I imagined him in his beloved Brooklyn, strolling in Prospect Park and preaching to chance comers about his gospel of good books.
"When you sell a man a book," says Roger Mifflin, the sprite-like book peddler at the center of this classic novella, "you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue you sell him a whole new life." In this beguiling but little-known prequel to Christopher Morley's beloved "Haunted Bookshop," the "whole new life" that the traveling bookman delivers to Helen McGill, the narrator of "Parnassus on Wheels," provides the romantic comedy that drives this charming love letter to a life in books.
The Art of The Novella Series
Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
About the Author
Christopher Darlington Morley (1890 1957), American novelist, journalist, poet, and essayist, is the author of more than 100 novels, books of essays, and volumes of poetry. He was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, and after returning to America, he was an editor for "Ladies Home Journal" and wrote for the "New York Evening Post" and other newspapers. He was one of the founders of the "Saturday Review of Literature", and as a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, he helped to found the Baker Street Irregulars, a group dedicated to the study of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle s Sherlock Holmes works. He was also one of the first judges for the Book-of-the-Month Club. He is probably best known for his novel "Kitty Foyle", which was an instant bestseller and the basis for an Academy Award-winning movie in 1940, a radio serial, and a television series.
"I wanted them all, even those I'd already read."
—Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer
—Time Out London
"[F]irst-rate…astutely selected and attractively packaged…indisputably great works."
—Adam Begley, The New York Observer
"I’ve always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it’s the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher’s fine 'Art of the Novella' series."
—The New Yorker
"The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed—tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are."
—KQED (NPR San Francisco)
"Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package."
—The Wall Street Journal