“Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” –Ford Madox Ford
I have been asked to consider the page ninety-nine test. This enquires whether Ford Madox Ford’s statement “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you,” is accurate for my book? Well Ford may have been a ‘good soldier’ but his page ninety-nine test is full of sheep-dip. If you want to know about the quality of a book read it from first page to last and then provide your assessment. Quality, content, and importance by no means always co-vary and great insights may be obscure while the most meaningless drivel can be intoned in the most mellifluous of voices. However, the answer to this and all other human conundrums can be found on page ninety-nine of my new book Hoax Springs Eternal. Please buy it and enjoy it and I hope to earn enough in royalties this time to be able to afford a vente latte.