Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Free Book Of The Week

You read that correctly. Free book. Every week. But don't get your hopes up too much because this is a contest and to be completely honest, I do not believe it will be easy to win.

Every Wednesday, hopefully earlier than I am posting tonight, I will announce the theme for the forthcoming week's Back List title from Monday's "Front List / Back List" post. If the Back List title relates to the Front List then I will announce the title of the front list book and explain how the back list title relates.

First person to guess the title of the Back List book on the weekly contest post on facebook will receive a free copy of the Back List book.

Realizing that this may prove difficult, I will include a hint at the end of my Friday "Week In Books" post.

If you are unfamiliar with the "Front List/Back List" post here is a short explanation. First a bit of bookseller jargon.

A front list title is one that is current and typically on display. In the case of my posts these books are always new(ish) releases.

A back list title is a title that is no longer new or featured but yet important for filling out the back end of either the publisher's or bookseller's catalog.

In "Front List/Back List" I review a new release (front list) as well as an older (back list) title that pertains to a current event, cultural trend or to themes within the front list title itself. Thus the dusty old title gets to be featured as though new.


Free Book Of The Week Contest

In the case of this week's contests here are the facts.

Next week's Back List title will relate to the Front List title.

The Front List title for next Monday is Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham. Republished for the first time in decades, Nightmare Alley is a brilliantly written novel that revolves around the grimy, violent life of carnies. That's right: carnival workers.

Set in the heyday of carnival shows, with a cast of sideshow freaks and cunning hustlers, Gresham's novel is both revelatory of a particularly rough trade as well as the often painful absurdity of the human condition. Organizing the novel by twenty-two tarot themed chapters, Gresham's book is both mysterious, brilliant and fascinating.

After reading it you'll want to write the good people at New York Review Of Books to thank them for their work in bringing it back to print.

So, tell me dear reader, what is the Back List title for next Monday?

You have until midnight on Sunday, May 9th to answer the question. Remember, you must post your response as a comment on the weekly contest post on the DA's facebook page.

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