The following post was sent to me last weekend. However after due consideration I felt that it was better to await some official comment about the book, rather than simply provide an “anecdotal” account.
The website of Frontline Noir, the book’s publisher, now has an article on it titled “Clairvoyant Reviewers and other mysteries”. It is well worth a read.
It is appropriate now to post the piece sent to me by “A Book Buyer” last weekend.
To be fair, whether threats have been made regarding sale of the book and if these are simply in jest or something more serious is a matter which would be dealt with, should complaints be made, by the appropriate authorities at the due time. However, it is clear that, in certain bookstores, there was a perception that selling Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s book might cause bother. As the “Book Buyer” says, there was perceived to be, in some quarters, “potential” for disorder.
Instead, as the Frontline Noir piece makes clear, all that has happened is that the book has shot up the best seller lists and is on a fast track re-printing schedule.
And so to “A Book Buyer” and his piece written last Saturday.
Bookstore bows to the “Illiterati”
I have no interest in Scottish football largely because I find there is precious little football worth the watching.
I have tried to capture the sense of spiritual fulfilment attained by my friends by accompanying them to numerous football stadia but on each occasion I have reached the conclusion that I would have gained much more satisfaction sitting at home sticking pins in my eyes. No pun intended but I do not see the point of grown men surrendering their emotional wellbeing to a group of people who are at best often unreliable in their application to the task in hand.
I am however interested in the cultural milieu that surrounds the game of football and it has been with increasing disbelief that I have followed the implosion of the team formerly known as “Glasgow Rangers”. This sad and as yet incomplete story has confirmed my prejudices (I call them reasoned arguments) about the corrosive effect which blind acceptance to a group loyalty has on our social wellbeing. And it is that social well being that I found had been greatly diminished when I went to buy a book.
Today I went to a bookstore to buy “Downfall” . I had expected the book to be on full display, possibly even a book signing but there were no copies of “Downfall” in evidence. I searched the bookshelves but to no avail. I asked the sales attendant if the book was in stock and “Yes” it was but not displayed in the bookstore. Copies of the book were in fact stored behind the counter and “Yes” I could buy one. For the first time in a lifetime of book buying I finally bought a book that was, if not literally “under the counter”, then the next best thing to it.
However this is not a case of “Shame on the Bookstore”, they have a duty to protect their staff and customers from the potential of abuse and harm. Rather it is a shame on all of Scotland that our country harbours and nurtures such a virulence that a bookseller is so intimidated by the potential for disorder in their store that they refuse to display a book. When will the book burning commence?
regards to one and all,