Thursday, 27 September 2007

Philip Callow (1924-2007)

We were very sorry to hear of the death of Philip Callow on September 22nd. The novelist was a customer, and the writer of his obituary called us to obtain a copy of The Hosanna Man. This, his first book, brought him recognition but also unfortunate controversy. A Nottingham bookseller claimed that one of the characters, Thompson, was modelled on himself, and threatened legal action. To me, Thompson seems no more nasty than the many other (unfounded) stereotypes of the bookseller in literature - and certainly not a spot on Arthur Gwyn Geiger in The Big Sleep.

In a rare instance of publishers listening to booksellers, Cape withdrew the novel and pulped all the remaining stock. First Editions are subsequently scarce. Not surprisingly, we fielded many phone calls this week from customers hoping to obtain a copy of the book. For all those who were disappointed, here's a picture of the colourful dust-wrapper.

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