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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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friend of Phyllis and myself. I read The King with mounting disgust. It so obviously was patterned on Frank Sinatra with filth thrown in that was pure, or rather impure, fiction. I said, “I just won't distribute this.” Bernie Geis quite expected this. In fact, I think that he had already talked to another publisher in case I wouldn't do it and he got N.A.L. to distribute it. To my great pleasure the book has been a failure; and, on my advice, Frank Sinatra did absolutely nothing about it. I said, “All that he wants is for you to make a fuss--and the harder you holler, the better he'll like it.” Now Geis, I understand, accuses Frank of keeping any movie company from buying it; but I don't think that Frank has had to lift a finger. No movie company would touch this story.

Then came another book that was even worse: The Exhibitionist.


By this time, was he beginning to show you what he was doing?


We had decided by this time and had already told him, “Find yourself another distributor. This is becoming unpleasant and we don't want any further part in it.” When he brought The Exhibitionist, I read it with absolute disgust. I will say this. The Exhibitionist is much better written than The King. The author, Slavett, can write. There's no question that this book is publishable on its literary merits.

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