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Friday, October 03, 2003

NY Times Bestseller List, October 12 edition 

I used to do this on the newsgroup I post to frequently, but since I now have my own space, it's time to comment on the movers and shakers of the NYT List. This will be a regular feature every Friday morning or so (or earlier if I can access the list on Thursdays.)

Making its debut at the top is Mitch Albom's THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. Just more proof that people don't pay attention to reviews, whether spiked or not.

The Da Vinci Code won't go away. It's #3, Ron Howard is making it into a movie, and it's the biggest source of envy for authors pretty much everywhere. But it's a horse I've beaten to death elsewhere.

Other debuts: Neal Stephenson's QUICKSILVER (#6), which I guess won't be reviewed by the likes of this guy. James Lee Burke is at #12, which may be the best a Robicheaux book has done in a while, but I'm so woefully behind on this series that I can't even remember. Haywood Smith rounds out the main list at #15.

Heading up the extended after a nice run in the main list is Mark Haddon, newly minted winner of the Guardian's Children Fiction Prize. So it ain't the Booker shortlist (boo hoo) but a worthy achievement nonetheless. Truly a book where hype is exceeded by the reality.

THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE is at #17, and people are still after the latest Chuck Palahniuk, now at #19--so what's the fainting count by now? Thirty? Forty? One million?

Clyde Edgerton shows up at #24, just ahead of Carol O'Connell's latest Mallory novel DEAD FAMOUS and Steven Bochco's demonstration of how to stretch a 200 page book into 260 pages, DEATH BY HOLLYWOOD. And because I think sheis cool I'll mention that A FAINT COLD FEAR is still sticking around at #31.

And one last thing: why the hell is Dan Brown's backlist selling well in both hardcover and paperback format? At the same freaking time? Couldn't the publishers make up their mind? Or did they know a cash cow when they see it.

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