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Haunted Bookshop

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Overview

"When you sell a man a book," says Roger Mifflin, protagonist of these classic bookselling novels, "you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life." The new life the itinerant bookman delivers to Helen McGill, the narrator of Parnassus on Wheels, provides the romantic comedy that drives the novel. Published in 1917, Morley's first love letter to the traffic in books remains a transporting entertainment. Its sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, finds Mifflin and McGill, ...
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2004 Hardcover Reprint Very Good+ in Very Good dust jacket 0760756287. 9 X 5.50 X 1.10 inches; 253 pages.

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Douglas Gorlsine NY 2004 Hardcover Vg+ in vg+ jacket 253pp; interior clean + tight; b/w illustrations; ISBN: 0760756287.

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New York 2004 Hard Cover Reprint Fine in Fine jacket 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. Light shelf and edge wear. Great copy with tight binding and clean pages.

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Gorsline, Douglas New York 2004 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good jacket Book. 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall.

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Douglas Gorsline 2004 Hard cover Fine in fine dust jacket.

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The Haunted Bookshop (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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Overview

"When you sell a man a book," says Roger Mifflin, protagonist of these classic bookselling novels, "you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life." The new life the itinerant bookman delivers to Helen McGill, the narrator of Parnassus on Wheels, provides the romantic comedy that drives the novel. Published in 1917, Morley's first love letter to the traffic in books remains a transporting entertainment. Its sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, finds Mifflin and McGill, now married, ensconced in Brooklyn. The novel's rollicking plot provides ample doses of diversion, while allowing more room for Mifflin (and Morley) to expound on the intricacy of the bookseller's art. Introduction by James Mustich, Jr.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Morley's 1919 charmer about a Brooklyn bookstore with unearthly tenants is here offered in a modestly illustrated hardcover for $8.99. Beat that! Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The Barnes & Noble Review

There may be no trait more difficult to realize in all of the writerly arts than that of charm. The scarcity of that quality — that ability to make a reader stop and wistfully declare, "Ah, yes, there is the stuff," with a soft smile hanging in the balance — is such that, when we are in its presence, we can't help but wonder how the author at hand brought it off so capably, so subtly, for charm, in literature, has a knack for appearing sans expectation or forewarning, a gift of its precise moment of arrival.

Christopher Morley's The Haunted Bookshop doubles as a charm manual, and in that field Morley even has masters like F. Scott Fitzgerald — when he was in his early-career short-story mode — and Booth Tarkington beat. The haunting in question has more to do with the lingering spirits of the works of great authors than anything out of M. R. James or E. F. Benson. This 1919 volume, now handsomely reissued, is also a sequel to Morley's Parnassus on Wheels, the story of bookseller Roger Mifflin and his roving cart of books. Here, we find Mifflin decidedly more stationary, holed up in his Brooklyn bookshop, a temple to literary gewgaws. The bibliophile in- jokes fly fast and furious on just about every page; a key plot point is the disappearance of Carlyle's Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, with plenty of accompanying japes about the Victorian sage's long-windedness. Hardy pops up, and Dickens, with nods to Frederick Marryat (hard-core readers will find themselves pulling an "I know that one!" a dozen or so times) and even Parnassus on Wheels. Intertextuality wasn't always for graduate seminars.

The focus shifts from Mifflin, his devoted, plainspoken wife Helen, and their dog Bock, and onto a love story of sorts, between adman Aubrey Gilbert, who comes 'round to hawk his PR wares, and Titiana Chapman, a rich socialite whose father, a member of Mifflin's book club, has commanded her to slum it in the book business for some practical life knowledge.

Suffice to say, she gets none. This being the era of the Great War and incendiary political intrigue, there's a gang with a plan to assassinate Woodrow Wilson, which our goodhearted book bunch ends up overturning, the two would-be lovers pairing up in the process. A bomb is detonated in the bookshop, but Mifflin finds a way to look at the bright side, as long-forgotten books are freed from their ancient holds, ready to be read anew.

Dexterous turns of phrase mark almost every paragraph, along with epigrammatic bookselling advice that frequently suggests a broader application. "Never argue with customers," Mifflin cautions. "Just give them the book they ought to have even if they don't know they want it." Amen. The romance storyline is something of a send-up of the plots that were recycled by the booming silent film industry of the day — but if we're being teased here, it's gentle teasing all the same, the kind of soft remonstrance that comes when we look back on younger days when a transitory first love seemed to double as inevitable and final love. Of course, the love of books is a love unto itself. Its charm is the nonperishable nature of that devotion, one fully on display in this bibliographic valentine.

