Book Review: The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Title: The Book of Forgotten Authors
Author: Christopher Fowler
Publication Date: 5th October 2017

Synopsis: "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 our shelves.

Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner - no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. And Fowler, as well as remembering their careers, lifts the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye.

These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.

This is a book about books and their authors. It is for book lovers, and is written by one who could not be a more enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining guide."

My thoughts: This is such an interesting little tome (and look at that gorgeous cover!). My copy is actually riddled with little tabs now, for authors I'd like to check out at some point, if I can track down their works.

Fowler is a wonderful writer, and also a wonderful human, for tracking down all of these forgotten (or lesser-known) authors, and giving them a few pages of remembrance. Some of these authors are ones that have completely slipped under my radar, and some (such as Georgette Heyer, for example) are people I had heard of before, but never read their works. The extra essays included in this collection are also extremely interesting, bringing back characters and people long forgotten who deserve a little extra limelight.

I will admit to not being super interested in all of the authors contained in this collection - there seemed to be quite a leaning towards Crime/Mystery authors, which isn't really my main genre. I think this may reflect Fowler's personal taste, but I could be wrong. Either way, I think I would have appreciated just a little more genre-diversity among the authors, but that is really my only issue.

{I received a review copy of this book from Hachette in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!}

You would like this book if: You like discovering (or re-discovering) authors and their works; you like reading about books and writing!

Rating:  7.5/10

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