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Grumpy Old Bookman: Essays and Criticism Paperback – 1 Feb 2005

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More About the Author

Michael Allen is best known for writing popular mainstream fiction, and he's been doing it successfully for more years than he cares to remember. (Actually his first novel was published in 1963.) Here are some quotes from reviews of his work:

'Absolutely first class' The Bookseller
'Solidly constructed' New York Times Book Review
'A pleasing narrative style' Daily Mail
'Beguiling entertainment' Kirkus Reviews
'Don't miss it' The Observer

These days, Michael publishes all his new work in Kindle format. Much of his earlier work is now out of print, and some of the printed books listed on Amazon are only available secondhand; but most of this earlier output will gradually be republished in Kindle versions. In addition, there are some brand-new publications, listed on Amazon Kindle for the first time anywhere. To take a look at Michael's output and see what appeals to you, click on the Kindle category below and scroll down.

Michael Allen is also known for his practical books for writers:

How to Write a Short Story that Works
The Truth about Writing
On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile

From 2004-07, Michael wrote a daily blog, the Grumpy Old Bookman. Still available online, this contains over one million words of essays, book reviews, and useful information for writers. Michael has recently reopened the blog for occasional reviews, news, and opinion pieces.

Product Description


This is a collection of hard-hitting essays and book reviews which first appeared on Michael Allen's blog, the Grumpy Old Bookman. The Grumpy Old Bookman began operation in late March 2004, and soon acquired a reputation for plain speaking and controversy. This book reproduces some 130 entries from the first six months. The book is aimed at both readers and writers, and the content deals almost entirely with books and publishing. A typical entry will either be a lengthy review of a book, or the author's thoughts on some aspect of the book trade, inspired by an item of recent news.

From the Publisher

In February 2005 the Grumpy Old Bookman blog was listed by the Guardian as one of the top ten literary blogs world-wide. The Guardian described the blog as 'intelligent and unfailingly interesting.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
One man's blog is the same man's book 15 Aug. 2006
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
Format: Paperback
We have reached the stage of ultimate democracy as far as writing goes. Anyone, anywhere can write anything they want and have it instantly published on the 'Net'. They can even guarantee themselves a few readers by posting it on sites in which the comments of readers are somewhat read.

Michael Allen understands we are in a new writer- reader age. A longtime editor and bookman himself he started his own blog about books, and then collected six months, one- hundred and thirty entries into the book at question.

As a person who loves books, who takes interest in the book world, and who has not gotten really where I wanted to in the book world I am the natural reader for this kind of stuff. All these little items might after all contain some tips about how to move the pieces forward on the great board of getting somewhere.

But the truth is I love Literature more in another way, and in a way which Michael Allen does a bit of debunking of. I am a believer in the classic works, and in the special quality of certain kinds of writing. It isn't all the same mashed potatoes or daily gruel to me.

Allen is a debunker, with a sense of humor, a very great knowledge of what's going on in the British book- world. He certainly provides information and insight which can keep the old book- lover reading.

But he does not provide what a truly good or great book does, that kind of poetic feeling and inspiration, that sense of giving us an understanding of life we did not have before, that moving us to the depths of our being in revelation or discovery of the new, or what we already knew stated in a way beyond our ability to.

'Grumpy' is alright but its not the best we can do.
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