Sunday 8 November 2009

A Neglected Classic?

The Radio 4 programme Open Book has been in search of neglected classics, asking various writers to make their nominations, then throwing the list open to a public vote. Now they have a winner. Yes, The Snow Goose, the sentimental novella by Paul Gallico which was a huge hit with readers (and even some critics) in its day, has remained in print and extremely popular (especially in Britain) ever since, is widely read in schools, was made into a very successful TV movie, and even inspired an album by prog rock band Camel (true - it was called Music Inspired by The Snow Goose, a most unprogrocklike title). In what sense, then, is The Snow Goose a 'neglected classic'? It sticks out like a sore thumb from what is otherwise a rather interesting list - if only Rasselas had won! Or Esther Waters, or The Polyglots, or The Quest for Corvo, or... well, anything but The Snow Goose really.