Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gus the Great

Tim Stanley got on me for not posting. OK Tim! Here it is.

A book review of Gus the Great by Thomas W. Duncan - 1947 (first editions will be 'stated' This was reprinted and became a BOMC.) J. B. Lippincott Company

One thing people should think about when faced with a decision of purchasing a used book. - Am I purchasing this as/for a collector's copy? Never to be read but to sit on a shelf. A shrine of sorts. To be adored as such. - OR - Am I purchasing this for enjoyment to be read, handled, perhaps smudged a bit more than it already was before I picked it up?

Ok. That's two things. To quote someone else that once made a mistake, "So sue me!".

I would suggest purchasing Gus the Great for the second reason. It will never attain much value as a collectible issue even in it's first state with a fine, fine, super fine book jacket and signed by the author.

- (From bookfinder.com - First edition. Fine in near fine dust jacket with the original price on front flap. Signed by the author "For.. friend of long standing, Thomas W. Duncan." $35.00) -

- (Another DREAMER from the UK lists their copy as: - Good condition Publisher: Lippincott Date of Publication: 1947 Binding: Hard Cover Condition: Good/No Dust Wrapper; $116.63/£49.95)



My copy is not for sale...


So I just purchased a library. I'm looking to sell 95% of the books. And now I'm posting on a ratty covered book that I can find on eBay for less than 5 bucks (shipping included) or could hopefully come across in a thrift store for a dollar.


Because I enjoyed reading it and think that others might also.

I hated doing book reports in school but now I find myself doing the same of my own volition. - For what it is worth. Here it is.

This book starts out with a fat man, one that had recently been fast losing weight, (Wattles exquisitely described as author paints pictures with words in an artistic manner. - Much painted in this book is prettier than this picture...) CAREFULLY approaching a piece of land described in the first sentence as having "elephants buried on it". Yet this is not Africa. It is in the middle of the U.S.A..

We learn that this is Gus. "Augustus Howard Burgoyne", who was named after two men, one of which was definitely his father.

From here the book goes back in time. With a brief pause here and there, to the late 1800's, through the story of the birth, beginnings, early adolescence, young to old life of Gus.

Here is a likable, lovable man who never read, or if he did read never understood the 10 Commandments. Boisterous and influential. A leader who often drew people into situations that would cost them. The kind of person that if you met him you would like and want to be friends with but you would be smart to stay away from if it meant money out of your pocket. A con artist with a good heart.

From his low beginnings Gus rises to that position he dreamed of as a child. A successful circus owner. - Hence the elephants in the first sentence.

But what is success without scruples?

Often humorous and even more often than we like to admit to ourselves and others this book shows a side of life that includes us all. - Whether we want to admit it or not... - Somewhere in this book every person on the planet is brought forth and paraded for all to see. There is even a printer, as I am, in it. Actually two or three of 'em but I don't think all of 'em are like me.

I would suggest that those who enjoy fiction, romance and humor purchase the book. This books deals with the late 1800's to early 1900's America. A time frame that went from horse to auto, gas to electric, telephone, movies, and so many more changes.

YET! men's hearts remained the same...

Thomas W. Duncan worked hard on writing and this book shows it. - Going through the timeline you will ask questions and at the last sentence ALL will be answered. - Very well written and should be considered a classic.

prying1 rating: Four Thumbs Up (Don't ask about my rating system. I have not figured it out yet. When I do I'm sure 'Four Thumbs Up' will be very high up there. - Just get the book and read it at your convenience. Hopefully you will find it in a thrift shop and not have to pay shipping.

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