Did you know ..
* The young Agatha Christie was a keen surfer. and she once almost drowned off the Hawaiian coast.
* Even at 80, after five heart attacks and nearly blind, Catherine Cookson was still producing three or four books a year.
* JRR Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings – more than 500 000 words – in longhand; it took him 12 years.
To be considered a bestseller in Australia, a book needs to sell about 10, 000 copies. The authors profiled in this book have gone well beyond being bestsellers, then – with five billion copies sold between the 30 authors profiled – and none having sold fewer than 50 million. Agatha Christie alone has sold 2 billion copies. But this is not just a book about numbers. Whilst the authors have been selected based on their huge sales figures, what follows is an intimate profile of each author, with a focus on the background to the writing of one of the author’s works.
Authors are profiled from each decade from the 1930s through to the 2000s, and from a variety of genres. As well as Christie, Cookson and Tolkien, there is Stephen King, Stieg Larsson, Jackie Collins and Colleen McCullough and more. There are also chapters and short treatises on topics including the history of the paperback, typewriters of the rich and famous, and even the reading habits of presidents.
David Glynn is an avid reader and non fiction author who lves in Sydney. His passion for the book is evident in this thoughtfully researched and accessible offering.
Five Billion Sold: The Amazing Facts Behind the Fiction, by David Glynn
Arbon Publishing, 2012
This book is available in good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.