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Errors and Omissions: A Novel Hardcover – July 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385517173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385517171
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,842,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Goldstein, a Stanford law professor, takes a tired legal thriller convention for his debut—the alcoholic attorney staring into a personal and professional abyss—and spins out a fresh, sharp-witted drama about Hollywood's blacklist. Intellectual property lawyer Michael Seeley takes a case that could be his swan song: arguing that United Pictures, a huge movie studio, still has the rights to its cash cow, the Spykiller series, now coming up on its eighth installment. What appeared to be a simple legal brief, however, takes Seeley back to the Hollywood of the 1950s when blacklisted writers were forced to conceal their identity to sell scripts—a practice that muddies the Spykiller pedigree for United. Soon, Seeley finds himself in a violent tug-of-war among studio bosses, the screenwriter's union and long-forgotten blacklist victims. Sharp dialogue and a well-formed main character more than make up for a shortage of action and a finale that could use a bit more kick. Goldstein, who does a fine job of breaking down complicated moral, ethical and historical issues to understandable nuggets, has laid the foundation for what could be a strong franchise. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“It’s difficult to convey the mounting excitement with which I turned the pages. . . . the writing [is] masterful, not one wasted word. . . . A terrific read.”
—Sue Grafton

“[S]pins out a fresh, sharp-witted drama about Hollywood’s blacklist. . . . Goldstein, who does a fine job of breaking down complicated moral, ethical and historical issues to understandable nuggets, has laid the foundation for what could be a strong franchise.”
Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

I found I just didn't care too much either way.
A Discerning Reader
The reader is led on a roller coaster ride full of surprising and twists and turns.
Jonathan D. Greenberg
Errors and Omissions is an immensely enjoyable read.
E. Wang

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bert Krages on July 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I learned that a novel had been written about a copyright attorney, I was skeptical but decided to read it anyway. Errors and Omissions does not reflect a typical two-week period in the practice of copyright law but it is nonetheless interesting and exciting. The book starts with an attorney on the verge of losing everything and with the promise of perhaps salvaging the remnants of his life if he compromises his principles. The supposedly simple matter becomes increasingly complicated and involves him in a web of manipulation, history, and violence. The author ties the plot and themes together nicely (except that I can't believe anyone would seriously consider Michigan to be the pinnacle of college football), and explores issues such as the ownership aspects of creative works and how people deal with being the perpetrators and victims of unethical conduct. This is a book that is worth reading. I can't wait for someone to write about a patent attorney in a novel and unobvious way.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan D. Greenberg on July 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed Errors and Omissions. Goldstein aims high - to write a thriller that is intellectually compelling, full of suspense, engaging at multiple levels, and fun to read - with the most unlikely of heroes: a middle aged intellectual property lawyer. An IP lawyer? But somehow he hits a bulls-eye. The reader is led on a roller coaster ride full of surprising and twists and turns. As the hero's journey pushes forward from New York to LA and then to Germany, the author's deep knowledge of the territory he maps is obvious. The novel's lawyer/detective hero struggles with his own demons, yet one is drawn to him as a human being, especially as he confronts a series of tough ethical and personal dilemmas. And I was continually pulled into the story by a full-array of sharply-drawn and colorful characters, each with their own driving ambitions, troubled histories, and unresolved betrayals. Yet for all of the novel's dark themes, the dialogue is wonderfully sharp and witty throughout - like the clever, cutting dialogue in the old Hollywood noir movies Goldstein's novel evokes. If there is a series here I can't wait for the next.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on October 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
ERRORS AND OMISSIONS has been promoted as a "gripping legal thriller" but I didn't find it particularly gripping or thrilling.

I ultimately found this novel to be a rather slow-moving experience. The main character, middle-aged lawyer Michael Seeley, is not particular likable or well developed. Despite his enormous financial success, Seeley spends a lot of time in this novel pitying himself and engaging in a variety of self-destructive and unprofessional behavior. I found him a tough character to root for.

The plot moves slowly and mainly consists of a series of dialogues between Seeley and a host of supporting characters. Much of this dialogue is stilted and ponderous. This is the type of book where characters give speeches instead of having real-life conversations. Some of the subject matter of this novel is interesting, but it is not served well by the dialogue.

I also found the storyline of this novel to be remarkably convoluted and largely rooted in the past. I was hoping for a more realistic and topical plot, given Goldstein's background as a prominent copyright and IP attorney. That didn't happen here.

In short, I found this book rather disappointing. It's a decently written novel that explores some interesting issues, but the plot and characterization falls short. I also found the ending rather limp and unsatisfying.

For a debut legal thriller that's much better than this one, I would recommend John Hart's KING OF LIES.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Wang on September 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Errors and Omissions is an immensely enjoyable read. It builds into an engrossing page turner - the stay-up-too-late-at-night-to-read kind. Michael Seeley is a complicated and realistic character - very talented and deeply flawed. Seeley's client, a media conglomerate, is desperate, manipulative and dangerous. The book is very smartly plotted, and an unusual and entertaining mix of history (Hollywood blacklist), artists' rights, and copyright law. The writing evokes a strong sense of time and place. I finished the book hoping that there is a sequel, if only to resolve some of the unanswered questions about Seeley's future.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill on July 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Goldstein's thoroughly engaging "Errors And Omissions" [...] in from its opening sentence. The author - one of the preeminent authorities on copyright law - has written a remarkable novel -- a sort of Dashiell Hammett meets "A Civil Action" thriller. Especially enjoyable for anyone who knows something about copyright law, "Errors And Omissions" is the perfect beach book for the summer! I'm already looking forward to the sequel. Very highly recommended!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Wedeen on July 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of suspense and double-cross.

The subject matter was both interesting and thought provoking.

Prof Goldstein has proven he can masterfully craft a descriptive passage as well as text relating to copyright law.

A real page turner.......
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joe on January 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Couldn't put it down"? By about the half-way mark, I couldn't stay awake. After a promising start, the story unfortunately degenerated into a muddled disappointment, leaving me caring little about the characters or the outcome.

The author shouldn't quit his day job.
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