Don’t judge this book by its cover

Gadsby

Okay, admittedly this might not be the prettiest book (it’s a print-on-demand version), but the content may just blow your mind…

Have you ever heard of a lipogram? I hadn’t, so I referred to the Knower of All Things (a.k.a. the internet) for an explanation. A lipogram is a composition from which the writer systematically omits a certain letter or certain letters of the alphabet. And that’s exactly the challenge author Ernest Vincent Wright set for himself with the novel Gadsby: A Lipogram Novel. It’s a 50,000 word novel without the letter “e”.

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Wright spent five and a half months writing Gadsby on a typewriter with the “e” key tied down so that it couldn’t be used at all. A warehouse holding copies of Gadsby burned shortly after the book was printed, destroying most copies of the ill-fated novel. The book was never reviewed and only kept alive by the efforts of a few avant-garde intellos and assorted connoisseurs of the odd, weird and zany. But by word-of-mouth it has become an underground cult classic. The book’s scarcity and oddness has in the past seen original copies priced at $4,000 by book dealers. Over time, this peculiar masterpiece has had many curious readers open to this interestingly unusual reading experience.

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So, if you’re up for an unusual reading challenge or need to buy something for a lover of all things quirky, you might want to give this book a try.

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