The mechanic marveled at my being a novelist, able to put words together. I marveled at his being able to take an engine apart and put it back together again. We are all geniuses at something. The trick is to find out what it is.
By Jack Engelhard
Apparently, the love of money is the root of all politics.
I thought we were broke…so broke that China has become our Sugar Daddy…so broke that our president bows to the king of Saudi Arabia.
So where is all this money coming from and where did the recession go?
A few weeks back George Clooney held a fundraiser that netted Barack Obama $15 million – this on top of the nearly $200 million Obama already has stashed away for his Second Coming. (The exact figure is $196, 909, 097, as of March, per NY Times.) I imagine that Romney also has some money coming in, plus his own wealth, but nothing compared to the incumbent.
In case you think this is a rant against one single candidate, Obama, no, it’s about finding and funding the best president money can buy…either party.
The Times and others are joyful, telling us that these figures prove that Obama is as popular as ever. Yes, money talks and yes, money measures love.
If greed is good, it’s especially good when it comes to purchasing high office.
I used to think that we’re supposed to vote for the wisest man or woman in the land. I was wrong. We vote for the money.
Who is most qualified? The man who strikes it rich!Details
By Jack Engelhard
Jack Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel “Indecent Proposal” that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned in a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His award-winning book of memoirs, “Escape From Mount Moriah,” in the form of Nikila Cole’s filming of the book’s short story “My Father, Joe,” is an official selection in the CANNES Film Festival 2011.
Never thought I’d see the day when the world’s most influential newspaper would take it upon itself to incite a pogrom — but here it is in the pages of The New York Times, May 24/25, as Tom Friedman in his column “Lessons From Tahrir Square,” finds inspiration from Julius Streicher’s Der Sturmer.
Streicher, in his newspaper of the 1930s, knew how to inflame and so does Friedman who has broken his pledge as a newsman to assume the role of an instigator.
Here’s a man (and a newspaper) that has the power to ignite stampedes in the service of annihilating a particular country, namely Israel – and this match has now been lit.
Who knows what chaos may come from the long arm of this deceitful, irresponsible and reckless type of journalism.
Kristallnacht – Night of Broken Glass, November 9/10, 1938 – came as a result of combustible speeches and newspaper articles…exactly like Friedman’s. Hitler’s SA Stormtroopers rioted through the streets of Germany and Austria destroying all that was Jewish. German and Austrian citizen-mobs, drunk on hate fueled by propaganda, joined the fun of plunder and murder. They too had a cause, they too had grievances, which they have passed on to their next of kin.
Friedman, who in this world holds three Pulitzers along with Yasser Arafat’s Nobel for Peace, invokes Lara Logan’s Tahrir Square in goading thousands of Arab Palestinians to “peacefully” and “non-violently” march on Jerusalem to demand their rights toward a two-state “solution” – and whatever else is troubling them.
As if this slippery Friedman doesn’t know the odds against “peaceful” and “non-violent” when a mob gets assembled.Details
By Jack Engelhard
First they came for our Twin Towers. Now they come to build upon the ruins.
The New York skyline has always been the symbol of American power. This, then, is the prize. Imagine our skyline dominated by a grand mosque.
A minaret is to rise from the ashes.
This is intended to be the ultimate sign of American submission and Islamic superiority.Details
What follows is a review of my novel Indecent Proposal, which has recently been re-issued by iUniverse. The novel was orignally published in 1988 by Donald I. Fine. It was then republished in 1993 by Pocket Books as a movie-tie, to coincide with the Paramount movie of the same name featuring Robert Redford and Demi Moore; based on my novel. The movie was huge, taking in $266 million box office internationally. The novel was translated into more than 22 languages. ComteQ Publishing then published a third edition — and now, here’s the iUniverse edition with a new cover and new intro. [This now is the only authentic version] But the novel is the same, same as I wrote it back in the mid-1980s on a kitchen table, sweat pouring down for the lack of air-conditioning. Next thing I knew translations of it were coming fast and furious from all over the world, and there we were walking the red carpet in Hollywood. Between takes in Vegas, Robert Redford said, “You wrote the novel?” I pleaded guilty. “Nice job,” he said.
