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The Book of Forgotten Authors Kindle Edition
'JOYOUS . . . READERS WILL LOVE THIS FASCINATING BOOK' CATHY RENTZENBRINK
'A GODSEND WITH THE PRESENT SEASON APPROACHING' IRISH INDEPENDENT
'THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A BOOK-OBSESSED FRIEND' STYLIST, 50 UNMISSABLE BOOKS FOR AUTUMN 2017
'EXCELLENT . . . SHOULD BE READ BY ANYONE WHO LOVES BOOKS' EVENING STANDARD
Absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you're dead.
So begins Christopher Fowler's foray into the back catalogues and backstories of 99 authors who, once hugely popular, have all but disappeared from our shelves.
Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner - no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. And Fowler, as well as remembering their careers, lifts the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye.
These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.
This is a book about books and their authors. It is for book lovers, and is written by one who could not be a more enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining guide.
'A BIBLIOPHILE'S DREAM' FINANCIAL TIMES
'WILL HAVE READERS SCURRYING INTO SECONDHAND BOOKSHOPS' GUARDIAN
A sure-fire Christmas gift . . . charged with an irresistible passion for the world of the book.―Daily Telegraph
A joyous saunter through the lives and words of yesterday's big names. Readers will love this fascinating book.―Cathy Rentzenbrink
A treasure trove of trivia . . . Excellent . . . This colourful compendium of literary lives should be read by anyone who loves books.―Evening Standard
Full of humour and pathos, Christopher Fowler's survey of authors who have fallen into obscurity is a bibliophile's dream.―Financial Times
Well researched and wide-ranging . . . The Book of Forgotten Authors is a bibliophile's treat written with verve and passion. It will have readers scurrying into secondhand bookshops in search of yellowing paperbacks.―Guardian --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
100. A typical example of the late 20th century midlist author, Christopher Fowler was born in the less attractive part of Greenwich in 1953, the son of a scientist and a legal secretary. He went to a London Guild school, Colfe's, where, avoiding rugby by hiding in the school library, he was able to begin plagiarising in earnest. He published his first novel, Roofworld, described as 'unclassifiable', while working as an advertising copywriter. He left to form The Creative Partnership, a company that changed the face of film marketing, and spent many years working in film, creating movie posters, tag lines, trailers and documentaries, using his friendship with Jude Law to get into nightclubs.
During this time Fowler achieved several pathetic schoolboy fantasies, releasing an appalling Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, posing as the villain in a Batman comic, creating a stage show, writing rubbish in Hollywood, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror and standing in for James Bond.
Now the author of over forty novels and short story collections, including his award-winning memoir Paperboyand its sequel Film Freak, he writes the Bryant & May mystery novels, recording the adventures of two Golden Age detectives in modern-day London.
In 2015 he won the CWA Dagger In The Library award for his detective series, once described by his former publisher as 'unsaleable'.
Fowler is still alive and one day plans to realise his ambition to become a Forgotten Author himself.
- ASIN : B07J4WBQHM
- Publisher : riverrun (October 5, 2017)
- Publication date : October 5, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 995 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 400 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #156,120 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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It is simply amazing that many of the books have long been out-of-print and forgotten yet they live on because the films that were made from those books are still watched. ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ by Richard Condon was not only made into a film in 1962, starring Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh, the film was remade in 2004 starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Richard Condon also wrote Prizzi’s Honour, the first of four parts was also made into a film. Condon is now, sadly, forgotten. If one remembers the film, ‘The Fly’ he might be forgiven for not knowing that it was based on a book by George Langelaan.
Interspersed in various parts of the book are personal essays that include books that had been made into films by Walt Disney. Out of 80 films Disney made in a span of twenty years, only 19 were not adapted from books. His essays include one on the forgotten books of a familiar and not forgotten author – Charles Dickens. Fowler wonders why ‘A Christmas Carol’ is so loved when, in Fowler’s opinion, Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Tree’ is hardly ever mentioned. The essay entitled, ‘The Forgotten Rivals of Holmes, Bond, and Miss Marple’ regales us with a long list of worthy alternatives to Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Miss Marple’. Patricia Wentworth created ‘Maud Silver’, and August Derleth created ‘Solar Pons’ when Conan Doyle declined to let Derleth take over the Holmes series when he (Doyle) retired. Ironically, after Derleth died, Basil Copper (another forgotten author) continued the Solar Pons series by writing about Pon’s ‘missing cases’.
