Mixing memory with desire…

That’s April’s job, according to T. S. Eliot, when it’s not otherwise occupied breeding lilacs out of the dead land. He labeled it the cruelest month, although I’d say that’s a hotly contested honor, with eleven other strong candidates. “April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers,” Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote, and other poets made other observations, and I’ll leave them to it, because that’s as much as I’ve got to say about April. Which it seems to me, took forever getting here this year…

3 not crowdThis newsletter, on the other hand, shouldn’t take long at all, because all I need to tell you about is the current Kindle Countdown deal, which has four or five more days to run. 3 is Not a Crowd, by John Warren Wells, was published by Dell in 1971, decades before we had to figure out how to pronounce 3ndler. It consists of the case histories of four three-person households, and here’s the description from the Amazon page:

“The menage a trois in its many forms has fascinated both observers and participants throughout history. Here we meet Gordon, Rita and June (a man, his wife, her sister), Jerry, Peggy, and Kay (a husband, his wife, her female lover), Peter, Wanda, and Grace (a brother, his sister, and his wife), and Bob and Carol and Whoever’s Handy (a married couple with an ongoing history of threesomes). John Warren Wells provides in-depth interviews with all the participants in a manner designed to make the dynamics of these relationships readily comprehensible—but no less intriguing.”

The Dell paperback has been out of print for upwards of forty years, and can be pricey if and when you can find it, but I ePublished the book a while ago as a Kindle Select title priced at $4.99. I re-read it at the time, and felt it was one of JWW’s stronger efforts. But I don’t want to oversell it, and you don’t want to miss it. For the next several days it’s reduced to 99¢ on amazon.com and 99p on amazon.co.uk.

Our previous Kindle Countdown deal was for “Out the Window,” the first Matthew Scudder short story. If you weren’t in time to get it for 99¢, well, all’s not exactly lost. You can borrow it, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, or pick it up for $2.99—or, best of all, you can pay $4.99 for The Night and the Music, where you’ll find it in the good company of ten other Scudder stories.

You know, there’s something else I’ve been meaning to tell you about, at the risk of coming off like an Amazon fanboy—and that’s the Kindle MatchBook program. It’s not limited to Kindle Select titles, and you don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of it. Here’s how it works: if you buy (or have bought in the past) a new printed copy of a given book from Amazon, you can get the Kindle ebook of that title at a bargain price. Some examples: the ebook of The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons, regularly $9.99, is only $2.99 through MatchBook. Catch and Release, a $4.99 ebook after its recent price drop, costs MatchBook buyers just $1.99. Same goes for The Night and the Music, A Stab in the Dark, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and A Long Line of Dead Men: regularly $4.99, MatchBook price $1.99.

It’s up to the publisher whether or not to enroll a book in MatchBook. Some do and some don’t, and it’s worth checking.

I just mentioned A Walk Among the Tombstones, and that reminds me to update you on the release date of the film. (Written and directed by Scott Frank, and starring Liam Neeson as Matthew Scudder—but you know all that.) The film will open in the US on September 19, and a week later on September 26 in the UK.

I can’t wait!


PS: John Warren Wells is a longtime fan of Jill Emerson, and in fact dedicated several of his books to her. If you enjoy 3 is Not a Crowd, you might want to have a look at Jill’s fictional treatment of the theme in Threesome.