Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Book of Forgotten Authors” as Want to Read:
The Book of Forgotten Authors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Book of Forgotten Authors

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  129 reviews

Absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you're
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Quercus Publishing (first published October 5th 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Book of Forgotten Authors, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Book of Forgotten Authors

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  465 ratings  ·  129 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Book of Forgotten Authors
mark monday
Very enjoyable as both a resource and a fun whirl through the mind of an ardent book-lover. Fowler is a highly successful author himself and one can see why. The man has skills; his conversational style makes his various points easy to agree with and he never comes across as hectoring. This should be read from start to finish, rather than skipping around authors, because he makes connecting points from one entry to the next: the book has a narrative, of sorts.

The collection focuses primarily on
(4.5) A charming introduction to 99 more or less obscure writers. Each profile is a perfectly formed mini-biography with a survey of the author’s major work. In just two or three pages, Fowler is able to convey all a writer’s eccentricities and why their output is still worth remembering. It would be easy to quibble with some of his selections – I hardly think V.C. Andrews, Georgette Heyer and Barbara Pym are forgotten nowadays, for instance – but he usually has a good reason for highlighting so ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first joined GR it was with the hope of gaining new ideas for reading material, especially for fiction. At the outset I had no thought of writing reviews or of having a worldwide network of GR Friends. I’m glad of course things have turned out the way they have, but Christopher Fowler’s compilation was still an ideal sort of book for me.

I understand the articles collated here were originally published separately in a UK newspaper. This makes the book super-easy to read as most of the indi
Oct 21, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
99 authors who have faded from fashion, supplemented by a dozen short essays.
Nancy Oakes
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: valancourt books
Warning: for truly serious readers who look beyond the NYT bestseller lists or the hottest book on the market, this book may just be deadly to your wallet and to the size of your tbr pile. Fortunately, I only bought three books mentioned in this one before I regained control of myself and started making a list of all of the others I wanted. That list is huge, but I couldn't help it. I even listed the books that have been long out of print just in case some publisher some day decides to return th ...more
Fiona MacDonald
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully witty forage into the history and lives of 99 authors that most people have never heard of. As such an obsessively avid reader, I was amazed that there were a lot of authors in the suspense field that looked amazing reads that were new to me. I've got so many more authors and books to add to my overflowing TBR thanks to this book. Christopher Fowler is very easy to read and overall is extremely respectful when discussing these writers. My favourite vignettes are when he sets out to t ...more
Diane Barnes
I'm not going to rate this book because I am not the target audience for it. I love reading forgotten authors and read quite a few, but Fowler's choices were mostly writers of sci-fi, noir, the supernatural, weird humor, and some downright nut jobs, which he admits himself. Not that there's anything wrong with those genres, just not for me. ...more
Find all my book reviews plus author interviews, guest posts and book extracts on my blog:

Reading The Book of Forgotten Authors is like browsing in the best second-hand bookshop in the world. That’s second-hand bookshop, mind – not antiquarian bookshop – because the works of the authors featured in Christopher Fowler’s hugely entertaining book are the sort you’d most likely find on the bargain shelf or in a cupboard box near the door.

From (too) much time
Whispering Stories
Book reviewed by Stacey on

The Book of Forgotten Authors, is a title that couldn’t be more fitting as this book is just that. It is filled to the brim with 99 authors that Christopher Fowler deems to have been forgotten by readers.

The book has been separated into twelve different sections, with a chapter in between regarding the following subjects:-
– Why are good authors forgotten?
– The Forgotten Disney Connection
– The Forgotten (pre-Tarantino) Pulp Fiction
– The Forgotte
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this, 99 authors each described over a couple of pages, some highlights of their work and some musings as to why they were forgotten. Now, quite a few of the authors I have read, mainly the Golden Age mystery writers but a few were new to me. My TBR grew. It's the kind of book to have sitting next to your seat on the sofa and read a short bit while the tea is brewing. ...more
Diane Challenor
The Book of Forgotten Authors is a book about books, and Books About Books is one of my favourite genres. I have the hardback edition, and when I’ve finished reading it, it will take up one book space on my bookshelf. My bookshelf space is precious, and limited; reserved for “special” books only. Twelve spaces on my shelves are taken by Books About Books, and they sit there because I’ll dive into their pages occasionally, over the years, to reacquaint myself with their gems.

