Review by Choice Review
The best-sellers here are cumulated from the hardcover fiction section of the World Almanac's "Best-Selling Books" listing, from 1965 to 1985. The Hinckleys, "unabashed best-seller aficionados," examine 468 books arranged alphabetically by their 216 authors, with annotations that categorize the books and provide a short description of each story, with publishing information and various facts about the authors. Other chapters analyze characteristics of the books' authors, the categories, the characters, themes, and "The Trends Today." Appendixes cover awards, pseudonyms, best-sellers that became movies (including movies adapted into best-sellers), and a breakdown of books by year of publication. An excellent bibliography and index complete the volume. The analyses provide convincing arguments legitimitizing the serious study of this often maligned branch of literature. Different studies of best-sellers exist, with varying limitations, and these are discussed in M. Thomas Inge's Handbook of American Popular Literature (CH, Feb '89). Recommended not only as a "reader's guide to popular fiction," but as a guide for students of this aspect of popular culture. -A. Ellis, Northern Kentucky University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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