Monday, March 4, 2013
The Quandary Dilemma, or Help Me Out, Folks!
Oh, the woes of a book blogging reviewer. Every now and then I encounter a book I want to write about but upon reaching the final page I am left feeling empty. I don’t want to write about it, I don't want to recommend it, I wish I had never read it, in fact. Usually I leave it at that and move on to the next book.
But this time I want to help promote a new publishing venture, one which will revive several long out of print books in affordable paperback editions. The book I read is the very first book this publisher has chosen to reprint. A poor choice for the first book, in my opinion. A formulaic, tired pursuit thriller that barely classifies as a true detective novel. Throwing in everything but the kitchen sink -- murder, blackmail, kidnapping and even check fraud -- it was originally published in the UK and the US in 1923 and has been out of print ever since. It's not awful, it's just run-of-the-mill. I can't understand why anyone would want to reprint it when there are dozens of much better books from the same era that deserve to be rediscovered by a modern audience. And I've written about many of them. Murder on the Moor, The Desert Moon Mystery, The Death of Laurence Vining all come to mind as exceptionally entertaining, sometimes brilliant, detective novels from the 1920s that are screaming to be reprinted. But instead we get…
Well, that's my trouble. Do I tell you or do I remain silent?
Do I tell you about this book and not mention the name of the publisher? Or do I skip the review altogether and wait until the publisher releases a book that is worth your hard earned cash and your even more valuable reading time?
I rarely ask for advice. But with this one I'm in a quandary. Help me out, my friends. What do you think I should do?