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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007 2:32 pm
Ludlum Still Dead, Still Publishing
Posted by: Keir Graff

Apparently it takes a while for U.S. newspapers to reach Australia. Six weeks after the New York Times (“The Ludlum Conundrum,” by Richard Sandomir) explored the phenomenon of Robert Ludlum’s incredible post-mortem productivity, The Age (“The Ludlum conspiracy,” by Rob Sharp) gets in on the act. The author’s estate works like a “film studio,” we are told, “presenting old books completed by other writers or new ones in which Ludlum is credited along with the new author. Despite this, a number of mysterious figures remain in the shadows.”

Despite the suggestion that we’ll be given new information, the articles are remarkably similar, even down to a number of specific incidents and even quotes:

"People expect something from a Robert Ludlum book, and if we can publish Ludlum books for the next 50 years and satisfy readers, we will," said Jeffrey Weiner, the executor of Mr. Ludlum’s estate. (New York Times)

“People expect something from a Robert Ludlum book, and if we can publish Ludlum books for the next 50 years and satisfy readers, we will,” confirmed Jeffrey Weiner, the estate’s executor. (The Age)

The newer article is longer, which I guess counts for something. And the fact that an article about reheated and rehashed writing is itself partly recycled is probably just the author’s cleverly concealed commentary, right?


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