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Former bestsellers who are now unfashionable

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    #51
    I was thinking "who sold more, Wheatley or Neville Shute?". I still don't know, but I came across this on Wheatley's wiki page:

    "During the winter of 1947, Wheatley penned 'A Letter to Posterity' which he buried in an urn at his country home. The letter was intended to be discovered some time in the future (it was found in 1969 when the house was demolished for redevelopment of the property). In it, he predicted that the socialist reforms introduced by the post-war government would result inevitably in the abolition of the monarchy, the "pampering" of a "lazy" working class, and national bankruptcy. He advised both passive and active resistance to the resulting "tyranny," including "ambushing and killing of unjust tyrannous officials."

    Employers are now no longer allowed to run their businesses as they think best but have become the bond slaves of socialist state planning. The school leaving age has been put up to 16, and a 5 day working week has been instituted in the mines, the railways and many other industries. The doctrine of ensuring every child a good start in life and equal opportunities is fair and right, but the intelligent and the hardworking will always rise above the rest, and it is not a practical proposition that the few should be expected to devote their lives exclusively to making things easy for the majority. In time, such a system is bound to undermine the vigour of the race"

    Say, where'd I hear that one before...

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      #52
      Yeah, I saw that too. The irony, if there is any, is that "posterity" for him lasted barely more than a decade, about as long as his posthumous career. I'm sure he was thinking in terms of hundreds of years, if not more. I wonder if his house was replaced by a block of council flats? It would be fitting.

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        #53
        "When he left in 1968 it was in the hope that the house would be taken on and cherished by someone who would appreciate it as much as he had, but sadly this was not to be. It was allowed to fall into a state of severe disrepair, and in the end it was demolished and a score of modern terraced houses were built in the grounds."

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          #54
          (Missed that bit) Tee hee!

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            #55
            Is James Herbert still fashionable? Loved him when I was 15, went off him by 18 (circa 1984).

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              #56
              I used to devour James Herbert and Stephen King as a teenager. I don't remember either as being highly regarded.

              One's now a great author; the other one disappeared.

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                #57
                No but the thread title is best sellers, which Herbert was in the early 80s. Just wonder when people stopped buying his rather narrow schtick.

                (To be fair, Herbert was nonplussed by his own high sales; he knew he'd struck lucky).
                Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 06-07-2018, 06:46.

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                  #58
                  When I was living in Madrid, some 20 years ago, travelling on the metro gave you plenty of opportunities to gauge who were the hot authors at the time. Jk Rowling was very popular as she still is. But ken follett was the overwhelming favourite. Is he still in vogue? I don't see his books much nowadays.

                  I would dispute diable's contention in the opening post that Enid Blyton books are no longer selling. Secret seven and famous five books have had recent editions, with new illustrations by tony ross and the Mallory towers books are still fairly popular.

                  Barbara cartland churned them out, didn't she? I doubt many of her books make it out of charity shops now.

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                    #59
                    Just checked Wiki and Barbara Cartland wrote 723 novels between 1925 and 2000.

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                      #60
                      Some 160 unpublished ones too.

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                        #61
                        Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole novels were hugely popular in the 80s and into the 90s. I wonder if today's young people have ever even heard of them.

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                          #62
                          Originally posted by Sits View Post
                          Just checked Wiki and Barbara Cartland wrote 723 novels between 1925 and 2000.
                          I'd imagine there's some poor bugger who's read each and every one, too.

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                            #63
                            Was in a bookshop yesterday and was quite tempted to buy a new issue of Shirley Conran's "Savages", published by Pan and retailing for £7 with an attractive arty cover.

                            The positive reviews of it on Amazon say it is an amazing, thrilling read. Has anyone here read it?

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                              #64
                              Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post
                              Stephen King went a bit off the rails with his Dark Tower decade, where he took two really interesting ideas from earlier novels (the Dark Tower itself, and jumping between parallel worlds, from The Talisman, and Randall Flagg from The Stand) and turned them into seven novels of self indulgent nonsense.
                              Have to disagree. The latter instalments v-vii ended up self indulgent nonsense for sure but thats more due to his life threatening injuries after the fourth episode Wolves Of Calla. At this point in 1997 dont think he was contemplating an end to the cycle & was happy to noodle along indefinetly (whick OK may be self indulgent in itself-but hey it was working). Thoughts of mortality etc drove him to conclude while he still felt he could just in case, The first 4 novels took around 15 years. The last 3 novels took 2 years. And boy does it show.

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                                #65
                                Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                Is James Herbert still fashionable? Loved him when I was 15, went off him by 18 (circa 1984).
                                Time scale seems slightly awry as by 1984 he was writing more 'literary' efforts. Unless that is what you actually mean. But by 'literary' it is meant in comparison to Rats Fog Survivor Jonah which as any fule kno is when he was a proper writer.

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                                  #66
                                  Ed McBain
                                  Clive Cussler

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                                    #67
                                    Originally posted by Limey View Post
                                    Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole novels were hugely popular in the 80s and into the 90s. I wonder if today's young people have ever even heard of them.
                                    My young nephew has just read the first two and loved them. The story is pretty timeless but it is chock full of very specific early 80s references. Which makes sense really being a diary and all.

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                                      #68
                                      Yes, I didn't get a fair number of the references when I read the first few Moles, and that was in the early-mid '90s, so heaven knows what the yoof of today would make of the teenaged diarist Adrian's musings on Thatcher, the Royal Wedding and Malcolm Muggeridge, say. But plenty of the stuff in there will remain forever applicable to any kid reading them, I reckon.

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                                        #69
                                        Anthony Buckeridge
                                        Richmal Crompton
                                        Frank Richards

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                                          #70
                                          Mao Tse Tung

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                                            #71
                                            Aye, ah well mind the boys ootside the fitba cryin’: “Chairman Mao’s wee red book!”

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                                              #72
                                              I can say with a great deal of authority (having got it from people at my firm who acted for her) that Barbara Cartland was horrible.

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                                                #73
                                                Stephanie Meyer.

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                                                  #74
                                                  Frederick Forsyth has his first novel out in about 20 years,it'll be interesting to see how it sells

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