Friday, June 13, 2008

A Few Bad Books

Here's a few quotes (as reported in Andre Bernard's Rotten Rejections, Pushcart Press, 1990) from rejection letters received by writers with whom you may be familiar (heh!) :

“It is interesting and has several good points, but it is not quite suitable for our list.”
---from a letter to Agatha Christie, 1920,
for The Mysterious Affair at Styles
(The first of many cases featuring the fastidious
Belgian private investigator, Hercule Poirot)
“...Neither long enough for a serial nor short enough for a single short story”
---from a letter to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887,
for A Study in Scarlet

“It is not at all probable, we think, that we can make use of the story of a Virginia soldier of fortune miraculously transported to Mars…”
---from a letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912,
for Under the Moons of Mars
(serialized in All Story; later published in book form as
A Princess of Mars, the first title in an eleven-book series)
“A very bad book” ---from a letter to Pierre Boulle, 1954, for The Bridge on the River Kwai

Wise Words:
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
---Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)
Life (1932)
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