• Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper

  • Detective Club Crime Classics
  • By: Donald Henderson
  • Narrated by: Tim Frances
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 02-08-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • 3 out of 5 stars 3.0 (1 rating)

Regular price: $9.05

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Publisher's Summary

In Raymond Chandler's favourite novel, Mr Bowling buys the newspapers only to find out what the latest is on the murders he's just committed....
Mr Bowling is getting away with murder. On each occasion he buys a newspaper to see whether anyone suspects him. But there is a war on, and the clues he leaves are going unnoticed. Which is a shame, because Mr Bowling is not a conventional serial killer: he wants to get caught so that his torment can end. How many more newspapers must he buy before the police finally catch up with him?
Donald Henderson was an actor and playwright who had also written novels as D. H. Landels, but with little success. While working for the BBC in London during the Second World War, his fortunes finally changed with Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper, a darkly satirical portrayal of a murderer that was to be promoted enthusiastically by Raymond Chandler as his favourite detective novel. But even the author of The Big Sleep could not save it from oblivion: it has remained out of print for more than 60 years.
This Detective Club classic is introduced by award-winning novelist Martin Edwards, author of The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, who reveals new information about Henderson's often troubled life and writing career.
©2018 Donald Henderson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"I think it's one of the most fascinating books written in the last 10 years. Everyone who read it in my limited circle agrees with me." (Raymond Chandler)
"There is an element of psychological fantasy in this novel. Mr Henderson pursues a grim little theme with lively perception and ingenuity. His manner is brief, deliberately undertoned, and for the most part curiously effective. There is acute observation in the portrait of Mr Bowling." (Time Literary Supplement)
"This tragedy of a madman is told with great simplicity, and is very much helped by the realism of its details. All the events take place in the duller London suburbs which are beautifully observed." (Daily Express)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Anne on 02-25-18

Didn't really translate to modern day

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more 40 years ago, when I went right through the early 1900's genre of detective stories. I found it a bit slow in 2018

Would you be willing to try another book from Donald Henderson? Why or why not?

Not really for the same reason as above

What three words best describe Tim Frances’s performance?

Appropriate for the genre and period (sorry - 6 words)

Did Mr Bowling Buys a Newspaper inspire you to do anything?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Beetle on 03-12-18

Dark classic work unlike any other

If you read a lot of early 20th century fiction you will be astounded that this unusual and gloriously well written book was lost for so long. Henderson creates a glamour-less, seedy world which lives and breathes: imagine the people who are missing from Sayers saying and doing the things that are unmentionable or discreetly veiled in Christie. 1940s British society would have found it shocking, uncomfortable, sordid - and eminently recognisable. At a time when the party line demanded unswerving patriotism, moral fibre and cheerfulness, Mr Bowling sleeps with whomever propinquity offers - with absentminded bathos - and is so bored by the war and despairing of his dreary life that murder seems a completely reasonable idea...No wonder one contemporary reader described the book as “the last word in filth”... and no wonder Raymond Chandler read it again and again. Henderson’s world is chilly, bleak, exhausted and full of humour, and the monstrous Mr Bowling and all the lovingly described awfulness of the people who make up his world held me spellbound to the end.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Lee on 02-23-18

Enjoyable but of its time.

Mr Bowling is a serial killer who wants to get caught! He has murdered and got away with it thus benefiting financially. Over time his murders get sloppier and sloppier and he buys the paper to see if his work has been noted. So on that premis it makes for an interesting and refreshing read.

The story is set mainly in War time London and contains dry humour and minimal gore, swearing etc. Though it can be horrifying at times. Slow paced and not edge of the seat stuff it's just a refreshing change to modern crime thrillers. It's let down slightly by dragging on a bit but on the whole I'm glad I listened to it. But its not a ' cosy crime' IMHO

Glad it's been re-issued.

Narration was good :)

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