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Among the Literati

Mr. Hitler’s book, “My Battle”, is a flop, which means, in the language of the bookseller, that it is not selling. You might think such an announcement premature, since it comes so soon after publication, but a survey of the leading bookstores and wholesalers in New York justifies it.

A book that received the attention given the Hitler work should show an immediate reaction. Front page reviews in the Sunday Times and Herald-Tribune, reviews in all the dailies have failed to start the readers running towards the book counters. One book store, located in the east forties, reported that it had sold no copy but a sly customer had come in and stolen one. Another shop, located on Lexington Avenue, reported four copies sold but added that in the same period they had sold eight copies of “The Book of the Brown Terror.” Two shops in the Wall Street district announced no undue interest in the book. A Washington Square store reported a sale of one copy. Two large circulating library chains found that they had no trouble keeping the title on the shelves. The wholesalers and jobbers also report an unfavorable public reaction. The largest jobber of non-fiction titles shows but 400 copies as its total sale. This figure means that the entire sale throughout the country is not yet in excess of 2,500. My guess before publication was a total sale of 4,000. I think I was too optimistic.

“The Destroying Angel” is the title of Norman Klein’s new detective story. The only thing the matter with this unusually exciting and readable yarn is the jacket which contains a photograph of the author, standing armed and looking formidable—something which Klein is not…. Mike Simmons, who unsuccessfully peddled his biography of Chuck Connors to the publishers and then sold a story about that character to a moving picture company, is being sued by a Mrs. Solomon, who claims that it is her story that he sold.

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