Sunday 9 October 2011

More books to read

I managed to spend some time this morning in the bookshop in the local shopping centre ... and bought two books that have been added to my pile of 'to read' books that lives on my bedside table.

The first is a copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first ever novel – THE NARRATIVE OF JOHN SMITH.

The original manuscript was sent by post to a publisher ... and was promptly lost! Conan Doyle rewrote the book as best he could from memory, but decided in the end not to have it published. It was then 'lost' until relatively recently, when it was found in amongst a collection of Conan Doyle's papers. The incomplete novel has now been published by The British Library (ISBN 978 0 7123 5841 5). As a long-time lover of Conan Doyle's work I will be very interested to read his first novel, and to see what his early writing style was like.

The second book is the latest in the 'Jim Stringer, Steam Detective' series, and is written by Andrew Martin.

The book – THE SOMME STATIONS – is set during the First World War. It is published by Faber and Faber (ISBN 978 0 571 24960 2), and deals with the raising of a railway 'Pals Battalion' (the imaginary 'North Eastern Railway Battalion') as part of Kitchener's 'New Army' and the role of railways supplying the front line trenches. Both a detective novel and a military history story in the same book ... a good example of hitting two birds with one stone!

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