Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tough Times In "The Tunnel"

Amazon refused to publish my "review" of William H. Gass's "The Tunnel."  I wonder why?

Maybe "Good?"

I bought the paperback of 'The Tunnel' from Amazon and I received it about a week ago. The front cover had smudged fingerprints on it and one of the pages was dog eared. I used to sell books, and there is no way I would consider this a new book. So I requested an exchange. I just received my exchange copy. The exchange copy has no fingerprints. But otherwise it looks like it has been kicking around for years despite the fact that it was only printed recently (in 2014.) The fore edges are dirty. The front cover has two small tears at the top edge which carry over onto the first few pages of the book, giving the pages a dented appearance.

So I am now sitting here trying to decide which of these two copies to send back to Amazon. I think the copy with the fingerprint smudges annoys me the most. So I guess I'll return that copy. As a bookseller I would never have rated either of these books as "New" or even "Very Good" copies.

I suppose Amazon rejected the above because it's not really a review of the book but rather a review of Amazon.  Nice to know they actually read stuff though.

I don't expect to read "The Tunnel" anytime soon, but Amazon's action may have changed my mind. If you want some laughs, go to the Amazon site and read the 1-star reviews of 'The Tunnel.'  I recently read some of Gass's writing and found it a bit of a slog at first but eventually enjoyable.  I shall take a peek into "The Tunnel" and see what comes out.


I have begun reading The Tunnel.  So far, so good.  Quite good, in fact.  The book goes on for more than 600 pages so it will be some time before I can write an actual review.  I have only read nine pages; but I feel I have already got my money's worth...Gass is an amazing writer.

I have placed the two books that I received from Amazon side-by-side flat on my desk.  The replacement book sits about 1/16th of an inch higher than the book marred by fingerprints, clearly indicating that the replacement book has been previously read.

So, I have changed my mind.  I will keep the book with the fingerprints smeared on the cover; and I'll return the replacement copy to Amazon.  If the book cover were glossy paper I would probably be able to remove the paw-prints.  However, the book cover is made of a more porous paper and I don't intend to remove the toe prints anytime soon.  Perhaps they shall grow on me.

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