Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brazillions of Videos and One Big Book

Neil Snowdon of Devon, UK, sent this picture along with the following letter:

So, this is me, with the Bava book, outside my rental shop 'Brazil'. The camera on my phone is none too special, so you can only just make out the rapidly thinning shelves of stock in background. We always have something on in the window screening silently to passers-by... this particular evening was sort of special.

Thanks again for the book, I'm loving it.

Explaining it to customers who ask about the monster on the shop counter, the nearest I can come is to tell them to imagine Christopher Frayling's biography of Sergio Leone SOMETHING TO DO WITH DEATH, his follow-up ONCE UPON A TIME IN ITALY and his earlier book about the history of the Spaghetti Western all rolled into one, and they might be somewhere in the ballpark of what this book is; the scope it covers, the detail contained, its readable yet informed and incisive text... Really, it is second to none.

I know you probably don't want to think about it too much, but I have to wonder if you've given any consideration to a paperback edition? Whilst this is absolutely the definitive form for the book, I can imagine that it would still work as a text-only paperback with a couple of colour sections... I only say this because I want so dearly for those who don't know Bava to be able to read this wonderful book in accompaniment to their discovering the films themselves... the only stumbling block currently being that the price is, perhaps, prohibitive to all but the most dedicated fan. A future project?

As I say, I'm loving the book. It is utterly fascinating, warm and engaging... and of course, a feast for the eyes. Congratulations to you both, as ever, and, as ever, thank you.

All the best,
Neil Snowdon

TIM LUCAS RESPONDS: Thanks for the great picture and kind words, Neil. It's a lucky neighborhood that plays host to a shop like yours; I wish I could drop in sometime. We looked into the pricing for a theoretical softcover edition of the book and it would cost exactly one dollar less per copy than it did to produce the hardcover. So why bother? As for a streamlined edition with more emphasis on the text and less on the visual representation, we're not ready to go in that direction just yet. The book is still selling very well for one of its cost, and coming to the attention of new people all the time, especially as it continues to collect new awards. Donna and I are interested in making MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK accessible to larger groups of people, but with its original impact as well-preserved as possible, and we are still brainstorming about the best way to make that happen.



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