by a Roman Catholic priest based on several years spent accompanying members of the New York City Narcotics Squad on outcalls around the city. Despite its sensationalistic title, Melody for the most part skirts the alarmism and sermonizing that plague so many anti-drug tracts of the day, instead constructing his book around a series of vivid incidents he witnessed while out on patrol: breaking up a group of hippies in Washington Square Park, discovering a dead body in a heroin den-cum-poolroom, venturing into a late-night psychedelic dancehall known for dosing its patrons with LSD-spiked coke, being assaulted and shot at while attempting to intervene on behalf of an eighteen year-old heroin addict, etc. An interesting look at 1960s drug culture, written by a priest who this cataloger regrets having to, but feels obligated to note, plead guilty to the sexual abuse of a minor in 1987, and though suspended was not actually dismissed from the priesthood until 2003.

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