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20th-Century American Bestsellers
March 10, 2010 9:54 PM   Subscribe


 
Professor Unsworth was so proud of this stuff when he was at UVA.

Many others were not impressed.

But looks like he's done well for himself. I guess.
posted by bardic at 12:05 AM on March 11, 2010


This ... this is wonderful! The level of detail! Just the information about print runs and total sales during the books' lifetimes. The citations for bibliographical information! The little critical summaries! Man alive, this friggin' rules.
posted by cgc373 at 12:53 AM on March 11, 2010


Hmm. Some of the copy-editing's questionable, though. William Marrow? Publisher's Weekly? The first one I read was for Jaws, and I didn't notice until Sidney Sheldon's Masters of the Game that these seem to be student assignments compiled into a searchable database. Naturally their quality will vary. It's still an ambitious and cool thing, but I don't know anymore how much to trust it, making it less valuable than I'd thought at first.
posted by cgc373 at 1:10 AM on March 11, 2010


"these seem to be student assignments compiled into a searchable database"

They are. That was the final assignment for his undergraduate course on popular fiction.
posted by bardic at 1:33 AM on March 11, 2010


Wow, Winston Churchill dominated the fiction charts at the turn of the century.
posted by ryaninoakland at 2:43 AM on March 11, 2010


It's still an ambitious and cool thing, but I don't know anymore how much to trust it

I think the usual Wikipedia sort of caveats apply. Don't cite it in scholarly research, but it seems like a pretty solid resource for being pointed in right direction or for answers requiring only a casual level of rigor. I think it's awesome that he's harnessed all this undergrad research labor to make something really useful.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:58 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Probably the strangest book to make the top ten in Fiction is In His Own Write, by John Lennon, 1964.
posted by kozad at 7:32 AM on March 11, 2010


"Winston Churchill dominated the fiction charts at the turn of the century." But his accent didn't fully develop until much later.
posted by bz at 10:43 AM on March 11, 2010


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