Books That Could Never Get Published Today

By Jack Engelhard

Readers at the New York Times have already spoken about the most overrated books of all time and the winners (or rather, the losers) are J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and God’s “The Bible.” I read all about it in the Times’ Paper Cuts blog ( “Plaster Saints?”) and arrived at the conclusion that the least favorable works were usually those that failed to adhere to political correctness. 

Hence, Books That Could Never Get Published Today

The Hebrew Bible: Too Jewish.

Confessions of St. Augustine: Too Christian.

Moby Dick — Dear Mr. Melville: A quite similar book has already been done by Jonah and it is still in print. We’d reconsider if you could produce a more sensitive Capt. Ahab. You do go on about whaling. Also, your opening line does not work for us. Can you come up with something better than “Call me Ishmael?” (Our first readers, by the way, were rooting for the whale.)

The Old Man and the Sea — Dear Mr. Hemingway: We no longer use the term “old man.” (Our first readers, by the way, were rooting for the fish.)

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Beat Your Wife, Sell Books (V.S. Naipaul)

By Jack Engelhard

 

There’s a new book out on the life, loves, sexuality and brutality of V. S. Naipaul, a man who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.

 

Is there a Nobel Prize for Wife Beating? If so, Naipaul would have won that, too, easily.

 

The facts are all in a biography of Naipaul written by Patrick French in which (practically) nothing is hidden and in fact Naipaul wanted it all put down on paper, warts and all – and talk about warts! The man had a wife whom he pushed aside for a mistress and here’s my mistake. He did not beat his wife (not very much) but oh brother, he sure beat his mistress.

 

The review in the New York Times talks about his hands being sore from all the beatings he gave – never mind the woman from all the beatings she TOOK.

 

Here’s the clincher. This mistress did not mind getting beaten up because it was all for the sake of LITERATURE.

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Someone Stole My Novel (Indecent Proposal)

By Jack Engelhard

What’s this?

Just for the heck of it I decided to check out how my most famous novel is doing among top booksellers and found that there are a slew of books by this title “Indecent Proposal” that were written by everyone but me – and years after me! In fact, someone just came out with his very own “Indecent Proposal” sometime this year.

Let’s get this straight!

I wrote the original novel back in the mid-1980s; it was published by Donald I. Fine Publishers in 1989. I repeat, 1989. Paramount Pictures bought the rights to it two years later and, based on my novel, delivered the famous movie starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. The movie was released April, 1993. (See the credits at the beginning of the film– Based Upon The Novel By Jack Engelhard).

At the same time, this novel, MY novel (for crying out loud) was translated into more than 22 languages.

Following that, Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, reprinted the novel into a movie-tie-in paperback.

After Pocket Books lost the rights to it, I retrieved the contract and had it republished by Comteq Publishing – the version that ought to be on sale right now.  

  Indecent Proposal 

 

 

Instead, I find that a host of other writers and publishers have decided to feast off the fanfare and fame that was generated by my original novel, and movie. Obviously they’ve tacked in different storylines while using my title. This is legal, right? I mean anybody can beg, borrow or steal another man’s book title.

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