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Ghosting: A Double Life Hardcover – Apr 12 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (April 12 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385661126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385661126
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 15 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,503,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An interesting look at the experience of ghostwriting July 15 2005
By Bookreporter - Published on
Format: Paperback
Every writer must wonder what it would be like to "ghostwrite" a book. Jennie Erdal shows us how to do it --- how to write reviews, articles, letters, essays, and novels using another's byline. A glutton for punishment, and in need of a paycheck, she agrees to write the memoirs of her employer, an English publisher she calls "Tiger." GHOSTING is a finale to the years she spent writing for and about him. She proves her prowess as a gifted writer, and one to expect more of in the future.

Erdal's first meeting with Tiger is a vivid description of a gentleman outfitted with elaborate taste in dress as well as language. She's a writer with credit for the translation from Russian of Boris Pasternak's memoirs. Tiger's purpose in Oxford that day is to purchase a painting from Pasternak's estate, one that depicts scenes from his own childhood. But Josephine Pasternak has stated that none will be sold. Tiger, with the exuberance of a gifted womanizer, replies, "She'll sell to me." And she did.

Erdal's home is in Scotland, but her job as ghostwriter takes her to London, Frankfurt and the Dordogne landscape, in France. Much of Tiger's dialogue, or monologue when directing his vast traveling entourage, is italicized in French. At times, the reader may be glad to have a faint knowledge of written French phrases. However, body language and place description are sufficient to orient one to its purposes. These, Erdal pens with ease. Her use of simile and metaphor is an excellent rainbow in the often tumultuous rainstorm of descriptive verbiage. She loves language and is not afraid to demonstrate that fact with colorful detail.

Tiger's demands are heavy. He is surrounded by a bevy of young women he employs for his tiniest whims. His eccentricities and phobias are numerous. The author is kind, however, and offers his truly genuine benevolence on the opposite side of the palate. Tiger seeks acclaim in his field as an author in addition to his publishing success. Eventually, he coerces Erdal to write a novel, with his name as author. His propensity for sexual clarity is a roadblock in the authorship process. Erdal's greatest difficulty with the book is to write the sex scenes in the manner he demands. In its final draft, the book is received with mixed, but generally favorable, acclaim.

When she is asked for a second novel, Erdal takes stock of her place in Tiger's stable and of her own changed lifestyle, newly remarried. Her second husband is never named but duly noted as a player. Likewise, the publisher is simply "Tiger." Funding of his extravagant lifestyle eventually takes its toll on the eccentric man. Funds are dwindling and tempers are short. His ghostwriter finds herself at opposite viewpoints with her employer and sees that they "began to move against one another. The finely balanced symbiosis was under siege."

When Erdal announced her retirement, the publishing empire came to an end. Tiger's long reign as mogul finished with the final close of the House door. The ghostwriter tells her story, along with his, because they are eternally linked in purpose. More from a finely tuned pen is sure to be anticipated after GHOSTING.

--- Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wit, Poetry, Romance, Travel, Sex, Money & now a Name Aug. 9 2005
By A. Dooley - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is such a lovely, lyrical book that I finished reading it and immediately started to read it again. The author may shock and amuse her reader, delight and tease her employer, but above all she displays a joy for language and words that is absolutely enchanting for everyone. I hope to read more from her, but please, no more sex scenes! The author is so transparently uncomfortable writing them for her employer that it made you squirm just reading about her imaginative expoits to avoid them. Truly a professional's professional!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Inside Look at Ghostwriting... April 20 2005
By Sandy Carroll - Published on
Format: Paperback
This inside look at ghostwriting is fascinating and believable. The author writes extremely well, keeping one's interest throughout the book, and lending credence that she indeed ghostwrote for this famous man.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Real Treasure April 21 2005
By Zeb - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The love letter in the first few pages is beautifully breath taking! She writes extremely well. NPR did a stunning interview with her just a few weeks ago. Highly recommended!
A look at the the literary world form a new perspective. Feb. 3 2013
By R. Martin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written, good insights into human nature, academia, and the rewards and frustrations of a life of writing for a living.

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