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==Synopsis of the book:==
Jim Talbot is a frustrated man. He is in his late thirties and has yet to be a successful writer. He has written many novels but not one has been published. He feels it is only a matter of time before one gets excepted and then all the previous ones will act as follow ups. Admittedly he doesn't understand his lack of success but he firmly believes his next novel could be published and become a best-seller. Then he can live a life of luxury he feels he deserves and move out of the small rented room he currently occupies.
Meanwhile Charles Crandall is the managing Director of Tetragon Press. He was the founder and has managed the small independent publisher for 30 years. Charles is eccentric and has always tried to publish obscure works that sell little but he feels have an important message. However his lack of
success finally causes the firms owners to sack him and he finds himself on the scrap heap from the profession he once loved. What will he do now?
The story follows these two men in the cut throat business of publishing that is dominated by the Corporate Giants.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
I was in truth quite disappointed with this novel which I felt would be fascinating. Maybe this is because I expected too much but I got what I felt was a very average story only improved by a few interesting and surprising developments along the way. That said this is the author début novel and I would not be so rude as to write him of on this first attempt alone.
When I first noticed book in my second hand bookshop I was immediately drawn to it. Not because it had a stunning cover because I actually thought it was quite dull and uninspiring. It was the title 'Bestseller" I think many people would love to have the luck and the talent to be able to write a best-seller but unfortunately this is something we can only dream about. So a book about a best-seller for me anyway sounds fantastic.
I flicked the book over to find out what is was all about. It told me a little about a failed novelist Jim Talbot who dreams of getting published. I thought this sounded interesting and I immediately felt for this man and wondered what lengths he would go to for fill his dream. It also talked about Charles who ran a independent publishers and how after 30 years he was sacked by the owners. This didn't interest me so much but I has the immediate idea these two gentlemen would somehow team up and become successful did still appeal. However I was wrong with this idea and it was a more interesting story because of it, as it demonstrated some of the issues there are in the Publishing Business.
Before I purchased this book I had never heard of this author Alissandro Gallenzi before. However he is a good person to write about Publishing as he was a literacy publisher for 10 years for various companies, as well as being a poet. This was his first novel published (unsurprisingly!!) in 2010, since then he has followed it up in 2012 with ' InterRail'. At the moment I am not sure who I could compare this work to, that might be a good thing as maybe his style is unique, but it maybe just that I don't read enough of this kind of fiction.
When I started reading the book I immediately felt a kinship with Jim. That is because he like me is a failed writer. I quite admired his at times positivity and the lengths he would go to try and get his latest offering published. I liked his belief in himself and his work and how he has spent all his adult life following this dream at the expense of everything else. Although at the same time is was far more driven then most and as it turned out was not always honest in his pursuit of this dream.
The story then flicked to Charles Randall and his unusual life as a Publisher, and while I was not that interested in him, as soon as he lost his job I started to become more interested in him and what he would do next. I enjoyed the fact he was eccentric and where as Jim would do anything and lie and cheat to achieve his dream, Charles was a very honest and honourable man and so I found over time a warmed more to him and his plight.
The story certainly was interesting and it did not go in the direction I expected. That was a good thing for me as I enjoyed learning more about the tricks of the Publishing world. I did wonder at times why certain characters and their roles were followed but over time that became apparaent. For me I would have preferred a book on either Charles or Jim not both of them. As the author had created two good characters and with more detail and depth I think the story could have just been about either of them. As it was I did get a bit frustrated the way the story flicked from one to the other.
I enjoyed some of the unexpected twists in the story that added to it. I also found it a little disturbing just how tough and cut throat this business is and how thin the line is between success and failure. Certainly if this piece of fiction is realistic I am not sure I ever want to get published!! The pace of the story also quickened as it reached towards its conclusion. It was a good ending because it was not one I expected, I will say no more. The author for me finished the various threads of the story well so everything was closed off and every question answered.
Admittedly there were a few things in the story I found hard to believe. Added to this one of two of these I found frankly unbelievable. However I think in a story like this to make the story more interesting you have to extend or bend the truth a little. I could not fault the authors style of writing and despite running two stories parallel I never got confused where I was, who I was following or what was happening to them.
For me the story was a little shorter than it should have been. I thought the ending was a little quick and rushed. I would have liked a longer ending, so I could have drawn breath and think about what had happened to all the main characters within the story. However I will try another book from this author as I am curious to compare it with this one. As I think the author was very wise to base his first novel on a business he clearly knows and understand.
I am undecided whether I should recommend this piece of fiction or not. On the positive side for me the author created some good characters and I liked the twists and turns that affected them. On the negative side I would have preferred the story focused on Jim and his aim of getting published. As I did not feel I knew or understood the main characters because not enough of the story was focused on them.
Publisher: Alma Books
Year first published: 2010
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
CPTDANIELS October 2012.