Gold in dem der Mountain?

April 20, 2006

Return to Cold Mountain?
Four years ago, Charles Frazier negotiated an $8 million contract with Random House for a novel he had not written. He was coming off the best-seller success of his “literary” novel Cold Mountain, which also hit the best-seller list for paperbacks and was made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law. He has named his new book 13 Moons, and based on the description in Motoko Rich's New York Times article, the novel sounds like Son of Cold Mountain. Here's why it is news this week. Frazier is delivering the second half of the novel to Random House.

Random House and Frazier must be eating up the pre-publication publicity, but why is the Times covering the story about a novel that no one has finished, except for Frazier. The contract, the previous success, the new name, and even the story line mean nothing—until someone reads the book. Rich didn't write a story about Random House's gamble on Frazier's talent nor about his dropping Grove/Atlantic, which nurtured him and Cold Mountain along. Just that Frazier finished the novel. What would be news—if he didn't finish it and owed RH $8 million.

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