Top positive review
Hilarious, blackly comic look at publishing
on 12 April 2010
Readable and funny, Bestseller is a light-hearted but cutting look at the world of publishing. Filled with desperate authors who will do almost anything to get published, shark-like publishers and the occasional good guy with absolutely zero commercial nous, this hilarious novel plays upon almost every stereotype that you might imagine when you think about wannabe authors and the world of publishing.
Jim Talbot writes novels compulsively, convincing himself each time that the next one will be a bestseller. Or, if he's honest with himself, that it will get published at all. With equal regularity, publishing houses fire back rejection letters, depressingly standard and all claiming that Jim's manuscripts 'won't fit with the current direction of our publishing'.
On the other side of the fence, Charles is the aging editorial director of a publishing house that's just been bought out. It seems that Charles's penchant for publishing obscure Hungarian poets on top-quality paper with tiny print runs has not boded well for the business side of things... and the money-hungry buyers are determined to make some big changes to further their evil empire and make a quick buck (or, I suppose, British pound). Yet, despite his total lack of commercial nous, Charles is a sweetie with a genuine love of the written word.
And, through a series of misunderstandings, unfortunate accidents and underhanded manoeuvres, the whole plot of the book comes together in a hilarious muddle of publishing-related humour.
A lovely book - very funny, very readable, and even a bit thought-provoking when it comes to thinking about what gets published and why. Thoroughly recommended.