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Topic: Looking for a long-lost story

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Subject: Looking for a long-lost story
Date Posted: 12/16/2012 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2009
Posts: 4
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My dad has been looking for a book he read as a boy for decades; I think it's a full-length historical adventure novel.  If any of this sounds familiar, I would be so grateful!  I'm not sure I've got all the details right, but this is what I remember:

It's a story about a boy growing up in England, his father is gone/dead, and nearby there lives an old man with a crooked back or neck.  Eventually the boy overcomes his fear of the old man and they strike up a surrogate-father-type bond.  The man teaches him to string his highly unusual and exotic Turkish bow, which is black- brought back from the Crusades maybe? (My dad thought the story might be called the Black Bow, but that has never brought up any results in various searches.)  At first the bow pulls much too hard and the boy can't string it, but as he gets older and stronger he finally manages it.  The boy gets accused of stealing (justified or not, I don't remember, they're poor), and is going to be sent away as an indentured servant.  His mother sends him a basket of food etc. for the voyage, and underneath a false bottom in the basket is the bow and some arrows, which eventually help the boy survive, gain his freedom, etc.

I also remember something about the boy saving the old man's life with the bow, but that part's even more vague in my memory.

Any possibilities for author or title would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

Date Posted: 12/19/2012 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,780
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No idea, sorry. But a preliminary search did lead me to some strange things, if you want a little odd entertainment while you look:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Discuss:How_do_you_make_a_guy_wear_a_dress

http://www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/blogs/smitten/2009/05/do-you-ever-eat-your-boyfriend.html

http://lizzieandrewborden.com/crimelibrary/suspectslist.htm

Subject: Offensive
Date Posted: 12/20/2012 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2012
Posts: 3
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Why would you suggest off topic books?

Date Posted: 12/23/2012 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2011
Posts: 9,335
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Elizabeth, I didn't have any luck funding it either.  Some more info, please.  Don't know how old dad is so about what decade was he a boy reading this book so we can place a window of publication?  Was it an adult book, a YA, or a children's book?  Any more details at all?  Where in England was it set, what timeframe?  These kind of stories often involved dad's serving or dead in WWI or WWI.   Any other words that might have been in the title or any other plot elements?  First or last name of author? 

I've had some success finding these obscure books but any additional details would be helpful. 



Last Edited on: 12/23/12 10:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/24/2012 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2009
Posts: 4
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My dad is 62, so he would have been reading it in the late 50's or early 60's.  It was probably a YA novel, but it could have been intended for adults.  Since it deals with indentured servitude, it must have been set before the 1700s, I would think.  That practice died out before the American Revolution, I think.  That's all I've got, I'm afraid.  Thanks for looking!

Date Posted: 12/28/2012 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,780
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Gnosis, are you referring to my links? If so, do you find them offensive? or merely that they aren't actually helpful to the OP? I didn't say they were intended to be anything other than "odd entertainment" -- which the world needs more of, as I see it. Apologies, sadness, regret. Or not.

Date Posted: 2/5/2013 1:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2008
Posts: 357
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One possibility I found is Drums Beat in Old Carolina, by Albert Leeds Stillman. Originally published 1939. Kirkus sums it up as follows:

An unusual background and story, dealing with the period of unrest preceding the outbreak of hostilities against England. The central figure is an English lad, sentenced to ten years as indentured servant because of accidentally killing a deer during an archery contest. The ship founders, the crew mutinies, and the captain and the prisoners save the wreck and get to shore. There Jim becomes huntsman for a Frenchman who is plotting insurrection -- and we get the story of steps leading up to the outbreak of war, and the way in which Jim won his freedom. 

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 2/5/2013 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2009
Posts: 4
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Well, Rebecca, that's certainly the closest I've ever seen!  And the date is right.  I will have to try to get my hands on it, thank you!

Date Posted: 2/11/2013 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2009
Posts: 4
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Rebecca, you were right!  I got the book from Amazon and it's definitely it!  Thanks so much, PBS rocks.

Date Posted: 2/11/2013 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,540
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Wow.  I am always impressed with these rare finds people make around here.  Good work.

Date Posted: 2/11/2013 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 615
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Yay, Rebecca!  yes

Date Posted: 2/12/2013 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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gnosis-

WOW!

-RD

Subject: Looking for a Story - Probably Chick Lit
Date Posted: 5/31/2013 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2012
Posts: 3
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I read this book some time ago; it is not a piece of high class literature. ;- )

Opening scene:  A high-powered woman executive is getting married.  She waits until the wedding and blasts her soon-not-to-be-husband and her best friend - who are carrying on an affair.  Then she walks away from the wedding.  Next thing I remember, she is still in her wedding dress and is crying.  A man approaches her.

I thought it was one of Janet Evanovich's early romances - but it isn't.  Ideas?

Thanks in advance.

jjares

 

 

Date Posted: 6/1/2013 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 2,124
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Jerry - Sounds like :

Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson..?
Subject: Looking for a Story - Probably Chick Lit
Date Posted: 6/1/2013 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2012
Posts: 3
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No, that is about a woman who doesn't marry a man because he's too old.  This woman doesn't marry because her fiancee and her best friend are having an affair and she finds out just before the wedding.  So she waits and blasts them both -- in front of all the guests and dashes out of the church.

Thank you for responding!

Subject: Long lost story
Date Posted: 6/16/2013 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2013
Posts: 24
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Hi

Everyone,

When I was a child, I read a book that I believe was called "The Thirteenth Floor." It was about some children who were staying in a hotel and it had no 13th floor. They found a trap door in the hallway of the 14th floor and climbed down a staircase that led to the "secret" 13th floor. It was a magical floor with all kinds of strange people and occurrences. I loved the book (which was a library book). When I went to get it out of the library a few years later it was gone. Apparently someone had taken it out and never brought it back. Does anyone have this book or know where I could find it? Perhaps another children's section of a library would have it??      Judy

Date Posted: 6/17/2013 4:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 615
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Was it called "The Mystery of the Thirteenth Floor" by Darlene Geis, written in 1953?