Previous | Next
922923924925926927928929930931932933934935936937938939940941942943944945946947948949950951952953954955956957958959960961962963964965966967968969970971972973 of 1029
It's sad. I think that you're going to see a big change
in the next ten years in this.
It's changing right now. The book business in the
last twenty years has changed beyond belief. Publishers
used to lead a private, leisurely existence. Today publishing
is big business, and a great deal of romance and glamour and
fun has gone out of it. There's still plenty left, and
maybe I'm just a man who's getting old who's upset!
You did Don't Drink the Water in 1956. Did you miss
that? You haven't talked about that, or is there nothing
that you have to add?
The only thing that I have to add is that, having
done No Time for Sergeants, which was number one, we were
looking for another service comedy book. A book of short
stories came in, which I read on a plane going out to
Cleveland. I called up from Cleveland and said, “This is
hilarious stuff. Get this fellow signed up right away.
I've got to talk to him as soon as I come back because I
don't want him to do this as a book of short stories. I
want him to make it into a novel.” The author was a fellow
named Bill Brinkley, on the staff of Time-Life. He was a
damned good writer. He immediately saw the validity of my
argument that books of short stories don't sell as well as
a novel. So taking these short stories, he strung them
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help