Star Tribune: An adventure of a lifetime in a trade nearly killed by the internet

A wry, unvarnished chronicle of a career in the rare book trade during its last Golden Age"A ghost story" is how Gary Goodman characterizes his memoir "The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade," and there is a whiff of sepia among its pages. It is, after all, about a way of making a living that has changed dramatically in recent years, thanks to the internet, but it's also a swashbuckling tale of thieves and forgers, a man who would be king, celebrities and the never-ending search for gold — in this case, books, rare ones, and the lengths some will go to acquire them.

Appropriately, the tone is conversational ("As you might have guessed from his name, E. Forbes Smiley III was not your average dude," for instance). He tells his tale like a man who has seen a thing or two and lived to tell about it, a story best unwound over a beer in the corner of a dive bar. And if a tidbit from Goodman's life or something gleaned from all his research doesn't quite fit the narrative? A footnote provides further details. Many, many footnotes, actually, strewn like nuggets of gold in this treasure trove of a memoir.

Read the review at Star Tribune.

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