The Bestseller

Olivia Goldsmith, Author, Chuck Johnson, With HarperCollins Publishers $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-017822-2
It is an old adage that books about publishing do not sell, because those likely to be most interested will beg, borrow or steal them rather than buy. In the case of the latest by Goldsmith (The First Wives Club) that would be a pity, because it is a highly entertaining tale with a good share of romance and drama, considerable humor and some cynical fun at the expense of the book business; there are many recognizable characters, and a number of real-life walk-ons. (There's even an index so book people can look themselves up, but be warned: it is not what it seems.) Goldsmith's busy plot--which makes publishing seem as glamorous and crazy as fashion or the movies (settings for two of her previous books)--offers four women with novels being considered by high-powered New York publisher Davis & Dash. There is an elderly romance queen with a fading readership; a proud mother trying to get someone to read a magnum opus by her dead daughter; a cool young Englishwoman who has penned a quirkily charming book about a busload of American tourists in Tuscany; and a desperate young woman whose devious husband is trying to steal all the credit for her true-crime roman a clef. Throw in a corrupt publisher doctoring the books to try to make his own sales look bigger, a nymphomaniac and alcoholic editor-in-chief, a staunch young editor and her lesbian agent friend, and you have the makings of a spicy literary stew. The only problem is that Goldsmith winds it all up in much too pat a fashion, with the villains getting their comeuppances and the good getting their happily-ever-after endings in quick, glib order. But, hey, no one expected New Grub Street. $175,000 ad/promo; author tour; film rights to Paramount; simultaneous audiocassette from HarperAudio. (Aug.) FYI: Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn are currently filming The First Wives Club.
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 720 pages - 978-0-06-109608-2
Hardcover - 896 pages - 978-1-56865-225-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-109629-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 3 pages - 978-0-694-51727-5
Hardcover - 789 pages - 978-1-56895-389-2
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