There is one thing th
This stumbles out of the starting block as the alphabet trips up Fowler; the first few names haven't been forgotten even though it would be terrific if one had been (V.C. Andrews). But then he hits his stride with the expected mix of unforgotten, forgotten, and never known authors. This book didn't achieve its purpose for me as the snippets didn't amount to enough of a recommendation for me to walk away with a list; just the same, the whole evolves into a literary appreciation which is engaging. ...more
Jackie Law
The Book of Forgotten Authors, by Christopher Fowler, is a book for bibliophiles. It offers the reader details and anecdotes on ninety-nine authors who were once hugely popular and are now no longer in print. It is a very personal selection. The author admits that some of those chosen produced work that was predictable and not particularly well written, yet it has a charm that he finds appealing. Others he dismisses. Of Georgette Heyer and Eleanor Hibbert he opines that they wrote novels package ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-my-house, library
An interesting collection of 99 authors who deserve to be more well known. In all fairness I have read and loved a fair few of these, but then I have the good fortune to be a Waterstones bookseller. Several of the authors included have featured in the book of the month/rediscovered classic lists in the time since I have worked for Waterstones, and I think we have James Daunt to thank for that. I kept expecting Fowler to mention this fact, as Waterstones has previously championed Lionel Davidson, ...more
Karen Mace
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this as part of non-fiction November and it was an absolute delight and fountain of information! Loved reading about a variety of authors - many I'd never heard of before - and this is interestingly set out in small chapters dedicated to each of the authors that Christopher Fowler features, with looks at their lives and the books that they wrote that made them famous and what happened to them afterwards. Many of the authors had rather colourful personal lives too so that made for some fasci ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this book, the author identifies 99 (and more) authors who, for various reasons, have 'slipped under the radar' with the general reading public - for each author there is a very short biography and titles with brief descriptions of the most important books they have written. There are also a few sections titled, for example, The Forgotten Queens of Suspense, The Forgotten Booker Authors and the Forgotten Rivals of Holmes, Bond and Miss Marple which highlight a number of authors more briefly. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Now wasn't this fun?

Christopher Fowler takes his English eye to the world of lost writers---a clever look at authors who wrote one great novel or who wrote oodles or novels, authors who were once highly acclaimed but are not now, authors who wrote a brilliant novel that was overlooked.

It's a delightful read, stuffed with names of books and authors you will want to scribble down, names of books and authors you will spend many, many hours browsing the bookshelves of old bookshops in search of (pro
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book about 99 writers who were once popular, or well-read, and now are not.

I'd read a few of them: Tom Tryon, Pierre Boulle, Margery Allingham, Charlotte Armstrong, Victoria Holt, John Dickson Carr, EM Delafield and Jack Finney. The last two I really liked and own some of her, and his books.

Each 'essay' is only one-three pages long, and I read several each day over the course of a week. Interesting to sit down and get a quick, brief background on a writer, some titles they've writte
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Forgotten Authors is a compilation of articles (originally published by the Independent) about "forgotten" authors, their lives (often very eccentric) and their works (once hugely popular, now obscure for a variety of reasons). If you like reading about that sort of thing (and I do), this is a real gem. I honestly lost count of how many books I added to my 'to-read' list because of this book. The sense of humour of the author is great, and you can easily dip in and out of this volume ...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
I found many of the author's interesting but also gained an understanding as to why they disappeared. Contrary to Mr. Fowler's opinion, and I think he did his best to give all the reasons he thought these authors were unjustly forgotten, I found his descriptions of their writing to be something best left buried.

Now this is not true of all the authors. Some of them I did not know were now obscure because I still read them. Edmund Crispun is one, Emma Orzcy of Scarlet Pimpernel fame is another and
K.J. Charles
A vastly enjoyable collection of notes on 99 forgotten authors. For a given value of 'forgotten'--Fowler includes Georgette Heyer, who's never been out of print and is getting a movie, and some early Booker winners as well as Gladys Mitchell--but this sort of book is always going to be personal, and I hadn't heard of the vast majority.

