A sequel to Parnassus on Wheels.
his cook-book a narrow stairway rose on each side, running up to the gallery. Behind these stairs a short flight of steps led to the domestic recesses. The visitor found himself ushered into a small room on the left, where a grate of coals glowed under a dingy mantelpiece of yellowish marble. On the mantel stood a row of blackened corn-cob pipes and a canister of tobacco. Above was a startling canvas in emphatic oils, representing a large blue wagon drawn by a stout white animal-- evidently a horse. A background of lush scenery enhanced the forceful technique of the limner. The walls were stuffed with books. Two shabby, comfortable chairs were drawn up to the iron fender, and a mustard-coloured terrier was lying so close to the glow that a smell of singed hair was sensible.
"There," said the host; "this is my cabinet, my chapel of ease. Take off your coat and sit down."
"Really," began Gilbert, "I'm afraid this is----"
"Nonsense! Now you sit down and commend your soul to Providence and the kitc
The story started out a little slow and there are a few tirades in sections on literature of that period and the book selling business that I found boring, but the action picks up in the last half and becomes a mysterious adventure. The story ends happy, but not in the same romantic closure as other of Morleys books. I enjoyed it, but not my favorite by this author.
Morley is more than a good writer. His characters are quirky and interesting, his dialogue is bright and seems reflective of Washington Irving and Mark Twain. He holds an all encompassing knowledge of American literature which would put Van Wyck Brooks to shame, his literary opinions are always interesting and his reading recommendations are a much welcome gift. Despite the many good things in the book the ghost story lacks a ghost, the mystery is only marginally mysterious and the romance between an advertising salesman and the daughter of his wealthy client seems tentative.
It is a worthy read for a rainy day when one has nothing else to do but I believe inferior to Morley\'s previous effort Parnassus On Wheels. Recommended with two stars for the story and four stars for everything else.
As the previous reviewer notes, no ghosts appear in the bookshop of this title, which is haunted merely by "the ghosts of all great literature, in hosts."
In the days just after World War I, Roger Mifflin, the garrulous, proselytizing, bookseller hero of "Parnassus on Wheels," takes on a debutante as apprentice in his Brooklyn shop and befriends an up-and-coming, young advertising man who's soon besotted with her. Meanwhile, mysterious and untoward events center on a volume of Thomas Carlyle's "Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell" and a German druggist down the street.
Mifflin tends to be preachy, but book lovers should enjoy his musings. The novel also contains plenty of recommendations for future reading. Anyone who's familiar with all of the books mentioned herein may consider himself well-read. If not, I'd guess most of them can be found here on Manybooks. Start now.
Wonderful story. This novel is categorized as "Ghost Stories" by MANYBOOKS.NET, but actually it is a mystery or an adventure story. Carlyle's Oliver Cromwell disappears and reappears from the shelf of a secondhand bookstore in Brooklyn which the eccentric proprietor claims is haunted by the ghosts of all great literature. But what is really going on in this bookshop is...
This is a really nice book for booklovers and mystery fans.
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