28 April 2013

Our Strangest Book Advertisement?

Following Tuesday and Thursday's posts:

I can't leave Sol Allen's Toronto Doctor without presenting this advert for the book from the 11 March 1949 edition of The Canadian Jewish Review. I know of no other.

A dog's breakfast, is it not? The eyes hardly know where  to begin. I suggest the top right and corner:

The header is a bit of a mystery. The text is correct that Allen's story features Jews and Gentiles, but the former are very minor characters, passing fleetingly, never to be seen again. And while it's true that one character is an anti-Semite, she quickly learns to keep her opinions to herself.

Then there's that cheeky lead, which I'm betting was penned by the author of this self-published book:
To say that this is the greatest novel you have ever read is a trite statement. We won't say it. At least not at the moment.
Shouldn't that be the greatest novel you will ever read? After all, the advert is selling Toronto Doctor in advance of publication.

Never mind. What I find most interesting is this:
The sample pages alongside are a fair indication of the quality and style of this important book. These are no better and no worse than the average of its 386 pages.
I can attest to the veracity of this bold claim, though it needs mention that these aren't pages from the book – the page numbers and lines of type do not match. Oh, and the finished book has 390 pages.

Our strangest advertisement? Our messiest? Our least effective? All three?

And so, I leave Toronto Doctor with a final fun fact. Author Sol Allen held two positions in his family's company:  Secretary Treasurer and Director of Advertising. 


  1. TORONTO DOCTOR gets more and more interesting with each new posting.

    Will I soon find out that there was a made-for-TV movie based on this novel, starring William Shatner???

    I'll just have to tune in tomorrow to find out!

    Knuckles G.

    1. Ah, but isn't this the very thing from which the best miniseries are made? I see Bill Bixby, Peter Strauss and Michael Sarrazin as our lead gynecologists. Edward Asner would play the industrialist, with Lee Remick as his attractive, anti-Semitic wife.

      ABC would've had you change the location from Toronto to Chicago.