Bestseller Send-Up

I don't often read bestsellers.  It's irrational, I know, but if a novel has mass-appeal, I automatically assume that it is, well, (and here's an adjective you don't hear anymore), lowbrow.  I might read one if it has stood the test of time, like A. J. Cronin's The Keys of the Kingdom, or Maugham's Of Human Bondage.

(Reading this the next day, I feel I ought to add that on the "brow scale" I am probably a "middle".  I don't often read Booker Prize winners either.)

I haven't yet read Steve Hely's How I Became A Famous Novelist, which I found in the donation bin, but on the back cover, noted as the author's "competition", is a very funny fake NYT  Best Sellers list.  You'll recognize the imaginary spinoffs for a number of genres: the endless fantasy saga, the Da Vinci clone, the "big name" licensed techno-thriller.  The only genre conspicuously absent is the vampire novel.


Anonymous said...

I love this, but what happened to # 9? Probably my favorite..RC

Steerforth said...

When I worked for a certain bookshop chain, I used to create fake books like these on their EPOS system, with bogus sales that would make them register on the bestseller reports. My favourite was Planet of Woodlice by Terry Mobbles.

Brett said...

R., the list was angled, and bled off the bottom of the page. I had a hard time scanning it straight up. You can see it is still a little crooked.

S., you rascal! Sometimes I think publishers come up with the title first, and have someone write it to order, especially titles tailored to womens' book clubs, like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.