Friday, June 1, 2012

Amazon lists six "books" by JC Cannell

Amazon is currently listing six new "books" by J.C. Cannell with titles like: Harry Houdini the True Escapist Extraordinaire and Houdini and his Most Spectacular Escapes. Some of these show prices as high as $26 and page counts as low as 30 pages.

This is certainly a case of buyer beware. These appear to be the 1932 book The Secrets of Houdini by J.C. Cannell (which is in the pubic domain) carved up into sections and offered up under new titles. If you want the Cannell book, it is still readily available in the good old Dover edition at less cost than any of these individual "books."

There is an epidemic of these public domain reconfigurations on Amazon at the moment. Most are obvious, like the hysterically mis-titled The Unmasking of Robert-Houndin. But with their original titles, these editions strike me as a little sneaky, so I thought they were worth flagging. It would be nice if Amazon filtered these off into their own section so they don't come up in a search of legitimate Houdini books.

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