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The Best Book in the World [Hardcover]

Peter Stjernstrom
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

27 Sep 2013
Two authors. One idea. Who will be the first to write the best book in the world? This hilarious new Scandinavian sensation from Swedish author Peter Stjernstrom is a witty satire that can't be missed! Titus Jensen is waiting for his big break. But he's middle-aged, has rather a fondness for alcohol and no one seems to take his writing seriously enough. Eddie X is cool. Eddie X is a hit with the ladies and loves being the centre of attention. A radical poet and regular on the festival circuit, he is looking for his next big project to gain more adoring fans. One night, after a successful literary event at which Titus reads from The Diseases of Swedish Monarchs and Eddie X waxes lyrical to the thrashing tones of metal band The Tourettes, the unlikely pair get horribly drunk together and hatch a plan. There's only one thing for a budding writer to do to get worldwide recognition: write the best book in the world - a book so amazing that it will end up on all the bestseller lists in every category imaginable, thriller, self-help, cookery, business, dieting - a book that combines everything in one! But there is only room for one such amazing book and as the alcohol-induced haze clears Titus and Eddie X both realise they are not willing to share the limelight. Who will win the race to write the best book in the world, and to what unimaginable lengths will they go to get there first? Hilariously quirky but surprisingly touching, The Best Book in the World will take you on a meandering race to the finish line, throwing plenty of satirical punches along the way.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd; Reprint edition (27 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843914808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843914808
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,317,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Spot on satire --Stockholms Fria Tidning

The pace of this book is high and the language is sweeping and humorous --Affarsvarlden

About the Author

Peter Stjernstrom gave up a career in the financial sector to concentrate on writing. This is his third novel.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Book? 28 Sep 2013
By Marleen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I received my copy from the publisher through Nudge

Let's start this review at the very beginning, with a look at the title. It is an incredibly smart title for a book of course. I dare any reader to stumble upon this book somewhere and not take a closer look at it out of pure curiosity. How could you possibly not investigate a book with a title like this? A title like "The Best Book in the World" warrants a closer look at the blurb at the very least. And what makes this title extra clever is that the label does describe the contents exactly. This is a book about the best book in the world.

During a literary festival two authors get drunk together. One is the young, popular, successful and charming poet Eddie X. The other, Titus Jensen is older. He has a successful career as an author of literary fiction behind him and now spends his time, mostly drunk, reading outrageous passages from obscure books at festivals. Titus is well on his way to becoming a washed-out has been. During their drunken conversation Titus comes up with the idea of writing a genre-transcending book:

"A single book that is all the other books at the same time."

Titus Jensen knows that The Best Book in the World is his last chance. If he can't write it he'll be an alcoholic has been for the rest of his life. If he can't sober up now he'll never be a serious writer again but be condemned to making a fool of himself at festivals forever.

Despite this idea having sprung from a very intoxicated mind, Titus enlists his publishers' assistance, and proceeds on a very strict writing regime. His life style is changed, alcohol banned and his writing monitored.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 500 REVIEWER
Is it possible to write a book that hits the bestseller charts in every category? That's the idea washed up author Titus Jensen and radical poet Eddie X come up with whilst more than a little drunk. In the cold light of day, Titus takes the idea to his editor behind Eddie's back. The race is on to write the best book in the world...but is Titus really the man to do it?

The breathalyser laptop had me laughing out loud for real. I would say read this book just for those bits; genius! I loved Astra, his editor. She wasn't convinced Titus could cope but she wanted The Book and gave him a good dose of tough love. I think if you follow any number of publishers and/or authors, there's plenty in this satire to amuse. There are many stories about writers but probably none that come this close to the truth. It does make me wonder how many books start off as drunken ideas...

The reading out from old books didn't quite work. I can imagine it being entertaining in person but in the book it is just like a passage from a random book. This caused the pace to drag in places although I think it could work well in audio format with the right narrator. There were other segments that were potentially interesting, such as a lesson in Dali, if you're interested in Dali. But again, it detracts a little from the plot. I suppose it's be trying to mirror its fictional counterpart, be as many genres as possible by sneaking in art history and poetry and whatever else. I did like the "cookery" element where he's trying to work out the four season pizza though and the thriller bits work well.

The title in itself will have people picking up the book to find out more. It may not be the best book in the world but it's certainly an interesting read for anyone interested in books.

Review copy provided by publisher.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous Take on Writing 6 Oct 2013
Don't get misled by the title of this book, it's about writing the best book in the world. It doesn't just stop at the title the author misleads the reader in a few ways throughout the novel. It's a book that may leave you confused after finishing it but to me that's the mark of a good book.

The story follows two writers, one an old has been and the other young and popular; both want to write the best book in the world. It's a humorous take on writing but also on the people involved in the world of a book, from editors and critics to librarians and book owners. The plot is face paced and has some unexpected twists along the way. Overall it's an enjoyable, well thought out read.
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