First published in 1981, this book offers a study of British and American popular fiction in the 1970s, a decade in which the quest for the superseller came to dominate the lives of publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. Illustrated by examples of the lurid incidents that catapult so many books into the bestseller charts, this comprehensive study covers the work of Robbins, Hailey and Maclean, the 'bodice rippers', the disaster craze, horror, war stories and media tie-ins such as The Godfather, Jaws and Star Wars.
1. An American Kind of Book 2. The Bestseller Machine and its Diverse Products 3. The Godfather 4. The Novels of Arthur Hailey 5. Frighteners of the 1970s: Children of the Dark 6. Women's Fiction I: The Thorn Birds 7. Women's Fiction II: Liberation and Female Masochism - Erica Jong and the 'bodice rippers' 8. Star Wars 9. Alastair Maclean and James Clavell 10. Jaws 11. Harold Robbins: the roman à clef I 12. the roman à clef II 13. Full Disclosure: Research and Insider Novels 14. Death Wish: From Stetson to Hard Hat 15. The 'New Western' and the Middle-Aged Reader 16. Images of War I: Secret Histories 17. Images of War II: The Nightmare that Wouldn't Die 18. Fashionable Crime I: Hijack 19. Fashionable Crime II: Embezzlement - the man with the Briefcase 20. QB VII and the Bestselling Novel after Auschwitz 21. Nightmare and Medicare: Coma 22. Documentary, Superdocumentary and Technology 23. Disaster 24. British Pessimism: the 'as if' Narratives.