Review No.38 – Behind the Bestsellers

Behind the Bestsellers – Jenny Bond & Chris Sheedy

Random House Australia, 2007

What makes a book a bestseller? Over fifty chapters, Bond and Sheedy explore that question, delving into the lives behind the stories of the world’s most memorable authors. Ranging from the Civil War inspirations behind Gone with the Wind to Mary Shelley’s nightmares, from the poverty and grief that went into the creation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the unconventional education that led Charles Darwin to write The Origin of the Species, Behind the Bestsellers shows that no writer comes out of nowhere, but a bestseller can come from anywhere, and anyone.

Full of intriguing trivia and astounding lives, this book is a fascinating riffle through the inexplicable world of the international bestseller. Each chapter covers the basic history behind each author’s early life, then explains the inspirations behind the individual novel for which that author is most famous. Although obviously there are many more bestsellers out there that Bond and Sheedy could have chosen to cover, there’s a nicely diverse mix here with something to interest everyone who likes books.

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