The letters trace Hanff's search for books, as well as the general outlines of her writing career (she wrote for the Ellery Queen television series, among other jobs), British and American politics, and her long-postponed plan to visit London and her friends at the bookstore. Unfortunately, Doel died before Hanff made the trip: the last letter in the book is from one of his daughters, agreeing to publication of the letters.
I have to admit that I thought 84, Charing Cross Road was an epistolary novel--and I liked it better when I was suffering under that delusion. Helene is charming as a fictional character; oddly, as an author publishing her own letters, for me she becomes somewhat too self-consciously clever and kind. Still, the book only takes about an hour to read and it's definitely worth that.
i go through life watching the english language being raped before me face. like miniver cheevy, i was born too late.
and like miniver cheevy i cough and call it fate and go on drinking.