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Publishers WeeklyFrom Stephen King's childhood fascination with gruesome comics to the famous family name behind Peter Benchley, book-lovers and first time authors Bond and Sheedy light up some intriguing angles on many popular authors. Journalists in Australia, the authors deliver their 50 profiles with reportorial vigor, moving quickly through each profile while highlighting the salient and salacious details of, for example, the role played by Mary Shelley's literary legacy (daughter of two leading British writers) and her free-love husband (poet Percy Shelley) in the genesis of Frankenstein. Surprising words from the authors themselves adorn many profiles; said Harper Lee of To Kill a Mockingbird, "I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of reviewers." Between the engaging information and the range of popular texts (Pride and Prejudice, The Origin of Species, The War of the Worlds, In Cold Blood, Lolita, Roots, The Cat in the Hat, The Da Vinci Code), this affectionate literary history should appeal to many readers.
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