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.
A few words to sum up this novel would be: sexist and narrow minded.
It’s clear to see that within this novel the author is quite sexist when it comes to finding women novelists as there is a very select few and of those women, their writing styles all fall into the same category. Now, at the start of this novel the author had stated how he gathered opinions and carried out severe research by having a bunch of different peoples opinions for the final authors to be mentioned within it. If that was really the case then there would be a various range of authors over many genres.
To begin with, the novel introduces a great selection of authors however after 50 pages or so that is when he begins to slack and become lazy at researching authors.
Fowler has very judgemental opinions as well if you read it as he critics these authors with their lifestyles and such. Another issue I had is that his facts are most definitely not up-to-date. For example, Georgette Heyer is supposedly a forgotten author? Uhm, what rock has he been living under? She is one of the go-to authors in the historic romance genre whenever you go to search for this category. She is still widely discussed amongst the online social media world, have a look on Twitter if you do not think this is the case Christopher Fowler.