Redford also said, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel.” I told him to stick to his day job. He was doing all right as an actor.
So what follows are the words of John W. Cassell. I’ll take tributes like this any day, from a writer of such high stature. Read HIS books!
I was very pleased to discover that Jack Engelhard is re-releasing his Leviathan INDECENT PROPOSAL on iUniverse. It should be “up” on amazon within the next few days. [Ed Note: The iUniverse edition, published July 9, 2010, is now up and available at Amazon]
By John W. Cassell
My copy of Jack Engelhard’s SLOT ATTENDANT came this afternoon. As I was reading another truly engrossing novel at the time and NEVER read more than one book at a time, I set myself the modest goal of reading chapter one today, then finishing the other book tomorrow, thereafter reading this long-eagerly anticipated story solely until completion.
You know what happens to the “best laid plans….” Likely you do in Gaelic as well as English.
What happens is, here it is almost 2AM and I just finished SLOT ATTENDANT. I could NOT put it down. I could not stop until I knew as much as the author cared to tell me about every absorbing subplot, as well as learning heaps about both casinos, in which I have a certain rooting interest, and the world of writing and publishing…a world so important to me and many people I deeply care about…. not until I learned the outcome of protagonist Jay Leonard’s desperate battle to regain both confidence in and respect for himself.
Having lost both myself once upon a time, I found myself quickly empathizing with his brilliantly orchestrated struggle. I FELT for this man…Jack Engelhard is that kind of writer…superlatively combining personal experience, the experience of others, and a truly vivid, thoroughly grounded imagination to paint this compelling portrait.Details
By Jack Engelhard
Those who have read the book or seen the movie “Indecent Proposal” know what it’s about – what would you do for a million dollars? At the time that I wrote and published the novel back in the mid-1980s, a million dollars was real money. That’s how we defined RICH, by the millions.
Larry King (when I appeared on his radio show) asked me why I chose the figure a million dollars for a night of infidelity and before I could answer he agreed. He said, “That’s right. A million dollars is the magic word.” That was then and this is now, and how times have changed!
Suddenly, you are nothing if you are not a billionaire with a b. (I’m not changing a thing. A million dollars is still plenty in my book.)
Donald Trump is actually suing a man, a writer, who claims, in a book, that Trump is a mere millionaire. Trump says it’s ruining his image and his business.
Imagine that – we’ve arrived at a moment when being called a millionaire is an insult. (The rest of us should be so insulted.)Details
By Jack Engelhard
The upstairs literary crowd, Eustace Tilley types, are already sharpening their pencils for Dan Brown’s next book, “The Lost Symbol,” even though it won’t be birthed until September. I’m not here to defend Dan Brown except to say that he delivered as promised. His big book, “The Da Vinci Code” was exactly about that, the Da Vinci code.
Dan Brown is not adored by the literati and the sniping has already begun as meanwhile Haruki Murakami, one of their favorites, keeps getting embraced.
Murakami’s latest gem is titled “Kafka on the Shore” and I happen to be a huge fan of Kafka and nearly went ahead to buy the book until, doing the usual online searches, I found that this book about Kafka is not about Kafka. It’s about a character Murakami has named Kafka with no connection to the great writer Franz Kafka.Details
By Jack Engelhard
The trick is to get yourself a good publicist, a publicist, as I was once told, who would kill for you. Well, that’s going too far, don’t you think? I haven’t had a publicist since that one time back then. After that it’s been me and you and where are you? I must learn the art of persuasion, public relations, backslapping. I should go to the right parties. I should do lunch at Elaine’s. I should get out more. Must get on TV. Better yet, get my own show.
My guess is that I’ll become rich and famous after I die. That’s how it usually happens. Success (for artists) usually happens after it too late.
I have no idea why I’m complaining. Most people have it worse. My gripe, I guess, is why we need all that marketing and the trickery that goes with it and why it is that TV personalities have all the apparatus and all the luck – when real writers are stuck at our computers without a paddle.Details
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.”