The Rise of the Celebrity Novel

Now that Christmas is upon us (and making demands of blog-time), a reminder about which books really sell. It’s an old link, but The Guardian noted a couple of months ago that Jordan’s novel is outselling the entire Booker Prize shortlist:

…[model and wife of Australian singer peter Andre] Jordan’s contribution to the world of fiction, Crystal (159,407 sold and counting), is outselling the whole of the Booker shortlist (120,770 in total)…

I haven’t read Crystal, so probably should refrain from commenting specifically, but apparently these celebrity novels allow more freedom to ‘speak freely’ than an (auto)biography might:

The history of celebrity novelists is not a noble one. But whereas William Shatner (sci-fi, surprisingly) and Ethan Hawke (self-obsessed twaddle, surprisingly) took themselves relatively seriously, the new generation of celebrity novels offer a more voyeuristic appeal.

Only really relevant because today I was chatting with a colleague who was lamenting the lack of attention given to some titles – none of the local bookshops stocked (or had even heard of) a scholarly collection on the war on terror. I’m sure they would have found room for Jordan though 🙂


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