The Bestseller
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The Bestseller

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  629 ratings  ·  56 reviews
At Davis & Dash, one of New York's most prestigious publishing houses, five new authors will be published--but only one of them will be a bestseller. They have worked long and hard to write their novels of romance and murder, drama and love. But the story behind the stories is even more exciting. And the vicious competition to get the right agent, the perfect editor, a...more
Paperback, 720 pages
Published June 14th 1997 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 1996)
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Lynne Spreen
Wow, what a blast from the past. This story is a primal scream (however fun and dishy!) from the days just before the Internet, when the big problem was that giant booksellers like Borders were devouring small independents. How quaint that seems now. Look at all that has happened! As a writer, I almost feel like self-pubbing and my own efforts at promotion will be the new normal for authors, the only logical way to go. Amazing to mark time from the point this book was written. But a good, enjoya...more
This wasn't bad -- if you like the author's other books, you'll probably enjoy this one too. It wasn't as juicy as I'd hoped, but it's an interesting look at the publishing industry, and the travails of 5 authors trying to get the next big hit. The stories were rather disjointed at first, but they tied together nicely in the end. And as always, with Goldsmith's novels, the good people get what they deserve and the bad people get what *they* deserve.
Light and a good book for my recent trip, when I needed something to fill the time spent on airplanes and subway rides, etc. It reads a lot like a soap opera -- tawdry, yet compelling. Few of the characters are sympathetic, and few that are sympathetic are believable. Actually none of the characters, except maybe the editor, Emma Ashton, are believable. I also found the constant name-dropping annoying.

♥ Marlene♥
Not knowing what wanted to read I picked this book cause I still love to read books like Queenie,Lace and that kind of thing.

A queenie it was not but it was an enjoyable read. This was written before the internet time but I am sure there is still a lot of cheating going on.

At first it began kinda slow with lots of people having their own chapter but once you get to know them it becomes better and you really start to enjoy it.

Very large book with many pages.
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya


I was reading the book during the trip to South East Asia in January 2007. Despite the beauty of Thailand, Malaysia and Laos around me, I could not wait to continue reading!!! It is a very touching, wonderfully written story of five authors, writing, selling, publishing their "book-babies": but the only one is to stand on the top... While it is always difficult for me to give books away, with this one, from the first pages I knew it is on my permanent bookshelf; four years later and...more
Lisa Daily
I actually really like this book. I hadn't read it in about a million years, but I picked it up the other day and it was just what I needed -- fast paced, funny, brain candy. The characters are vivid and amusing, and aspiring writers and published authors will love the behind the scenes look at the publishing industry. Yes, the book is a little dated (ahem, sky high advances) But lines like "The only good author is a dead author" and other quotes from 90's publishing icons feel dead-on authentic...more
I read this right after A Confederacy of Dunces, and one of the stories seems about the same as O'Toole's.

There are a lot of terrible people in this book. Terrible, greedy, selfish people who deserve a punch to the forehead. I spent a lot of time thinking about who I wanted to be THE bestseller- who wins?- and I was pleased with the final outcome.
This is the best fiction I have ever read! This story takes the reader through the dramatic and cut throat world of book publishing, where relationships are tested, backs are stabbed, secrets are unveiled, and the lives of a half dozen strangers are mysteriously woven together all leading to a wonderful surprise ending! HIGHLY reccommended.
My favorite of Olivia Goldsmith's books so far---an incredibly ironic peek inside the mysterious world of publishing.
Just started a new job, wanted something easy and light. And I got it from the FREE table at a garage sale over the weekend. Perfect.

It just mentioned John Irving. In passing, and along with just about every other novelist out there. But still. John.

Alright. I've finished. And I'm not entirely sure what to say about it. Every character was ridiculously unsympathetic. I couldn't stand any of them, the entire way through. Then, about 25 pages from the end, all the sudden there was happy endings f...more
Olivia Goldsmith is mostly known for First Wives Club, which is too bad. While it is a good book, and contains a good sampling of her sharp sense of humor, you don't read it and think she also has a book like The Bestseller in her.

In The Bestseller, several authors are aiming for publication at the same time. It's clear who you should be rooting for from the start, but not all of the stories unfold in quite the way you might predict. By the end, good people get what they deserve. Bad people also...more
Caroline G'wattage
'Bestsellers' was fantastic from beginning to end.
It was a long read,but it was a page turner.
The characters were all well developed.
The story was funny, shocking, and had an excellent pace.

The novel was more or less into the publishing world and showing the insight of what new authors have to go through, to get their books published. Bestsellers does not give a good impression on the publishing world, after reading this book, you will change your mind, on becoming an author, and finding it ver...more
Molly Harper
This is one of my favorite books ever. I have to read it once a year. Completely absorbing. I read this before I was published myself, and while my own pathway to the shelf has been no where near this soap-opera trashy, it's still interesting to see my own experiences reflected in this book. Though there are some obvious misrepresentations, contract negotiations that only take a few days, for instance. That made me giggle after I went through the process myself.

