Stephen King’s New Lieutenant’s Rap – The Prized Pamphlet With An Interesting History & An Unknown Future

I have been reading and collecting Stephen King books since 1983 and the one book that has eluded me and many other collectors is “The New Lieutenant’s Rap”. This prized pamphlet has an interesting history and an unknown future.

Philtrum Press is a small publishing house run by Stephen King which has printed the following works:

– The Plant, Part 1 (1982)

– The Plant, Part 2 (1983)

– The Eyes of the Dragon – 1000 copies, Signed/Limited (1984)

– The Plant, Part 3 (1985)

– The Ideal Genuine Man (written by Don Robertson) (1987)

– Six Stories – 1100 copies, Signed/Limited (1997)

– The New Lieutenant’s Rap – 500 copies (approx.), Signed/Limited (1999)

The New Lieutenant’s Rap was produced for a dinner celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Carrie on April 6, 1999 at the Tavern on the Green in New York.

The chapbook (a pocket sized booklet) has a stitched cover with a total of 22 pages. The text replicates King’s handwriting, including the cover page and copyright info. The New Lieutenant’s Rap was later published in King’s collection, Hearts in Atlantis, but that version is substantially shorter.

150 signed copies were brought to the event and 108 randomly numbered copies were distributed.

All the books were inserted into envelopes covered with silver peace symbols hand stamped on them. Some had 3, 4 or 5 as they were placed arbitrarily.

Also dispersed at the dinner were:

– A signed copy of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (in honor of the 25th anniversary of Carrie ) 

– A silver Peace Sign pendant with a silver necklace in a box with bow on top

– A stapled 4 page 25 question trivia quiz.

Approximately 28-42 copies of the The New Lieutenant’s Rap chapbook were left on the tables by forgetful guests and thrown out that night.

None were recovered from the trash. Rumor has it that King was so disappointed that some guests did this, that he took the remaining 380+ copies and placed them in his office safe in Bangor, Maine where they remain to this day.

There was an unsuccessful break-in attempt at King’s office in June 2000 but the chapbooks remained untouched. There have been approximately 5 copies donated to Bangor public library since then.

Therefore, only 80 copies were taken home from the event and 5 more have been purchased since then from the fundraisers. Of the 500, that is a very small number of copies in private hands.

Who knows what the author plans to do with the remaining copies. Perhaps they will remain locked away forever like something from a Stephen King story?

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

5 thoughts on “Stephen King’s New Lieutenant’s Rap – The Prized Pamphlet With An Interesting History & An Unknown Future

  1. I cant believe most of the attendees left there copies on the table when they went home. Unreal!

  2. Hi, any idea what a copy of the NL’s Rap would fetch at all? I’ve just read this post as I was looking into a set of King books I’ve recently inherited and I have a mint condition copy, along with a boxed “Six Stories” and 2 Startling Mystery magazines (which appear to be his early stuff). Thanks in advance.

    1. Kelly, The New Lieutenant’s Rap is work a couple of thousand dollars easily. The Six Stories is worth $800 – $1,200 and the early King Starting Mystery Stories go for $200-$500 depending on the issue and condition. Are you looking at selling these items or do you just want to know their value? If you want to sell them, I can help you with buying contacts and selling options and would be happy to assist you. Please know that the NL Rap is very rare, you’ll understand why if you read my article. They very rarely come on the collector’s market. Does yours include the peace sign outer packaging and the necklace or just the pamphlet book?

      1. Hi Larry, thank you for the info. Wow. It was after reading your article that I thought I would contact you. Unfortunately it is the pamphlet only (no envelope etc) but it really is pristine. I’ll have to have a think about what to do next, it feels kind of cool to own something so rare, but if I do sell then I’ll be back in touch. Thanks again, Kelly

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