On May 12, Open Road Media is publishing e-books of The Best Times, Orient Express, and Number One. These are all strong books but I’m especially pleased that The Best Times is being revitalized in this way. It is an accessible, poignant, funny memoir that can serve as a gateway for the casual reader into the JDP canon. For those who prefer a physical book, these three titles will be available through Open Road’s POD on July 14th. Please spread word.
The Best Times is a special memento for me because it is a portal into my family’s past. Within its first few pages are recollections of my great-grandfather, John Randolph Dos Passos. “John R.” was an eminent lawyer and he loved life. I’m sure he would be pleased to know that his descendants have never forgotten him. On the contrary, my family often discusses him in the context of my grandfather’s upbringing. I think his spirit still dwells in Dos Passos Farm.
I think high school was the context for my first reading of The Best Times. Each time I read it, it grows in meaning. I should probably make a commitment to read it once each year.
My grandfather’s talent for descriptive, sensory writing is rarely discussed by critics. The Best Times and Orient Express are excellent examples his affinity for color, mood, and scents. I wish I had his half his observatory instincts.
I was delighted to have the chance to develop the cover concepts for these three titles and I hope everyone is pleased.
-John Dos Passos Coggin