Over on Bookseller Crow’s blog there’s a mention of Joyce Carol Dates (as a Picador cover once spelt her). Easily done. Orphan Pamuk didn’t quite make it into the shops. Lovely mess when the back cover of the filmscript of Trainspotting, referring to the ‘heroin-addicted’ character of Mark Renton, mistakenly printed him as the journalist Alex Renton.
My copy of Cozarinsky’s The Moldavian Pimp lists his previous book as ‘The Bridge from Odessa’. Less transportable, I’d have thought, than the original ‘Bride’. Ted Hughes once published a book titled ‘A Dancer to God’; in one of his later books, this is listed as ‘A Danger to God’. These are the sort of errors that a proofreader corrects only reluctantly. I can imagine others: Dostoevsky, Grime and Punishment; Dickens, Great Expectorations; Elizabeth Bowen, The Horse in Paris.
I once let pass without query (in a biography of Liszt, since you ask) a sentence in which someone was described as feeling ‘as if they were clamped between a mermaid’s legs’ – unimprovably ridiculous. But just occasionally, I know that feeling.