Dial 9Dial 9 Evelyn Hanlin Shaw

I haven’t got a whole lot to say about this book. I appreciate it as a timepiece, or a spacetimepiece of 1940s San Francisco (though published in 1980); more specifically it seems to be some sort of story set against the backdrop of unionization of the phone company (Pacific Bell?). I guess – I haven’t read the thing though I’ve read some bits and pieces.

The title page has a curious quote:

Rise to the ninth level…
a reference common to the more philosophic members of the system, that took in a number of things.
Dial nine, for outside, was its basis.
And if you were not on the outside level you were just talking to yourself.

I guess it is self-published. The edition notice includes ‘NOT TO BE SOLD. Printed for gift distribution to selected public and school libraries in the United States of America.’

Another detail I like is that it has an org chart of all the characters:

 Dial 9 Org Chart

Presumably so that if you knew the real people the novel was based on, this would be a handy reference.

I like ‘telephone people’. I’m acutely aware at the moment that many of the technological wonders of the 20th century are just about gone. Telephone, radio, television, hi-fi (hi-fi?) all subsumed by the digital.

Warning: We cannot be held responsible. Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha