“Life is not a box of chocolates, it’s a weathered old paperback, and you never know what you’re going to find in it.”- Christopher Fowler
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“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 shelves.”
I enjoyed this book, I don’t read much non-fiction and I struggle to finish books when I do but this was an engaging read full of interesting information. Sometimes it feels like you’re having a conversation with the author about books, especially in the chapter about Polly Hope whom the author visits. The authors themselves are colourful characters whose life stories are as interesting as their fiction.
Did you know that most Disney movies are based on books that nobody has ever heard of?
I’ve learnt so much from this book and need to read it again to absorb all the information, I’ve found some authors that I want to read and rediscovered some I’ve read previously.
Authors I’ve read:
- Virginia Andrews- I enjoyed her book Flowers In The Attic (despite the incest) but couldn’t finish the sequel, the sister was just too promiscuous for my liking!
Did you know that Andrew Neiderman (the author of Devils Advocate adapted into a film starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino) was a ghost writer for Virginia Andrews books after her death?
- Dennis Wheatley- I’ve read one book by Dennis Wheatley and sadly although the characters were interesting and it had the potential to be a good adventure novel it did waffle on and the outdated ideas of witchcraft were grating. Wheatley doesn’t age well, although his books have been released on Kindle (which is how I got a copy).
This book is full of interesting information: I learnt the origin of “Billy Liar” and “Billy Bunter” I’ve heard relatives use these terms before and never knew where they came from, until I read this book.
Did you know that Jean Plaidy (historical writer) was the pseudonym for Elizabeth Hibbet?
It’s a shame that some of these authors are out of print or forgotten it’s only thanks to the author of this book Christopher Fowler that they will be rediscovered and remembered again.
Did you know that Frank Baker wrote the book The Birds that Hitchcock based his classic film on? He was Daphne De Maurier’s cousin!
Thank you to the publishers: River run and bookbridgr for this advanced reading proof copy, I can’t recommend this book enough to fellow bookworms. But be warned out of print books are expensive and this will not help your to be read pile/list! 🙂
This book is a must-read I can’t praise the style and content enough!