You'll root for Camilla and Judith...more
Adriana Bookologist
The Bestseller by Olivia Goldsmith

THANK YOU AUTHORS for enriching my life with your stories.

I enjoyed reading this book about publishing a book. It was not a fast or easy read as it contains about 700 pages and it was certainly one of the longest books I’ve read.

It was interesting to learn all the ins and outs of publishing in a fictitious way of course. I’m sure it’s much more difficult and I’m very thankful that authors have the fortitude to go through the process that produces books such as...more
Although The Bestseller is a tongue-in-cheek novel, it still gives us a good view into the publishing world in all its glory. I found it interesting to learn about the process of a book from the writer's first idea, to the writing of the manuscript, to shopping around for an agent and a publisher, to the editing process, to the printing and sale of the book. The novel made me appreciate how hard a writer must work for, sometimes, very little reward. The novel follows five writers through the pro...more
Completely fluffy, but a very satisfying read for travel or the beach.
Never have a read a more deicious tale of revenge than from Olivia Goldsmith. First Wives Club was good but The Bestseller is epic, delicious, and just.

Never sell Goldsmith short; her characters and plotting are top-notch. Just because its a shiny cover does not mean it is poor writing!

Read this--or any of her early books--if you have had your faith in justice or karma destroyed. She gives us all hope that the good somehow triumph, and the bad get their just desserts.
I either read this book when I was in college when I was partway through my publishing minor, or else shortly after I this book was right up my alley, subject-matter-wise. I loved all the different story lines about the authors, editors, and the ins and outs of the publishing world, and how they all intersected. The level of detail was really impressive. Definitely a light read, but I found it really fun and entertaining.
I loved how each chapter is fashioned after a character so you don't get bogged down reading about so many people. In this way it is reminiscent of Jackie Collins' style. It was a great read that came together after a few chapters. As the book went along I became more and more involved and couldn't wait to find out what happened next though the ending was somewhat predictable.
Patricia Zashkoff
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It gives a real insight into the world of publishing and how difficult it is to get a book published. It's a novel but I bet much of it is true. The stories are about various writers and their attempts to make their books best sellers. Some of it is tragic, some of it is funny and all of it is engrossing. I would recommend this book.
Adele Goetz
Look, this book was not very good, but it was fun to read. The characters are either generous, kind and super-talented or venal, selfish, monsters. Not a lot of subtle characterizations and shades of grey here...but it was dishy and fast-paced and a good rest for my brain after all the soul searching required by The Year Of Living Biblically.
A wonderfully insightful book. Goldsmith delves into the world of publishing and writing and gives up many secrets and destroys many myths. She follows five writers, their manuscripts, and their editors at Davis and Dash, plus their agents. In the end, the moral of the story seems to be that you have to know someone to get your manuscript read.
This is simply the biggest, most sumptuous box of writer's candy out there. Five writers vie for the coveted title of BESTSELLER, amid hilarious and nefarious publishing hijinks. A little outdated now -- there were no e-books back when the novel first appeared -- but the spirit of the industry hasn't changed much, I don't think.
This was a long one but it held my interest. This one involves the world of publishing...5 books are going to be published but only one will be a bestseller. I enjoyed the stories of the people who were writing these books, and just how low some of them would go to get their work out there.
Sep 05, 2012 Barb rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Only a good read for the beach and it was long – could have been shorter. The inside look at the publishing industry was interesting but definitely outdated (book was copywrited about 1996) and I have no idea if it was actually an accurate portrayal. Read this in Cabo San Lucas.

This is no literary masterpiece, but it's a great read, with endless morsels of the inside of the book business. For anyone who loves books, really LOVES them, this novel offers several intertwining stories of the good and bad luck it takes to succeed and to fail.
Blair O'Connor
One of my teachers assigned this book to my reading group when I was in High School. We lasted two days then the entire group stopped reading. None of us could get interested enough to continue. I've since tried again to read it and was unsuccessful.
This book should be required reading for all would-be authors. It's a reality check, but leaves you hopeful. Each chapter begins with a great quote on writing or publishing, guaranteed to bring a smile to those who haven't quit the day job just yet.
Jan 28, 2012 Ruth added it
Read it more for research rather than pleasure. I am now even more terrified than before doing NaNoWriMo and less, actually, as so much seems to be dependent on luck as well as any talent and hard work.

I love this book. It's trashy, and gossipy, and probably wildly unrealistic, but I read it about once a year.

Of course, as an aspiring novelist I hope I end up like Camilla Clapfish and not Terry O'Neale.
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Olivia Goldsmith (January 1, 1949 - January 15, 2004) was an American author, best known for her first novel The First Wives Club (1992), which was adapted into the movie The First Wives Club (1996).

She was born Randy Goldfield in Dumont, New Jersey, but changed her name to Justine Goldfield and later to Justine Rendal. She took up writing following a divorce in which she said her husband got almo...more
More about Olivia Goldsmith...
The First Wives Club Bad Boy Flavor of the Month Dumping Billy Pen Pals

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