Colin Fleming writes for The Atlantic, Slate, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Book Review and publishes fiction with The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, Boulevard, and Black Clock. His first book, Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep, is forthcoming from Outpost19, with his second, Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories, to follow from Texas Review Press. He is at work on two novels: one about a piano prodigy who would rather be anything but, called The Freeze Tag Sessions, and another, told entirely in conversations, called Musings with Franklin, which is set in a bar in what may or may not be hell, where the regulars — Writer, Bartender, and the guy from the suburbs who dresses up as Ben Franklin — gather.

Reviewer: Colin Fleming

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760756287
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 4/15/2004
  • Pages: 253
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Author of the classic The Haunted Bookshop.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 81 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(11)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Haunted Bookshop

    Perhaps one of the earliest literary thrillers, Christopher Morley's 'The Haunted Bookshop' is a sort of ode to books, love and America (yes...America). It's a mystery wrapped in a spy thriller with a small dash of unrequited love and a very large helping of bibliomania mixed in. The problem lies in the dryness of the story as a whole. Though all of the elements (i.e. thriller, love story, bibliomania, etc.) are interconnected, it feels as though they are not. The mystery itself is really quite bland, even for the time period this was written. The owner of the bookshop, one Roger Mifflin, is a lovable bibliomaniac. The rest of the characters are somewhat dry and uninteresting. Basically, if you fancy yourself a bibliophile, then you will enjoy this novel, if you're just looking for a good story and have no interest in the fever of book frenzy, then you should probably skip 'The Haunted Bookshop'.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great fun.

    Morley brings the bookshop to life with vivid sensory descriptions. The reader, if a frequenter of used book shops, will feel as though he has been here before. Although the plot is a bit contrived the characters play their roles well and the story moves with a sense of urgency. I found it completely entertaining and felt as though I was sitting captivated in front of a warm fire as the narrator's tale unfolded.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    This is a book i would like to read but this version is too diff

    This is a book i would like to read but this version is too difficult to read because of all the typos. I reserved it at my local library. Seems like there should be a better way to transfer a book to nook correctly with all the technology at our fingertips.



    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    Wonderful classic to add to a collection.

    The characters were wonderful. The story continued to move throughout the book. The book also provided a picture of what it was like in America shortly after WWI.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Book For Book Lovers!

    A rare treat for booksellers or any other bibliomaniac! The tale centers around a German conspiracy that an ad agency rep. stumbles upon after visiting the Haunted Bookshop and falling in love with the new sales girl. Mr. Mifflin is the owner of the bookshop, and conveys the authors love of books throughout the story with his views on literature, war, & life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Too many typos in this version

    This version of the book has so many typos that it is very difficult to read. Sounds like it may be an interesting story, so I will download a different version.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    Extremely poorly transcribed

    I could not enjoy this book because the publishers seem to have hired illiterate blind foreign monkeys to transcribe it from the original text into ebook form. It was just ridiculous bad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Very good

    According to other reveiws it's a very good read but a bunch of typod, well it's a free book what do you expect? Thx 4 reedin

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    Too many typos, too annoyed to continue

    I decided to read this ebook because the reviews were positive, but there are too many typos and it makes it hard to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    It is a well written, and intriguing book. Could not put it down. A must read for any book lover.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Cupcake

    Very Very Good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    Ok read

    Ok read. The spelling was bad. The author had jumbled up spots in the book. You were not sure who was talking to whom. Overall had ok story line. Not what I thought it would be in haunted

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Highly recommended

    One of the best books I have ever read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    All that it seems!

    When I downloaded this book, being that it was free, I had a bad first impression. I aways say that not everything for free is a good thing. i was wrong about this one. It is a short story but one that has potential. I really wished it could have been longer, but it is a great read in your spare time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2011

    Hi

    What is this book about?

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Liked very much

    This is the sequel to Parnassus on Wheels. They each stand alone
    as very enjoyable reads. I found I did want a little more information
    or continued story at the end of this book, but loved it all the same.
    I can see why it is on the Essential reading list.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Must Read for Book Lovers

    This is a Book-Lovers' Book: a thriller, a mystery, a romance, and a book about books all in one. There are several books talked about in this book that I've not read but have since ordered. It will be hard to pass by a used bookstore after reading this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2010

    old but still great

    i read parnassus on wheels first, then this book. written years ago but still a wonderful read....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    A good afternoon read

    A very intertaining book. I enjoyed the details of Brooklyn in that era. I could almost smell the tobacco smoke in the book shop.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews

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