Sunday, April 20, 2008

Unpublished classics

It never rains but it pours. We have not one, but two, never-before-published books by two famous authors: Alexandre Dumas and Richard Wright.

The Last Cavalier: being the adventures of Count Saint-Hermine in the age of Napoleon was lost for 125 years in the archives of the National Library in Paris (I don't feel so bad about our cluttered storage!). The poor Count comes from a Royalist family who have lost their battle against the powerful Emperor. After a few years imprisonment, he is stripped of his titles and his fiancée and sentenced to the life of a common sailor. A series of suicidal missions brings him not the death he longs for but glory. For fans of Patrick O'Brian or Bernard Cornwall.

A Father's Law is an unfinished novel by the author of Native Son and Black Boy. A crime thriller, it involves a black police chief of a Chicago suburb who is hunting down a serial killer. As the investigation goes on, he begins to suspect his son - a temperamental university student. Are his suspicions based on fact or father-son tensions? Since this story was cut short by Wright's death in 1960, I don't advise reading this book if you hate loose ends. It doesn't exactly stop mid-sentence, but it definitely leaves you hanging.

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