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A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict Paperback – 1 Mar 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group); New edition edition (1 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553814427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553814422
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,148,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Baxter is a novelist and broadcaster, as well as being a highly acclaimed film critic and film biographer. His subjects have included Fellini, Spielberg and Kubrick. He is currently completing a biography of Robert De Niro for HarperCollins.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 July 2004
This was something of an anticlimax. Baxter's accounts of tracking down books and authors are good, sometimes very good, but his writing too often degenerates into shapeless lists of minor authors, book titles and film titles: "...Iris Owens ('Harriett Daimler') and Austryn Wainhouse ('Pieralessandro Casavini') both had later careers under their own names, as did Terry Southern, co-author of Candy, and Chester Himes, the African-American writer of Pinktoes. Canadian poet John Glassco already had a minor reputation when he agreed to complete Aubrey Beardsley's Under the Hill for Olympia..." And so on. I suppose this is inevitable in a book by a film critic and book collector, but it becomes tedious after a while.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug 2008
I've been on a kick lately where I'm reading lots of "books about books," and/or "books about reading," which led me to pick this one up. The subtitle "Confessions of a Book Addict" is an apt one, as this is essentially a rambling memoir whose only unifying theme is the author's love of books. And while it does delve into the rarefied (and often grubby) realm of book collecting and collectors, that's not really the focus. Actually, other than the author's lifelong love of books and telling a good story, there is no real focus -- which really isn't a problem, since Baxter is able to maintain the breezy entertaining cadence of born raconteurs. And although like many raconteurs, his stories sometimes veer in unexpected directions and digressions, they are rarely unwelcome ones.

Baxter (a sometime fiction writer and noted film biographer) begins at the beginning, outlining his drab and dreary Australian childhood. Like so many bored kids, he found an outlet in books, films, and eventually pulp magazines. As a teen and young man, he grew up something of a science-fiction fanboy, joining the inner circle of Australia's minuscule sci-fi community, while working a dreary job for the national railroads. After some initial forays into writing (including bios for a porn mag), he heads to London, where his love affair with books turns him from a consumer into a collector. The reader tags along with Baxter as he hobnobs with the weird-but-true characters of the used book trade in London, before he heads off to Roanoke, Virginia to teach, then Los Angeles, and eventually Paris, accumulating and then shedding books along the way.

One has to accept that a lot of the authors and personalities he encounters and discusses aren't exactly household names -- especially for American readers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Sep 2010
Some amusing anecdotes for book lovers but also too much rather tedious background around it, so I gave up around half way through.
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