Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the best-seller that almost never happened

Dahl’s young nephew read a draft, told him it was rubbish and so – we must assume, as it has never been found among Dahl’s otherwise meticulously kept papers – the writer threw it away. Read more »

Illustration: Quentin Blake (obviously!) 


But if agents and publishers turn up their noses at your deathless prose, these days you can bypass them entirely and publish independently. Indeed, Amazon reports that self-published books represent as much as a quarter of the top-selling list of titles on their Kindle e-book platform.

But it won’t be cheap. Want to self-publish your immortal novel? That’ll be $6,000
Photo: REX

But if agents and publishers turn up their noses at your deathless prose, these days you can bypass them entirely and publish independently. Indeed, Amazon reports that self-published books represent as much as a quarter of the top-selling list of titles on their Kindle e-book platform.

But it won’t be cheap. Want to self-publish your immortal novel? That’ll be $6,000

Photo: REX

nprbooks:

The excellent folks over at the Guardian have put together a handy guide for figuring out whether you’re reading a gothic novel: Scary eyed villain? Virginal, fainting heroine? Spooky castle? Ghost? YES PLEASE! Also, now I REALLY need to read The Mysteries of Udolpho.

— Petra

Image via Guardian Books

Thanks for sharing, nprbooks!

George RR Martin has issued a definitive “fuck you” to fans wondering if he will finish his lengthy fantasy series before he dies.

Asked by Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger about readers’ worries that A Song of Ice and Fire might not be completed by the author, Martin responded:

"I find that question pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health, so fuck you to those people".

In case the message wasn’t entirely clear, he then gave “those people” the finger. Full story here

Photo: Still from Tages Anzeiger’s video interview

The long list of male alcoholic authors is well known, but what about their literary sisters? Olivia Laing looks back on the great female writers who sought refuge in the bottle and salvation on the page

Marguerite Duras in France, c1955. Photo: Robert Doisneau/Getty