Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday's "Forgotten" Books: Patti Abbott's Meme

We're off to an early start with Friday's "Forgotten" Books, being caretaken by me this week while Patti Abbott, the instigator and usual host, is attempting a vacation.

The idea: is there a book, or for many participants one of a number of books, that you feel is unfairly obscure, or at least important enough that you'd like to write a brief blurb touting it to the assembled blogosphere? Please write that up for Friday morning-afternoon posting (or when you can get it in), post it on your blog, and let me know you've done so, with your blog entry address, please. If you don't have a blog and want to play, I'll post your piece on my blog if you like.

David Corbett stakes a claim on The Rap Sheet to suggest Pete Dexter's God's Pocket.

Bill Crider is the earliest entrant this week that I'm aware of, and his citation of Henry Kane's Too French and Too Deadly is here.

Lyman Feero suggests Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Ed Gorman checks in with John D. MacDonald's Border Town Girl.

Lesa Holstine puts forward Stephen J. Cannell's King Con.

Steve Lewis cites Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm novel, The Ambushers.

And here's Robin Gorman Newman's citation of Patrick McDonnell's The Gift of Nothing.

James Reasoner offers Lewis B. Patten's Rope Law.

Susan (aka Susan259) chimes in with Todd Borg's Tahoe Deathfall.

Out of sheer bloody-mindedness, here's Joe Boland's citation of Thomas Perry's Island, which was a late entry that didn't actually come to me.

And I, below, recommend William Kotzwinkle's The Exile.

And the first of our Citations from Blogless Folk:

Lee Gold recommends Van Loon's Lives by Henrik Van Loon:

Van Loon's LIVES, a strange and wonderful book
by Henrik Van Loon, which chronicles a series
of dinner parties in a small Dutch town.
The setting is the late 1920s, and the dinner
host is a man who's doing quite well in the
stock market. He and his friend Van Loon have
found a way to invite dead folk as guests.

The host asks for a brief bio of the night's
guest or guests so he won't inadvertently say
anything rude.

So you get a bio, a list of the dishes served
(including recipes for some of them) and the music
played, the guest's arrival (Leonardo da Vinci comes
in on a glider; Dante arrives with Virgil and with
a demon who is given a pail of kerosene; St. Francis
gets a flock of birds who in turn get some bread and
a brief sermon), and the dinner table conversation.

One of the invitations goes to "the greatest inventor of
all time" -- and the hosts wait to see who it'll be.

Gradually things get darker. When Jefferson comes,
Van Loon gets a phone call that Hitler has just been
elected. On his return to the table, Jefferson asks
if anything is wrong, and Van Loon writes: 'I told him,
"An old friend is ill and may be dying." (I didn't tell
him that her name was Freedom.)'

The book ends because the hosts have to leave Europe
and move to America if they're going to be safe.

This is a strange and wonderful book, well worth looking
for.

And Jim Ingraham:

Let me add Kate Chopin's The Awakening, published in 1899, to your list of "forgotten books."
Without the guilt and shame of two "fallen women" in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and
Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Edna Pontellier is presented as a healthy young woman
who embraces and enjoys her sexuality in the "man's world" of the late l9th
century. The book destroyed Ms. Chopin's reputation and her career for it's
"wanton immorality," but it broke open the gates for the women's movement of the
20th century.

Anyone I've missed, please let me know at FoxBrick@Yahoo.com

5 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

THanks, Todd. You're a peach.

Todd Mason said...

Well, maybe a pit. You're quite welcome.

susan259 said...

Didn't see an e-mail address for Todd, but here's my post:

http://readspace.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/forgotten-books-tahoe-deathfall-by-todd-borg/

Todd Mason said...

FoxBrick@yahoo.com

Lesa said...

Thanks, Todd and Patti. I posted mine this morning on my blog, www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com, and it was already picked up by Reuters and usatoday.com. I think they liked the title - Friday's "Forgotten" Books.