Sunday, July 20, 2008

Great taste, more filling

Every year before the latest George Pelecanos novel comes out, profiles appear that among other things, wonder why crime fiction this good doesn't get the kind of attention given to Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane etc.
"'His book advances kept growing. The latest, in 2004, was $1.5 million for three novels, the second of which is The Turnaround. The first of the three, The Night Gardener (2006), based on the case of Washington's never-caught serial murderer known as the "Freeway Phantom," got a big push from Little, Brown and made the New York Times bestseller list, a first for Pelecanos. "The trajectory of his sales is steadily upward, and the span of potential readers is unusually broad for him, including readers of traditional crime fiction and literary fiction," said Michael Pietsch, executive vice president and publisher at Little, Brown. The Night Gardener sold 41,829 copies in hardcover, according to Little, Brown. (Nielsen BookScan, which claims to count about 70 percent of sales for a typical hardcover, counted 29,109.) Michael Connelly, who is also published by Little, Brown, routinely sells more than 10 times as many in hardcover, and Pietsch believes that Pelecanos can get to that level with a breakout book connected to a successful movie adaptation. "There's still a lot of gunpowder lying around," said Pietsch, meaning that while The Night Gardener was a major step up in sales for Pelecanos, it didn't touch off the explosion of interest in him that, say, Mystic River did for Dennis Lehane. Little, Brown thinks it can turn Pelecanos into a brand that produces a bestseller every time out."
Now there's nothing wrong with 41 thousand plus, but I've read both Lehane and Connelly and they are both deservedly in the front rank of American crime writing. They aren't as good as George Pelecanos and one wonders what has to happen for someone out there to put out a passable movie. It's not like he's not well connected.

Anyway, the Turnaround comes out next week and...well it's Pelecanos.
Nobody can touch him.

Posted by Dave

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