It's an interesting exercise in loads of ways--some are hugely popular authors who disappeared without trace, others had a single book. Where possible Fowler give
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, non-fiction, 2020
I don't know whether to thank or curse Christopher Fowler for introducing me to many previously unknown authors. Of the 99, I think I was at least aware of about 20 of them and am now interested in at least 30 or 40 more. A great book for book lovers who either think they've read everything or are tired of the same old thing. ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fowler looks at 99 authors from the past who no longer have the market appeal or fame that they used to have. I have actually read some of these authors, a few I have on my to-read pile, one or two on my wishlist already. A great many I have never heard of though. Fowler's writing is very amusing and his humour is rather dry. This was quite entertaining as well as being rather interesting. ...more
Richard Ryan
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An incredible amount of research must have gone in to this, and it's so incredibly interesting to read. 99 authors whose names will be (mostly) unheard of, but their output may be familiar. One thing's for sure, there are some movies, radio plays and theatre that wouldn't have happened without them. ...more
A wonderful book to dip into, or to read straight through - like I did - making notes as you go of authors whose work you now HAVE to track down.

Confession: I've already downloaded one book mentioned, and I know if my bank balance can stand it, there will be more!

It's fascinating reading because there are writers in here I have never heard of - but also many that I know about in a subliminal way...I've seen a film based on their books, or read other books based firmly on their writings, or even
Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
I'm so happy to have read this book. Very informative.

Each forgotten author had their own chapter of two-three pages. A mini biography of sorts. Within these pages several other authors may be mentioned - both forgotten and not.

At first I'd start looking up the authors and or book titles on Google, Goodreads or Amazon. But I decided to keep a list and look up a few here and there.

And I also have an active shop cart at Book Depository:)

I thought the book included a wide variety of writers. I self
Paul Hasbrouck
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book for book lovers. For those who haunt library shelfs, book shops, E-bay and the neighbor yard sales. This book with 100 authors that have faded from reading memories of the public, travel, mystery, children's, horror and other genres.
In one section there are great essays on three mystery writers who should returned the public awareness -John Dickson Carr, the master of the locked room mystery, Leslie Charteris, the creator of the Saint and Edgar Wallace, The Master of the Thriller
An immensely entertaining and useful book. Surveys (in a breezy, snappy fashion) about 100 forgotten authors, most of whom were famous in their lifetime, and many of whom had fascinating lives. I recommend to any book-addict.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booklist
I love this kind of book and read the whole thing as soon as I got it. Though many of the authors were familiar to me, there were plenty of new names to read about and entertaining snippets about those I already knew.
It's a very personal, subjective selection - all the better for that - and at it's best when the author describes the books he loves - even when at times he hardly knows why.
Personally I think it's a mistake to include authors he doesn't like. Who gains? If the reader is already a f
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review:

When I first saw the Book of Forgotten Authors available for review I have to admit that I was interested in the cover because let's face it, it's a really pretty cover. I was, however, interested in the overall concept as I did want to discover new authors especially older ones which I definitely did. The Book of Forgotten Authors is a great read for binge reading in one go or taking it author by author but you never know, you might find a new favourite!

The book features essays of 9
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Christmas Pudding
  • The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story
  • Two Stories
  • Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books
  • Praxis
  • Luckenbooth
  • The Discovery of King Arthur
  • Gender Rebels: 50 Influential Cross-Dressers, Impersonators, Name-Changers, and Game-Changers
  • Mrs Death Misses Death
  • The Moving Toyshop (Gervase Fen, #3)
  • The Roman Hat Mystery (Ellery Queen Detective, #1)
  • The Christmas Egg (Inspector Brett Nightingale, #3)
  • Life in the Garden
  • Hungry
  • Britain by the Book: A Curious Tour of Our Literary Landscape
  • Why Is Nothing Ever Simple? (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #10.6)
  • The Night She Died (Inspector Thanet #1)
  • In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World
See similar books…
Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name

Christopher Fowler is an English novelist living in London, his books contain elements of black comedy, anxiety and social satire. As well as novels, he writes short stories, scripts, press articles and reviews.

He lives in King's Cross, on the Battlebridge Basin, and chooses London as the backdrop of many of his s

Related Articles

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
116 likes · 20 comments
“Second hand bookshops are best visited alone and in the rain.” 6 likes
“books” 0 likes
More quotes…