Worth the Read -Parnassus on Wheels

by on February 3rd, 2015
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Parnassus On Wheels

Christopher Morley

Doubleday, Page & Company

1917

I may be preaching to the choir here. This site whose core is a solid base of readers and writers. This recommendation is more ‘bookish’ than those previously found under my “Worth the Read” headings. However, Christopher Morley is an author who’s work needs to be praised and remembered. I post this Hub, with that obligation front and center in my thinking

Parnassus On Wheels is a short book at 160 pages. Roger Mifflin, the protagonist is described as small in stature and wiry as a cat. He possess an Olympic personality and is both part sage, and part noble beast. He possess a streak of fearless deviltry. The New England country side of 1915 provide the dusty roads for Parnassus the travelling book wagon.

I quote from the jacket, “With his singular philosophy and bright eyes, he comes to represent the heart and soul of the book world.”

On a lark, in a ‘revolt of womanhood’, a Miss Helen McGill, buys Parnassus lock, stock and barrel, including the dog. And off she goes on an adventure of heroic escapes, Yankee cookery, and roadside brawls. Of Mifflin she says, “He was kind of a travelling missionary in his way. A hefty talker, too. His eyes were twinkling now and I could see him warming up.” And, “when you sell a man a book…you sell him a whole new life.”

“Seems silly when Herrick and Hans Andersen and Tennyson and Thoreau and a whole wagonlaod of other good fellows are riding at my back I can hear them all talking as we trundle along.” – Parnassus On Wheels

“Talkers never write. They go on talking.” Roger Mifflin

The literature devoted to book lore is quite small. Mostly written by bibliophiles for bibliophiles. High on this list is the writing of Christopher Morley’s, not only Parnassus on Wheels. But also a companion work called the ‘Haunted Bookshop”. You might also enjoy, ‘Pipefuls’.

Parnassus of Wheels is worth the read.


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