Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New book about Louise Brooks ?

Seemingly, there is a new book about Louise Brooks. Or at least it is about her in part. Or at least her name is in the title. And, it was printed recently.

The book is called Ziegfeld Follies: Ziegfeld Girls, Barbara Stanwyck, Eve Arden, Lucia Pamela, Jeanne Eagels, Bessie Love, Paulette Goddard, Louise Brooks. It was published last month, is 166 pages, and can be found on amazon.com No author is given. That's a bad sign.

I haven't seen a copy of the book as of yet - though I do plan on ordering one. (Somebody has got to.) The product description offered on amazon is kinda weird. It notes that there are chapters devoted to Ziegfeld Girls, Barbara Stanwyck, Eve Arden, Lucia Pamela, Jeanne Eagels, Bessie Love, Paulette Goddard, Louise Brooks, Marion Davies, Olive Thomas, Joan Blondell, Ann Pennington, Mae Murray, Florenz Ziegfeld, Nita Naldi, Susan Fleming, Iris Adrian, Anna Held, Bird Millman, Tamara Geva, Dorothy Mackaill, Billie Dove, Paulette Duval, Yvonne Hughes, Claire Dodd, Irene Hayes, Cecile Arnold, Jean Howard, Helen Gallagher. 

It then offers an excerpt, which seems to be lifted from Wikipedia. The informational url found in the product description takes you to the Wikipedia page for Louise Brooks. Hmmm.
If I were to hazard a guess, I would think this "data-mined" book is made up of little more than material gathered from various websites. Oh boy. But that is just a guess. One never knows until one has the thing in hand. The publisher is Books LLC. According to their website, they are based in Memphis, Tennessee. Their webpage for this book is http://booksllc.net/book.cfm?id=3459533

I do believe that this "publisher" is the same entity which also recently released a version of Margarete Bohme's The Diary of a Lost One on the world. I have a copy of that - and can state that it is a very poor thing indeed. The product description found on amazon.com and on their website begins "The book has no illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text...." Well, that's an understatement. Doesn't i"numerous typos or missing text" make you feel like you simply MUST have a copy?

For better or for worse, we are likely at the dawn of a new age of such books. 

When I prepared my own edition of Bohme's The Diary of a Lost Girl, I was very careful to make sure the text of my book was the best it could be. I spent nearly a month going over the manuscript again and and again fixing typos and making corrections. And, to give it added value, I also added a 35 page introduction and more than 3 dozen vintage illustrations. My edition of Bohme's book can be found at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-diary-of-a-lost-girl-(louise-brooks-edition)/11256621. Plus, what makes my edition so superior is that it looks a heck of a lot better than the above two books. And, it has Louise Brooks on the cover. What more could you ask for?


I am in the process of getting the book into various online "distribution channels" and even select brick-and-mortar bookstores. It should be available around the world on the various  amazon.com sites sometime soon, as well as Barnes & Noble, etc.... However, the best source for the book is direct from the printer at lulu.com

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