Hypermodern Collectible: Nashville Chrome

I found myself (once again) at the Barnes & Noble yesterday, and as I began perusing shelves to see what popped out, I happily noticed that Emma Donoghue's Room had top shelf prominence in the New Fiction section. Of course, I couldn't spit without hitting Jonathan Franzen's Freedom - seriously, you didn't have to walk more than 10 steps from anywhere in the store in order to procure a copy (which I did not, sorry Mr. Franzen).  Tom McCarthy's C was, sadly, being displayed on the bottom, back shelf in New Fiction. I hear that this isn't selling as well as the publisher is hoping. Too bad, it'll probably be worth more in the long run though. 

At any rate, I came home with a list of books to research, and found this one particularly appealing on the collectible front.  Why, you ask?  Well, it was released just two days ago and there are already listings on ABEbooks.com for $45 - $60 (unsigned).

Nashville Chrome, Rick Bass
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (September 14, 2010)
In his grand return to fiction, Bass (Why I Came West) summons--with a lyrical style befitting his best nature writing--Arkansas and backwoods trio the Browns, the true-life country music trailblazers who pioneered the 1950s sound from which the novel takes its title. Now half-blind and living in obscurity in west Memphis, the group's oldest sibling, Maxine, ruminates on the trio's fateful rise and subsequent fall from grace, and her struggle to recover fame. (Or is it recover from it?) Maxine sets out to have a documentary made and relives on the page a yearning that perhaps only a song or accomplished novel could intone. We revisit her childhood in the woods; live through brother Jim Ed's and father Floyd's bloody struggles in the wood mill; witness sister Bonnie's love affair with a young Elvis; and experience Maxine's reverie in front of "a standing ovation more powerful than any drug." Like the sound Chet Atkins pulls from the Browns in the studio, the narrative has a pitch-perfect chorus of longing and regret, with an undertone that connects and heals. [PW starred review]
Bass' previous novels list anywhere from $50 - $600 (signed), and generally hover around the $50 - $75 range (unsigned). It's not often, though, that you see a book listing for this much two days after it's been published, which tells me either: we have a well reviewed book with a low first print run, or some greedy booksellers.  Since B&N only had one copy of the book on their shelves, I'm opting for the former rather than the latter.

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