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Bestseller! by Jane Daniel


by Jane Daniel

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I found this book to be tedious -- granted it's non fiction -- but most non fiction writers still try to grab the reader to entice with things to come. This book doesn't do that. This reads more like just a listing of events. Sorry but that's what it is. To be honest I didn't care enough to finish this book. Something I can't remember doing in the last 20-30 years. I have some books partially read, but will return to them when the weather is cooler. ( )
  libri_amor | Jul 27, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a message from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer group that I had not posted my review of Jane Daniel's BESTSELLER!.

Well, yes... I have not written a review to date, because quite frankly I did not like the book.

BESTSELLER! is Jane Daniel's personal account of being sued for $33 million dollars. My opinion is that the writing is choppy and reads like hastily written blog entries tossed together without editting.

Could BESTSELLER! have been a successful story.


But, only if written by an objective third party who could have told all sides of the story... which is actually quite fascinating:

1. An eccentric elderly woman who not only pretends to be a Jewish Holocaust survivor (unbeknownst to the publisher and ghost writer), but also claims to have survived under the care of wolves. Her story becomes an international bestseller and a successful foreign film. She sues Jane Daniels for millions of dollars because the book does not become a bestseller in the U.S.

2. A friendship that is completely demolished by Daniel's ambition.

3, And most bizarre of all, a $33 million lawsuit against Daniels (the publisher) for failing to successfully promote the fraudulent Holocaust survivor's story.

This would have made one heck of a novel if it had been crafted by an author with the appropriate skills. ( )
  watertiger | Jul 27, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book wasn't my style. I was really interested in the story based on the blurb, but I could not get into the writing style/format (translated from a blog). I couldn't get into it.

(I received this book probably a month after I marked it as not received through Early Reviewers. I didn't really think to come back and review it until the marking system changed. I don't have a lot of ground-breaking information to add!)
  neurotica | Jul 21, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jane Daniel’s Bestseller! is – unsurprisingly – one-sided. This is the non-fiction account of a hoax and an obscene amount of money awarded to the perpetrator of that hoax, in a judgement against Daniel, the independent publisher who was to publish Misha Defonseca’s memoir of Holocaust survival.

Only, Misha wasn’t really Misha, but Monique; she didn’t survive the Holocaust by living with wolves but instead was a Belgian scammer with a great con and a knack for getting money by complaining she didn’t have any.

Bestseller! started out quite fascinating, and kept me interested for about the first 40 pages. This is a captivating tale, however, the delivery leaves a lot to be desired. The chapters were originally in a blog format, and while it may have worked very well there (I did not read the blog), it did not translate very well into a book.

I found the book very tedious to read, and this was a double disappointment, since I was initially very interested and anxious to read it. I really wanted to know how the hoax was played out, how it lasted so long and how it impacted on Jane Daniel. I don’t feel satisfied on any of these points.

Once the bones of the narrative were introduced, Daniel began to detail every step in the legal battle. Unless the reader is involved with the legal system, and/or interested in the minutiae of publishing legalities, these 300 plus pages dense with legalese probably will not appeal.
  sangreal | Jul 21, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Supposedly got this as an Early Reviewers copy, never received it. I was thinking of purchasing it to review just to be fair, but after reading the other member's review I think I'll pass.
  cmchavis | Feb 21, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615237517, Paperback)

BASED ON A TRUE STORY. In 1994 Misha Defonseca joined up with tiny Mt Ivy Press to produce a book about her childhood experiences during the Holocaust. A Jewish war orphan who lost her identity when her parents were arrested by the Nazis, she set out on foot at age 7 to find them, walking 3,000 across war-torn Europe and hiding in the forest where she was befriended by wolves. The book was just hitting its stride, attracting interest from Disney Studios and Oprah Winfrey, when suddenly Defonseca turned against her publisher, Jane Daniel, and filed a lawsuit. Claiming that the publisher had not done enough to promote the book, she won a $33 million judgment, one of the largest in Massachusetts history. Ten years and thirteen additional lawsuits later, Daniel was wiped out financially and emotionally. In the interim, Defonseca's book had become a bestseller in eighteen countries and a feature film. Then Daniel, by accident, stumbled across documents suggesting that Defonseca was not who she claimed to be. Daniel's only remaining asset was the story about the case that she had been writing in her head through the whole ordeal. She began posting chapters, as she completed them, on a blog, not knowing what to expect. "This book is being written in real time," she wrote. "I do not know how it will end." What happened next is miraculous ‹ a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction detective story: Daniel was contacted by a forensic genealogist who came across the blog and thought she could crack the case. With no name, date or place of birth to go on it seemed an impossible mission. But truth has a mysterious way of seeking the light. After 20 years of deceiving millions of people, Defonseca, at last, was confronted with her real identity: the daughter of a Nazi collaborator from a Catholic family. Defonseca confessed that her memoire was a hoax. This is a story of the wildcat world of independent publishing, the horrors of the legal system, and most of all, a personal battle for survival against staggering odds.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:03 -0400)

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