Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Pound of Paper by John Baxter - Book Review

As anyone knows who reads this blog, I am NOT a fan of fiction - unless it is either historical fiction or a modern adventure/thriller from authors such as Clive Cussler, Matthew Reilly, Dan Brown and James Rollins.

John Baxter is an Australian Book Collector. He calls himself an Addict. This book is about John's life as a Book collecter from about 1950 when he quit school and discovered Graham Greene and Science Fiction, until around 1990 when his daughter was born in Paris. In between he drifted from country to country (mostly Australia, USA, England and France), buying books, always looking for the elusive rare modern first edition that would pay the bills, and dropping names on every page.

Baxter met a lot of authors. Even though I dont read modern fiction, and I did not recognise most of the names, he did meet authors such as Graham Greene and Kingsley Amis. I enjoyed the first half of the book, about science fiction, and how John became a book collector. But the middle of the book, was hard to get through. Partly because of the cocaine and drinking stories and the swear words liberally littered throughout the book.

The cover says this is about Book collecting. Its more about the tricks to getting modern first editions, even if you cheat the seller because they dont realise that they have a rare book on their shelves. Its a memoir, NOT a scholarly book. There really was not even a decent ending. It was quite rushed actually. I get the impression that Mr Baxter still hasnt settled down, despite living in Paris.

If I was to rate it out of 5 - I'd give it a 2.

An Interview with John Baxter

A Pound of Paper from Amazon

Another Review

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