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The Storyteller: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 5, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reid, a veteran publishing executive writing under a pseudonym, has penned a publishing world satire that follows the efforts of the unfortunately named young writer Steven King to get his work published. After several false starts and a long bout of writer's block, Steven believes his prayers are answered when he meets kindred spirit Ben Chambers, an older writer and barfly who gives him valuable literary advice. But his new friend suddenly dies, leaving him a wealth of unpublished manuscripts. Demoralized by too many rejections and facing unrelenting pressure from his demanding fiancee and his disappointed parents, Steven decides to exploit his role as Ben's literary executor and sell Ben's novels under his own name. The highly commercial works immediately find a publisher, and Steven is on his way to fame and fortune. Reid effectively builds the suspense as he thrusts Steven into a moral and professional quandary, compounded when people start coming out of the woodwork to blackmail him: an old associate of Ben's who typed a draft of one of his manuscripts; a pair of twins, June and Vera Bowers, who were once tutored by "Uncle B" and possess an original copy of one of his stories. As the clever plot twists and turns, Reid gleefully skewers all echelons of the book publishing industry and is equally unsparing of writers. This is an engrossing, darkly comic work that is refreshingly accessible even to those who don't follow-and didn't know they cared about-the book business.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Bartender Steven Konigsberg always wanted to be a novelist, but has never had much success getting published. When he inherits all the possessions of a recently deceased mentor, he finds two trunkfuls of excellent but never-published stories. Unable to resist the temptation, Konigsberg begins publishing them under his own name, and he finally achieves the prestige and recognition he always hoped for. Naturally, one lie leads to another, and, soon enough, Konigsberg finds himself confronted by acquaintances of his former mentor who threaten to expose the famous and popular "author" as a fraud. Reid likens the premise to a Faustian bargain, but present-day readers may find The Storyteller more interesting and engaging than its predecessors in that genre. In addition to the novel's more complicated plot, Konigsberg is much more likable than his analogues, perhaps because of the lack of overly dramatic self-pity. Readers will feel his dilemma and be quickly drawn in. The novel is surprisingly engrossing and is well worth the few hours it will take to read. Gavin Quinn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (August 5, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 038550621X
  • ASIN: B000HWYLK6
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,640,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had heard a lot of praise for this book via word-of-mouth and since I am interested in the publishing industry, I gave it a try. I should never have started reading it at 9 PM because it kept me up until the wee hours of the morning!
No summary needed--Amazon did that above very adequately.
Arthur Reid, whoever s/he might be, sure gave us an insider's look at the business of making books. When you see how random it is that a book is chosen to become a *star*, it makes you wonder how many great books are ignored.
I loved the clever way this book was written, starting off as a tale of a small-town, would-be writer and then escalating into a full-blown literary thriller. The twists and turns always seemed plausible, not forced, and I found myself rooting for Steven even though he had initially done something that was morally wrong. I think it takes a good writer to get the reader on the side of the "bad" guy!
I would highly recommend this book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An absolute page turner describes this book completely. A struggling writer Steven (with a v) King is having trouble coming up with his first novel. In the midst of his struggle, he is presented with a unique opportunity - he takes it and suddenly the sky is the limit. He's published, he's famous, he's bestselling and he's rich. Everything he touches turns to gold. Life couldn't be better until ---- he's face to face with the consequences of his impulsive decision.

This is a wonderful, suspenseful and insightful book about the publishing industry and how the best of people can make the wrong decisions. You won't be able to stop reading until you find out how Steven resolves (or not) his situation.

There's also a completely surprise twist at the ending.

You can't go wrong with this one.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was...interesting. I like reading books about the life of a writer, especially a fictional one. It was engaging all the way through and the poor character just couldn't catch a break.

It was also kind of funny at times as it poked fun at the tribulations of a writer's life. For instance, everyone who does business with the main character (MC) or who is a friend of a friend wants the MC to autograph their collection of his books. Or the police officer who does the MC a huge favor and then asks the MC to read his manuscript he's working on.

It's a kind of funny take on the publishing industry. I didn't quite like the ending, but that's neither here nor there.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The plotline of this engaging, if somewhat implausible novel, has been done many times before. John Farris covered this territory in a short story in SCARE TACTICS; of course Stephen (with a ph) King did it somewhat in SECRET WINDOW. The "hero" in this tale is Steven King, so that's an interesting and original concept, but much of the book employs the plot devices in the aforementioned books. The characters of Vera and June, the weightlifting sisters, are two of the most evil characters I've visited for a while. My problem is that since you know what's going to happen, I found myself wanting Reid to hurry the plot along. Reid has a keen knowledge and insight into the publishing industry, and that makes for engaging reading. However, I found the "twist" at the end a little hard to swallow. I'm sure the readers who loved this book have every right to do so, but to me, it was just a rehashed version of other author's works.
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Format: Hardcover
I was aprehensive when I started this book. I was thinking this book would be very suspenseful in the sense that Stephen King would write, based on the cover and description on my copy. Since I don't like those types of books, I anticipated I would get into it and then put it down. I was completely disappointed however to find that I did not think this book was all that suspenseful. I felt it was somewhat predictable. I read another reviewers description to not start this book at night and I wondered if I read the same book they had, because I did not find this story all that scary at all. I don't think I would even classify it as suspenseful. I did finish the book, and it is not the worst book I have ever read, but I don't agree that it is a page turner that all others seem to think.
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By A Customer on September 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit that I didn't read 'The Storyteller' in one sitting, starting after dinner, and, of course 'Law & Order' reruns; but at 1245 AM I decided to take a break and finished it the next morning.
The book builds momentum and goes from strength to strength. "The Storyteller" is wry and funny with a wonderful contemporary feel to it. Tremendous velocity, too; I mean it seems to speed right along and never gets bogged down in miscellany. I felt the author was right in the living room telling us the story. The spiral of self-deception is so vivid and real, I think each of us could find some example of it, however small, in our own experience which makes the book even more immediate.
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