the only books that
millions readers have ever
In his guest opinion piece, The Truth About the ‘Censorship’ of Roald Dahl, Matthew Walther makes the point that:
Whatever Dahl’s place in the annals of 20th-century children’s fiction, it is striking that these culture war arguments somehow always revolve around authors like him and Dr. Seuss; one is forced to confront the distinctly horrifying possibility that “If I Ran the Zoo” and “James and the Giant Peach” are the only books that millions of Anglophone readers have ever actually finished.
I remember back in the day when I worked in a book store.
A young lady brought in a paperback copy of the book, Far Pavilions.
The book is around 1250 pages long.
The young lady had noticed that on page 1163, the text at the bottom of page was in mid sentence.
The text on the page 1164 started off with a new sentence.
She was curious in what was in the sentence that had been cut off.
She showed me the text in her book.
I went to the shelves and found 4 other editions.
All had the same problem.
She had a 2nd edition of the paperback.
I was checking the 15th edition.
It seemed that no one had ever noticed the broken sentence.
You can see the error in the paperback copies of the Far Pavilions at Archive.org.
No one had managed to get to page 1164 or at least get to page 1164 in a coherent state of mind that they might have noticed a broken sentence.
Well, there you are.
That was this one book.
Can I have doubts that one is forced to confront the distinctly horrifying possibility that “If I Ran the Zoo” and “James and the Giant Peach” are the only books that millions of Anglophone readers have ever actually finished.