Monday, 25 August 2014

Basket case

Meet my Maker the Mad Molecule is the title of a collection of 27 short stories by J. P. Donleavy, author of The Ginger Man.

The copy I chanced upon today was free. And so I 'bought' it. One or two pages are in danger of coming adrift from the binding and all have yellowed with age but otherwise for a 1968 Dell paperback the book is in good condition.

Stamped inside the front cover is the address: Basket's Paperback Exchange, Harmony Place, Brattleboro, VT 05301, which is a place in the land of curdled milk and maggoty honey.

When I've read these stories of Alfonse A, Franz F, Gustav G, and all the others who inhabit Donleavey's singular world of far out happenings I too will leave the volume of razor-edged satire where it might easily be found by another.

How many hands has it passed through since it was originally sold all those years ago for 75 cents? And where will it journey to next? These are the questions no-one can answer.

Books have a life of their own.


  1. Donleavy, oh how I remember Donleavy. My mother had an early copy of the Ginger Man. I thought wow I bet nobody else's mother has a copy. I like books that have been around a long time.

  2. I love the idea of putting books one no longer wants in some place so that somebody can take it, read it and passit on.

    Oue Poetry group always bring books to our meetings and they circulate and finally end up in a charity shop somewhere.

  3. In the story Meet my Maker the hero dies in a traffic accident and finds himself face to face with his maker who is it turns out not god or the devil but he himself.

    Thanks for the above comments. The Dell paperback will celebrate its 50th birthday quite soon. I wonder how and where.


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