Tag Archives: Helen Hanff

84, Charing Cross Road – Helen Hanff

84, Charing Cross Road

From the Publisher:

It all began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the stodgy and proper Frank Doel of 84, Charing Cross Road, a relationship blossoms into a warm, charming, feisty love affair.

My thoughts:

I wish this book was longer-but don’t let the size fool you, it packs a lot in such a small book.  Wonderfully witty.  I love epistolary stories, and I love memoirs, so I got both in this book.  It is not necessarily a chronological record and it looks like entire periods are missing, but that doesn’t detract from the story.  Writing letters was such a wonderful tradition, it is really a shame that it is a lost art now.  The publisher’s description labels this book a love story, but that’s misleading.  The only love story in this book is the love for books, both the author’s and the bookshop manager’s.  The letters show the growing friendship between Hanff and the bookshop’s staff, a friendship that continued for decades.  A must read for any book lovers.


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