“How are you finding the book?” I was sitting quietly on my own in the bar eatery, reading. I was interrupted, gladly, with that question. I briefly studied my questioner, a lady with two boisterous children in tow. I tried not to screw up my face, I don’t think I was very successful…….”I’m having problems with it”
her – “So did I….it was a bit Hickory, it went on a bit“. ……..
Me -“I think I understand what you mean; It’s hard work, I am skimming more than reading“, adding that the book had been a gift about three years ago and I had just got round to reading it, (well, trying to).
We enlightened each other about what other books we had read by the same author, none so tedious as this one. “BUT!” she said with a great flourish and a big smile, “I did read to the end …I finished it!”
Today, after another couple of attempts, I firmly decided I was not going to continue to wrestle with the book….there was no point.
I might come out to play now.
The trouble is, I cannot find a third book that I fancy. After spending ages searching the American publisher’s website, the two books I selected as replacements for two large tomes that I was disappointed in, were really all I liked the look of. The lovely lady I spoke to in the USA, is mailing the two books I selected, and will leave me to let her know in my own time, what third book I want. I feel bad about the fact that I am having great difficulty selecting a third book. In turn, she is actively encouraging me to request one.
The American publishing house is a highly specialised one, in the main dealing with computer sciences. The majority would be considered academic books. The few books I found that whetted my curiosity led me to the two books I tentatively requested.
All this came about because I commented on the publisher’s site on my personal view of the books I bought. I was asked to either contact the guy who replied to my views, or another named individual, to resolve my issues. At that point, they did not realize I was in the UK. I believe the intention was to offer a refund under a 100% satisfaction guarantee they operate. The books I have, were originally purchased via online UK stores. No money went through the American publishing house site. Determined to instate goodwill, the company offered me instead, goods at no charge, to be mailed at their cost. I am so impressed with the high standard of customer service I am unexpectedly receiving.
So, there was no plagiarism after all according to the learned judge. I could have handed down that judgement without the panoply of the courts and the press. But then, that’s really what the fuss was all about was it not; there was no use creating a performance without ensuring the interest of a huge curious audience. Two of the three authors of the book Holy Blood and Holy Grail sued the publisher, Dan Brown author of the Da Vinci Code was accused of plagiarising their work and then following judgement called Brown’s writing inferior. Tough! He’s been the successful one in terms of sales and wealth creation and presumably, comparitively speaking, they have not.
Who will gain from this very public tantrum; the publisher who published both works, as his sales have been enhanced with the extra publicity, undoubtedly Dan Brown’s writings, and, last but not least, the authors of the Holy Blood and Holy Grail have their 1982 work revived and re-published in paperback (prior to judgement) and it is already out in the book shops.