‘The Forgotten Booker Authors’ is the essay with lovely vignettes of forgotten authors in the unforgettable context of the Booker Prize winners (and near-winners). Considering that 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of the Booker Prize, one might pay attention to this essay by Fowler to see how the judges might pick from next year’s short list. Stanley Middleton, a watercolour artist won the prize in 1974 for his book, ‘The Holiday’, he was only able to find one publisher, whereas initially, no one wanted to publish V S Naipul’s ‘In a Free State’ (winner in 1971). We should also remember that Beryl Bainbridge (famous for her historical novels) lost twice, and Ali Smith, three times.
Fowler presented 99 authors individually, beginning with Margery Allingham, and ending with Cornell Woolrich. Never heard of him? His books were made into films by Alfred Hitchcock (‘It had to be Murder’) and Francois Trauffaut (‘The Bride Wore Black’, ‘The Phantom Lady’, and ‘Night Has a Thousand Eyes’). In case you’re wondering, why are good authors forgotten? That question is posed and answered by Fowler in his introductory essay with that question as its title.
I don't think there could be a finer guide than Christopher Fowler to the back catalogs and backstories of ninety-nine authors who, once hugely popular, have all but vanished from our bookshelves. The stories of the ninety-nine authors are interspersed with Fowler's twelve essays discussing topics such as the now-forgotten novels Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock brought to the screen, contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and women authors who introduced psychological suspense long before it became a mainstay on the bestseller lists.
Fowler kept me entertained throughout Forgotten Authors with his humor (describing actor Charlton Heston as a "heroic plank" or "Klane's prose is as fast and blunt as a chucked brick") as well as telling readers how he went about digging up information about these authors. I think my favorite is Fowler's chapter about Polly Hope, "Where the Rainbow Ends."
It was always gratifying when he chose a forgotten author that I'd already discovered and enjoyed, such as Australian Patricia Carlon and time traveler extraordinaire Jack Finney, or when he praised a favorite book like Consuming Passions. Of course, the danger in reading a book like this is finding a long list of authors and books you want to read, but isn't that why you pick it up in the first place? No reader worth their salt wants to feel as though they're missing out on literary gems, do they? Did I finish Forgotten Authors with a list of my own? Of course I did, and I'm working on finding copies of every single title on my (rather short) list.
Even though you might not want to read Fowler's book for fear you'll add too many books to your already staggering list, I recommend you do so anyway. Forgotten Authors is filled to bursting with fascinating facts and stories that will add to your knowledge of popular literature. It's fascinating and fun, two things that I always love to experience when I read a book-- and don't you dare miss "A Note on the Author" at the end!
Okay -point taken. Maybe I need to revisit some fondly remembered reads of yore...but first I need to enjoy my long unread list. Thanks Mr. Fowler ;-)
Top reviews from other countries
The second reason is that I read this book with a tab open on Amazon, so that when an author caught my fancy I would take a look and see what was available (and how much it would cost to get hold of). It was by reading 'Forgotten Authors' that I came across the work of Maurice Richardson, and I must say here how glad I was that I did. And of course, having had my appetite for his writing whetted, it was necessary to take a break from the present volume to go and read something else. This was a pattern that repeated.
My personal total was 33 authors whose work I own plus 13 I have read from library copies and 25 I have heard of but not read - largely because I am not a fan of their genre. If it gets more people seeking them out it will be a service to those readers and books in general.
My one issue is his statement that many great French pulp authors have not been translated. Most of those cited are available in English from Black Coat Press either translated or "adapted".
Buy this as a stepping stone to fun searching for books by the authors and even more fun reading them and please search out Fowlers own books to stop him becoming one of these authors in 50 years time - especially the marvellous Bryant and May series.
Fowler's style makes you want to learn more about all of the authors mentioned... even the ones you have not heard of. Which I assume is the point. If so he's done a bang-up job of it.
Each author takes up just a few pages, and it's easy to read. It's a perfect 'loo' book. That's where I read it, much to my wife's consternation... as she was already on the loo herself! Seriously... Many exerpts were followed by me rushing to the internet to look up many of the authors mentioned... so I've learned stuff... but I'm now also seriously lighter of wallet since I've invested in quite a few of them.