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News stories from the book world in August 2004

August 2004

'It was a dark and stormy night'

30 August 2004

With many people in the northern hemisphere just coming to the end of the summer holidays, it seemed a good week to feature some less than serious news. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

Coming from the University of San Jose, this entertaining competition challenges the writer to compose the opening sentence of the worst of all possible novels. Follow its 'childishly simple' rules, 'wretched writers welcome'.

exactly fitted the bill.  Read more

'I'm still doing the same thing.'

23 August 2004

The extraordinary success of Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves has shown yet again how one hugely successful book can transform the performance of a small publisher. There are now more than 1.1m copies of the book in print in the UK and it has also been a surprise international bestseller, in spite (or perhaps because of) its very English appeal.  Read more

Man with a Mission

16 August 2004

He's the author of one of the top-selling books of all time, but the chances are that you've never heard of him. Rick Warren, dubbed 'America's pastor', is the author of the monumental bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life. The book has now sold a staggering 20 million copies worldwide and is currently racing out at the rate of a million copies a month. It's been on the New  Read more

Tomorrow the world

9 August 2004

This week's sale of Hodder Headline will come as no surprise to News Review readers (see 5 July).  Read more

Poetry and politics

2 August 2004

No-one would claim that literature and politics go together, which makes it even more astonishing that John Kerry, chosen this week as the Democratic candidate for the presidential election, should have taken the risky strategy of quoting poetry in his campaign speeches. In fact Kerry has gone one step further than that and used Let America be America again as a campaign slog  Read more