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Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

Parnassus on Wheels (1917)

by Christopher Morley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roger Mifflin (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,203886,658 (3.94)309
  1. 50
    84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: If you are charmed by Parnassus, you will also be charmed by this non-fiction account of the friendship between a New York writer and the manager of a London bookshop, begun in the years just after the war and carried on for 20 - 30 years through letters.… (more)
  2. 00
    Off in Zora: A Modern-Day Tale of a Traveling Bookseller by Alan Armstrong (benjclark)
    benjclark: "Because Parnassus on Wheels was read aloud to him as a boy, Alan Armstrong always imagined himself as a Merchant Adventurer dealing in books...." - back blurb.

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» See also 309 mentions

English (74)  Spanish (9)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  All (88)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
I wish that I could remember how I became aware of this wonderful novella because I really must thank that person. Loved, loved, loved this book! ( )
  MNTreehugger | Oct 20, 2017 |
my soul is in better shape for having read this book. ( )
  BenjaminG.Brubaker | Oct 11, 2017 |
I don't even know what to day about this. It was fantastic. It seems I say that about a lot of my reads, but I guess I just have good taste!Helen, the protagonist is sick of her brother the Andrew. He's living the life of a farmer when suddenly he gets it into his head to write a book, which of course got published. This lead to publishes beating down the door, and Andrew going off for weeks and months at a time leaving Helen to handle things on the farm.Needless to say she tires of it quickly, so when Mr. Roger Mifflin arrives at the farm with his bookstore on wheels, proposing to sell it to Andrew, Helen buys it instead. She'll be damned if Andrew goes off on another months long adventure and stick her with all the farm work. This is the beginning of a ridiculous, fabulous adventure for the forty-year-old woman who hadn't had so much as a vacation in fifteen years.Andrew's in a right state when he finds out about it and ends up chasing down Helen and Mifflin, who was staying on only long enough to show her the ropes of Parnassus, the rolling bookstore. There are fights, robberies, deception, visits with book enthusiasts, actual book sales, and all along it turns out to be a love story.It was really quite beautiful and a must read for all bookish people. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the sequel, The Haunted Bookshop! ( )
  Virago77 | Aug 2, 2017 |
What a weird little book this is. I don't even remember why I have it now, though I expect it was on the strength of The Haunted Bookshop, a book given to me by a dear friend, but which I've never actually read. I suppose that's a sufficiently odd explanation.

In any event, the story opens with a disclaimer by Morley that he is not the author of this book, but rather it is a Miss Helen McGill, who undertook the purchase of a traveling bookstore simply to keep her brother from doing it. Helen is not what you'd call a sympathetic character right out of the gate. She's an irascible woman of about 40 whose high-handed manner rubbed me the wrong way. She and her brother, Andrew, have made a comfortable life on their farm and she is angry that he has become an author who now neglects the daily requirements of farming in favor of writing about them. He spends a good deal of his time tramping about the countryside, chronicling the life of country folk, leaving Helen to take up the slack at home. She hates being put upon so much that she burns a great deal of the mail he gets from publishers who want to offer him contracts.

One day a stranger appears, wanting Andrew to buy his traveling bookstore, Parnassus, which Helen refers to as "Parcheesi." Helen tries to shoo him off but Roger Mifflin is persistent, and to keep Andrew from further folly, she buys the enterprise and sets off on an adventure of her own. She tells herself it's to teach Andrew a lesson, but it's soon quite clear that Helen needs this as much as she's ever needed anything in her life.

Her travels with Mifflin, who intends to catch a train to Brooklyn where he will finally write his book, Pegasus, the horse who pulls Parnassus, and Bock, the delightful terrier who becomes a companion and protector to Helen, (sort of) are all part of a journey of discovery for her, during which she goes from being Andrew McGill's increasingly bitter spinster sister, to being H. McGill, proprietor of Parnassus, a book-lover, and possibly a writer too.

In the end, Helen finds out what's important to her. When her brother objects, she tells him to mind his own business, and not to forget that the red hen has a hidden nest behind the coop, putting him firmly back into his place. When he takes a high-handed approach to her plans, and does something underhanded (It runs in the family, I guess.) Helen is an avenging angel, intent upon righting a wrong, and in the process declaring herself and her feelings.

There's a lot of charm to this book. The characters are all too human, but in the end they have become sympathetic and appealing, and I found myself cheering for them. So while I'm not at all sure why I spent the $0.99 on the ebook, I'm heartily glad I did. ( )
1 vote Tracy_Rowan | Jul 26, 2017 |
ספרון קטן וחמוד מלפני מאה שנה. למעשה ספר לילדים. היות ואני כבר לא ילד והיות וגם כספר ילדים הוא לא מוצלח במיוחד לא התלהבתי. ( )
  amoskovacs | May 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morley, Christopherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cárdenas Cerón, Juan SebastiánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cárdenas, Juan SebastiánTraductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cárdenas, Juan SebastiánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorsline, Douglas W.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sebastián Cárdenas, JuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sebastián Cárdenas, JuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To H. B. F. and H. F. M.
"Trusty, dusky, vivid, true"
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I wonder if there isn't a lot of bunkum in higher education?
"Lord!" he said, "when you sell a man a book you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue—you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night—there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean. Jimmy! If I were the baker or the butcher or the broom huckster, people would run to the gate when I came by—just waiting for my stuff. And here I go loaded with everlasting salvation—yes, ma'am, salvation for their little, stunted minds—and it's hard to make 'em see it."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380627035, Paperback)

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Parnassus on Wheels is a novel by Christopher Morley, published in 1917. The Parnassus of the title refers to the mountain that was the home of the Muses in Greek mythology. In the story, Roger Mifflin sells his traveling bookshop to Helen McGill, who tires of looking after Andrew, her ailing brother. Christopher Morley later continued the story of Roger Mifflin in his 1919 novel The Haunted Bookshop.… (more)

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