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Invisible Ink Paperback – 6 Dec 2012
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This book though opens up a whole new world of possibilities, and with it brings a load of interesting snippets which highlight how fickle the whole industry sometimes is.
The author, Christopher Fowler, is one of my favourites, and has a blog site from which I'd already been introduced to one or two of the authors here, for example: HERE [away from it all]
This book has around 100 different authors all of whom at some point were popular, but are lesser known if at all now. The inclusions are in some parts from a newspaper column written by the author, but collected together they make a great dip and out resource, and an interesting starting point for searching for further reading.
Now, if only I could get it on the Kindle too so I could more easily bookmark the ones I want to follow up when I'm looking round old bookshops!
There are two frustrating things that spoiled the book for me. Firstly as the book is a collection of columns from a newspaper the pieces are all the same length, written to a word count, and they often feel too short - just as the story of the author is getting interesting it suddenly ends, and you wish there was more. In several of the pieces we read the back-story of the author, a little about their work, and then it seems to end with "but then they died and their work is now out of print." It would have been nice if Fowler had maybe revisited some of the pieces and extended them for the book, but alas this isn't the case. Secondly there were lots of books and stories mentioned which I would love to read after hearing of them here, but as they're out of print this is impossible! It's a bit like if somebody told you about a fantastic restaurant, describing great meals they've had there, but then add "anyway, it closed down years ago" at the end. Fowler often mentions that the books are available online, but sometimes for ridiculous sums (one is quoted as being over £250), or have been reprinted in special editions which are also extremely expensive.
A quick, interesting read, but one which I found a little frustrating. If only I could read more of the books it features!
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