Salinger Alleges Indecent Rip-Off

  Indecent Proposal 

 

By Jack Engelhard

Someone has come along with a “sequel” to JD Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.” Salinger is suing to stop publication and distribution. He calls it a “rip-off.” Don’t look at me to get into the legalities. But I do know how it feels.

I wrote nothing as popular as “The Catcher in the Rye” but popular enough to be translated into more than 22 languages and to be made into a movie starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore – “Indecent Proposal.” (The movie’s box office was about $260 million worldwide.) The novel’s concept (“what would you do for a million dollars?”) was mine and the title was mine. This was original and it was my baby.

My novel sold about 4 million copies worldwide and still sells (through Comteq Publishing) even after the movie has run dry.

Salinger’s novel is still going strong after sales of 70 million.

Around the house, following the publication of “Indecent Proposal,” we used to say, “No matter what happens, they can’t take that away from you.”

Really?

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Stereotyping Oursevles

By Jack Engelhard

The New York Times reminds us that Philip Roth is into his 50th year as a writer. His first book was “Goodbye, Columbus.”

Roth is an Establishment figure, a media darling. Our culture honors Jewish writers – and Jewish artists in general – who are not happy being Jewish. This theme runs through most of Roth’s works. This is a man running from his faith; uncomfortable in his skin. For that, he is celebrated.

The Jews in Roth’s novels are usually whining and groaning – objects of ridicule from clothing to behavior. There is no love of Jewish roots, no love of Torah. If Torah is mentioned, it’s done so in derision. Always there are complaints about being Jewish. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – That’s not writing. That’s kvetching.

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Sneak Peek This Novel!

 By Jack Engelhard

   The Girls of Cincinnati Sometimes it pays to get out of bed in the morning. THIS morning, there it was, Amazon’s “Look Inside This Book” feature for “The Girls of Cincinnati.” The book was published not even a month ago by Amazon (through its createspace subsidiary) but it takes some time to get that sneak-peek feature up and running, but here it was and here it is, something of a thrill for a writer and maybe (hopefully) for a reader.

I don’t mean to do any sucking-up, but I do so appreciate this quick, professional work. Where – reading and writing fans – would we be without Amazon?

Amazon came along just when writing and reading were dying. Book stores were closing and writers who were not Dan Brown had no shot.

Oh – yes, some call it Print on Demand. I don’t. I call it Bypass Literature. This lets writers bypass the snobs who pay Hillary Clinton Eight Million Dollars for a “book” of nonsense. Some bad books get published POD but here’s a secret – plenty bad books get published by so-called conventional publishers. Plenty good books get self-published, beginning with Walt Whitman.

The most famous small book of all time – Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” – was first self-published by William Strunk, Jr.

We will never know how many great books never got published due to the clubby, chummy, clueless world of (conventional) editors and publishers.

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