In 1917, Christopher Morley published Parnassus on Wheels, a love letter to the art of bookselling. Its suspenseful sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, finds his beloved characters married and still in love with both mystery and literature.
Set in a lovingly evoked Brooklyn just after the end of World War I, The Haunted Bookshop cleverly juxtaposes a pair of middle-aged bookshop owners and two young lovers with a nest of German saboteurs, complete with mysterious clues, red herrings, blushing romance, derring-do, a desperate race to the rescue, and an explosion. More important, the novel is an eloquent hymn to the bookseller’s trade and a fervent plea for the revivifying and redemptive power of literature. The unifying thread of this book, and indeed of the life and work of its author, is its passionate avowal: all that the world and everybody in it needs is a good book.
What members say
Better Off Imagining A Sequel...
Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Did poor narration make the sequel boring, or did writing that dragged and dragged and dragged give the narrator nothing to work with?
One of the problems is that "The Haunted Bookshop" seemed really conflicted about what it was trying to be. Charming? A tiny bit of that. Mystery? Tiny bit. Espionage? Tiny bit. Romance? Itty bit. SEVERAL bombastic lectures about many, many books, eras, authors, not even parsed out as discussions but vomited onto the page as diatribes? Oooooh, plenty, PLENTY of that! And keep in mind that Stefan Rudnicki's voice is that of an anchorman, or an historian. Considering that this novel takes place after World War I, I could easily hear Rudnicki narrating a lengthy historical work on the time period, and that would have been fine. This, however? What little charm there might have been was lost.
I would've missed Nadia May from "Parnassus On Wheels," but the characters were missing here, and she would've had nothing to work with. It was odd, really. In the last book, there was some scrapping that went on, but that just seemed like some hardheadedness. Here, I found individuals to be, quite simply, obnoxious and foul. Go figure.
I missed the characters, I guess.
Once again, I'll advise: If you do wish to listen to this: Get the kindle whispersync for cheap first, so you can get the special audible price. Trust me, you don't want to pay full price for this one...
6 people found this helpful
- Peggy S.
Old fashioned adventure yarn.
This is a sweet story about a man and his love of literature and the people who support him and find love in the haunted bookstore.
2 people found this helpful
- Amazon Customer
What would have made The Haunted Bookshop better?
There was nothing haunted about it. I was hoping for a few thrills and chills but it's more of a treatise on books and booksellers. I think this might be of the few books that is better off read instead of listened to.
Has The Haunted Bookshop turned you off from other books in this genre?
No, I can't say that because this is also the era when Sherlock Holmes stories were being written. However, there is a vast difference. I guess I'll think long and hard before trying anything else by Christopher Morley.
Would you be willing to try another one of Stefan Rudnicki’s performances?
No, I didn't like that his voice was SO DEEP or his old-fashioned delivery.
Any additional comments?
I'm an old Sherlockian and so I hate to diss Christopher Morley in any way, but this book is really mediocre. Set in 1919, so it's very old fashioned. When it comes to a mystery I'd like some thrills and I was hoping this would be at least creepy but there's nothing haunted about it and the "mystery" was pretty predictable.
1 person found this helpful