Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

probably never will, but when Jackie Susann came up to the sales meetings, she impressed all of us with her savvy and drive. The Geis presentations at the sales meetings were always rather amusing interludes, anyway. Our editors would outline our Random House, Knopf, and Pantheon entries and Geis would then come up with all his trivia--you know, puzzle books and crazy gimmicks. Then he introduced Miss Jackie Susann, who was quite a good-looking dish. She impressed the salesmen with her elaborate plans to push her book herself. Oh, boy, did she mean what she said! Nobody knew that they were in at the birth of another Peyton Place. But the book came out and became, of course, a huge best-seller. Nobody complained about this because many worse books are being published than Valley of the Dolls. Of course, when it went into paperback, the rush was on. In four months, that book sold in paper almost nine million copies! Unbelievable! The movie now is breaking records. This week's Variety pillories it as one of the most terrible pictures of the last ten years. It's miserably written, miserably produced, and horribly acted. All doesn't make a bit of difference, it seems. This picture is pre-sold. I read in Variety that in some town that never ran a picture more than three days in its history, it's in its fourth week!

This wasn't where we began shying away from Bernie Geis. It was when he began developing a new theory of having scandalous books written to order about living people. They are called novels so that the person who is being crucified has really no come-back. The author therefore is able to delineate

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help