Bestsellers: Popular Fiction since 1900 by C. Bloom

By C. Bloom

This crucial consultant, now on hand in an absolutely up-to-date new edition, is the single to be had learn of all bestselling books, authors and genres since the start of the final century, giving an designated perception into a hundred years of publishing and reading and taking us on a trip into the center of the British mind's eye.

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The publishing world had been modernising before the beginning of compulsory elementary education. By the 1860s publishers were able to take advantage of modern financing arrangements and long-term investments, new forms of rapid distribution (railways) and new opportunities for marketing (library purchase, serialisation, part works, cheap editions). By the 1880s the publishing world had become a publishing industry, still run, to be sure, as a quasi-gentleman’s club, but nevertheless run on determinedly commercial lines (morality happily coincided with the market).

K. Rowling appeal across age ranges because young people and adults now share a simultaneously experienced popular culture – a multi-channelled and complex space where hierarchic experiential priorities no longer apply. Children have become more knowing and aware (not necessarily less naïve) while adults have struggled to ‘know’ less, nostalgic for their own lost innocence, destroyed too soon in an age of information overload. What unites such groups is the search for a new cosmology (without God) which will offer certainty (as well as adventure) and a new morality based on a ‘one world’ philosophy.

Literary fiction continues to be plundered for theatre, film, radio, television and computer games and each, in turn, modifies and renews literary fiction for the insatiable appetite of a literate public. Film versions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Lord of the Rings dominated the box office during 2001 and, alongside sales of all sorts of associated merchandise, renewed interest in the authors and their books in a continuous loop of production. Films of best-selling books still dominate cinema going with novels like Ian McEwan’s Atonement (2001), Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada (2003), Philip Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’ trilogy or Robert Ludlum’s adventures of Jason Bourne being major productions in recent years.

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