Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Dr Lewis B Turndevelt's Big Book Of Forewords by David R Perry

Dr Lewis B Turndevelt's Big Book Of Forewords by David R Perry 
Published by Morris Publishing in January 2004.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via Noisetrade

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just after greeting card poems and writing descriptive copy for shampoo bottles, book forewords are arguably the highest form of literary art today. And Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelt is quite possibly the world's foremost writer of book forewords. He writes oodles and scads of them. Basketfuls and pallet loads of forewords. Some fresh from the garden and ready for market, others collected in the cellar and aged to perfection. But with his Big Book of Forewords, Dr. Turndevelt steps out from the front of other people's work and claims an entire book as his own. His willingness to tackle any subject you can imagine, as well as his floating narrative style, have earned him the reputation of being, as one prominent author put it, "the spare tire of the book world; don't start your trip without him."

This review was first blogged on Stephanie Jane in October 2015.

The fabulously titled Dr Lewis B Turndevelt's Big Book of Forewords was featured in my Noisetrade newsletter email this morning. I loved both the title and the cover so took the opportunity to download this distinctly bizarre book. Essentially a short compendium of forewords for other books that don't actually (yet) exist, this collection is humorously written in a beautifully pompous literary style that I think will appeal to readers of Victoriana and steampunk.

Dr Lewis himself is a crabby gentleman of presumably advancing years who is frequently either irritated by modern life or deranged by inappropriate medicinal dosages. I love the variety of long words he uses - as indeed do I - and I even learned that spelunking is a real pastime (who'da thunk it?!)

From moustaches to McDonald's by way of beanie babies and Burma, there's a humorously grouchy essay in this collection that's unlikely to be suitable for any niche non-fiction tome and, while I wasn't laughing out loud all the way through, I certainly indulged in much smirking and even the occasional titter. As a Brit, I am also now intrigued to visit South Dakota where, I assume, Turndevelt is persona non grata. Great fun and a good book for late-night dipping into.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by David R Perry / Humour / Books from America

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