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Posts Tagged ‘Morgan Entrekin’

Grove Atlantic to Publish ‘Straight to Hell’ After Touchstone Cancels the Book

GSElevatorGrove Atlantic will publish John Lefevre’s book Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals, a book behind the Twitter account@GSElevator which claims to document conversations overheard in the Goldman Sachs elevators. Grove Atlantic picked up the book after Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, dropped the title earlier this month.

“John’s satirical voice captures the outrageous, excessive yet fascinating lives and culture of a certain segment of the international banking elite. His work is amusing, disturbing, and at times shocking,” explained Morgan Entrekin, publisher at Grove Atlantic, in a statement.

The Twitter account, which counts more than 650,000 followers, has been under scrutiny since Lefevre was outed as working at Citigroup, not Goldman Sachs.”In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre’s STRAIGHT TO HELL, Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work,” the publisher explained in a press release when they axed the book.

The Grove Atlantic title is slated for release in November 2014.

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BEA: On the Town

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As always, the convention is only part of the BEA story, with parties filling in the gaps. So as promised, reports mixed with more blurry cameraphone photos follow of some of the parties I attended over the course of the weekend.

After our our party Thursday night, Mary Reagan and I cabbed across town to 60 Thompson Street for William Morrow‘s bash, where I finally met Pittsburgh Post-Gazette book editor Bob Hoover and proceeded to gab for twenty minutes about Canada, theater and the amazing Sidney Crosby (see, you can talk about subjects other than books at BEA. In fact, it’s a necessary tonic.) After that was the Litblog Co-Op party which was even more packed than the previous two as a plethora of literary bloggers celebrated with the likes of Richard Nash, Colson Whitehead, Sara Ivry, Katharine Weber, and (though I didn’t spot him) Morgan Entrekin.

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The Perils of the Misblurb

Though we at GalleyCat have taken issue from time to time – okay, often – with Henry Alford‘s contributions at the New York Times Book Review, I must say up front that I quite enjoyed his recent piece on how publishers take a perfectly neutral or negative review and mine it for any and all positive words in order to fashion a blurb out of it. Take what happened to Time Magazine book critic Lev Grossman, who was “quite taken aback” when he saw a full-page newspaper advertisement for Charles Frazier‘s novel THIRTEEN MOONS that included a one-word quotation – “Genius” – attributed to Time. Grossman was confused, Alford reports, because his review “certainly didn’t have that word.” Eventually, he found it in a preview item he had written a few months earlier, which included the sentence “Frazier works on an epic scale, but his genius is in the details.” As Grossman put it, “They plucked out the G-word.”

Alford continues with many more examples (including one from his own reviewing past, when Little, Brown transformed his “tour-de-farce” about David Sedaris‘s NAKED into “tour-de-force) and explanations from the publishing world. “We get tempted and we get desperate,” Morgan Entrekin, the publisher of Grove/Atlantic, said. “We publish over 100 books a year. I know we make mistakes. But we try to obey the rules.” To him, that means not changing the wording or the meaning of reviews. Paul Slovak, the publisher of Viking, says part of what keeps the house honest is the desire to maintain “good relationships” with book reviewers. “Michiko Kakutani wouldn’t be happy if we pulled two words of praise out of a negative review,” he said, referring to the chief book critic of The New York Times.

And as for what happened to Grossman, I am sooooo not buying Random House associate publisher Tom Perry‘s denial of any misblurbing. “We were being very short and punchy,” he said. “We have limited space.” Sure, see that pig overhead? Its flight patterns don’t like misappropriated blurbs, either…

A Full Circle of Dealmaking

For this item, it’s prudent to start at the very beginning. Which would be 1982, when Bennington freshman Bret Easton Ellis showed up at true crime writer Joe McGinness‘s writing workshop with some sample pieces and ended up with a mentor who went so far with his help as to recommend Ellis to his former editor, Grove/Atlantic’s Morgan Entrekin – which lead to the publication of LESS THAN ZERO.

Twenty-five years later, the story has come full circle. Now it’s Ellis’s turn doing the recommending to Entrekin, but this time it’s a younger Joe McGinness who’s the deal beneficiary. McGinness Jr.’s debut novel THE DELIVERY MAN, described in the Publishers Marketplace deal report as “a portrait of today’s lost generation, set in Las Vegas and involving a teenage-girl escort ring, with an unlikely love story at its heart,” will bow as a trade paperback original from Grove/Atlantic’s paperback arm, Black Cat Books, in the winter of 2008. ICM’s Katherine Cluverius struck the deal, which is for world rights.

Plus ca change, indeed.