One of the best things about ebook readers is the ability to sample smaller independent authors, or in this case an established author that does not have a book contract in the United States. Douglas Anthony Cooper is a writer originally from Canada, who lived for a while in New York City but now lives in Mexico. He has written three books. His first book Amnesia was “postmodern architectural fiction” according to Wikipedia. The second book was Delirium and deals with the problems of narrative and a person’s will to control their own story. It was also the first novel to be fully serialized on the web. While these seem somewhat interesting (the author has a MA in philosophy and studied architecture); it has almost nothing to do with Milrose Munce.
Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help (only available on kindle in the US right now, paperback available in Canada and the UK) is about a teen that speaks to ghosts and the “Professional Help” that tries to “solve his problem”. This is a very advanced young adult book. Not that the reading level is really high (I would guess advanced 10 year olds to about 15 should be interested in it) but that like the Lemony Snickett books, that is a dark, funny book that consciously tries to not speak down to the reader.
Milrose is seen speaking to ghosts, which of course no one else can see, and he is recommended for “Professional Help”. A second student, Arabella, which becomes a partner and romantic interest, is also in the same “Professional Help” sessions.
I do not want to give away too much of the story, but it is the tone and humor, more than the story line that I really like. It is not that it was a bad story line, I liked the story. But the tone and humor were what I was really drawn to.
The author has the electronic right to the book in the US, but not the paper rights. Doubleday has the paper rights, but has not chosen to publish the book in paper. So Cooper released the book on his own through Amazon Kindle. The price bounced from a penny to $1.99 for quite a while and the book completely disappeared several times because Doubleday kept asserting that they owned the electronic rights as well. That seems to have been cleared up now and the price has stabilized at $1.99. But it looks like on Tuesday (June 22) a completely re-written and expanded version of the book was released. All the reviews on Amazon so far are 5 star, but the book I am linking to is not the same one as the one I read.
I will probably not re-purchase and re-read now. But the author has a second book written, so I may wait until the second one comes out and re-read the expanded version in preparation for the second book. I can not complain too much because I was one of those that picked the book up for a penny.