The The Debt Collector - click for a bigger version The The Debt Collector edition 2- click for a bigger version

A friend of ours, let's call him...Paul, told us a lovely and touching story about how he stumbled across a copy of The Debt Collector when he was a young pimply-faced teenager. Paul took great comfort in the teachings of Tobin, until one day his dad discovered it secreted under the mattress. Much embarassment ensued but the happy outcome was that Paul's dad read it too - thoroughly enjoying it - and father and son bonded in a way that neither of them will forget. Aaaaah!
This is a web-site dedicated to managing debt (UPDATE - link no longer seems to work..a real shame!). It has a comprehensive bibliography of books to help you manage your debt. Sure enough – Stanley’s "The Debt Collector" is listed! I can’t believe they have researched this book. Unless they are seriously suggesting women in debt should try and sleep with the debt collection agent!

  • Number Of Editions

 Re-printed at least 6 times.

  • Marks out of 10 for Cover

 Again - Russ is looking sheepish - this time clutching a briefcase, while a semi-naked brunette kneels at his feet and feels the cut of his suit. He's literally fighting them off..and he deosn't know why! Two versions of the cover exist - only slightly different in layout / colour. 9/10

  • Cover Notes

 EDITION 1: Hi, remember me? Ex-sewing-machine salesman Russ Tobin, now working for Karefree Kredit Inkorporated - collecting debts. Rum crowd, debtors. Take Joanne, twenty-nine, widowed two years - a lively little sparkler who pays her debt ten times over and how! Then I have to go and tumble down a flight of stairs, land up in hospital and lose my job. Anyway, I meet this great guy, The King Of The Swingers - Tony Dane - in commercials - invites me down to London. Pack my bags, have a last bash at my landlady's desirable daughter and off to the Smoke. What a place! Land up with a crowd of scrumptious strippers and LIFE starts all over again. Then I get into commercials myself...birds, birds and more birds...Where will it all end? You haven't heard the end of lusty Russ Tobin, the most willing Don Juan ever to scorch his way across the pages of a novel - not by a long chalk

 EDITION 2: It's amazing how these women pay their dues! Russ Tobin's got a new job - collecting debts for Karefree Kredit Inkorporated. He's the man who can get Joanne (29, widowed two years) to pay her debt ten times over - and how! Then he meets Tony Dane, the king of the swingers, and becomes just a face in the crowd - a crowd of strippers, that is. Where will it all end? It won't, not by a long chalk!

  • Brief Description of the Plot

 Having been sacked from Ritebuy at the end of The Sewing Machine Man - Russ already hinted that he had another job lined up as a Supernumeracy Finance Account Control Supervisor - A Debt Collector in other words. The book starts 4 weeks into his new job and by Page 86 he is no longer a Debt Collector - so the title is a slight misnomer. Unusually - each Chapter has a title eg. "Max and Another Pussy", "A Farewell To Legs" etc and the book is split into two halves - "Tobin Down North" and "Tobin Up South". Russ nearly breaks his leg and ends up meeting Tony Dane in hospital. Tony convinces Russ that he could have a lucrative career in London acting in commercials. Russ grasps the nettle and off he goes - leaving Liverpool for the capital, where things start to happen...ending with a prolonged set piece in Portimao, Portugal where Russ is filming a commercial. (NB it was only many years later when Stan recounted the story behind his ill-fated (and unreleased) movie 'The Sleepwalkers' that I realised the whole of this section is almost entirely based in truth. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent!)

I should also add that in amongst all this, Stan chose to insert another scene setting Russ down amongst the homosexual community, which seemed to serve very little purpose other than to allow Russ to express quite how much he was NOT GAY. The characterisation was as cliched as you'd expect for a book written in 1970 but at least Russ described the experience as "edifying".

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first eyes up a lady

 Page 11. Russ describes Jean again - this time he tells us she is 18 (so he must have been working at Ritebuy at least a year!) and makes a (purely scientific, I'm sure) note that "her breasts have grown considerably".

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first gets to know a lady in the biblical sense

 Page 45. 3 whole pages earlier than his first act of loving in The Sewing Machine Man! Joanne Burgess is the 29 yr old debt-ridden widow who gives Russ some horizontal comfort. They're still at it on Page 52 and beyond!

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first drinks a Vodka Tonic

 Russ chooses a Whisky at first on Page 43, but whilst in hospital on Page 68 he cheekily asks the nurse for a Vodka. It is on Page 120 that Tony Dane first orders them both a Vodka Tonic. It quickly becomes Russ's TOP TIPPLE.

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first reminisces about a previous adventure

 As mentioned, Russ re-introduces Jean on Page 11 - he also explains most of the plot of The Sewing Machine Man to Joanne before they get down to business.

  • Serious points raised

 That Debt-Collecting is a tough job for someone who has a heart of gold and an eye for the ladies. And also that when an opportunity arises - you should take it and worry about the consequences later. Life is what you make it and it is a fool who chooses to stand still when there is a whole world to be discovered.

  • Rating on the MORGANOMETER

Another magical 10 for Stanley's follow-up.Tobin is still true to his working class roots and the women are falling for him thick and fast. We particularly like the songs he tries to write for Ken Dodd early on in the book - and of course Russ ends the novel with, what is to become his trademark farewell - "TARRA!"