Book Review: Five Billion Sold by David Glynn

Five Billion Sold David Glynn– Five Billion Sold: The Amazing Facts Behind the Fiction

  Format- Paperback

  Source- Review copy

  Publisher- Arbon Publishing

  Publication date- April 2012

  Synopsis- The 30 bestselling authors whose stories are told in this book have sold, by any reasonable estimate, around five billion copies of their books. None has sold fewer than 50 million, and one has sold 40 times that number. Five billion… it is a phenomenal number.

Did you know…

  • The young Agatha Christie was a keen surfer, and she once almost drowned off the Hawaiian coast.
  • J.R.R Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings – more than 500,000 words! – in longhand; it took him 12 years.
  • Anne Rice was named Howard Allen O’Brien, after her father – but to her mother’s surprise, she changed it herself on her first day of school.

Review: This book turned up unexpectedly on my doorstep and at first glance I didn’t think it would be something I’d be interested in. But then I had a flip through it and found that it’s actually quite interesting as it explores the success and failings of the best-selling authors over the past 80 years. It examines more than 30 authors over various time periods including Agatha Christie, J.R.R Tolkien, Anne Rice, Robert Ludlum, Nora Roberts, and Dan Brown etc.

To be honest, I haven’t read the whole book and personally I don’t think it’s the kind of book to pick up and read all the way through from start to finish. It’s the perfect book to keep on a coffee table and to peruse at pleasure. That’s exactly what I did, it has sat on my coffee table for the past couple of weeks and when the mood struck me I flipped it open and chose an author of interest and had a read. Glynn has an easy to read writing style, with plenty of wit and provides the reader with an insight into the lives of these authors- both in the public eye and behind closed doors.

I particularly enjoyed reading about J.R.R Tolkien and the outrage of the British public over the success of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I was surprised to find out that Stephanie Myer, the Twilight extraordinaire was raised in a conservative family and was in fact a Mormon and of Stieg Larsson’s political endeavours and his lack of consideration for his health, leading to his premature death.

But the author’s history I found most fascinating was that of Anne Rice, famous for the Vampire Chronicles Collection, beginning with Interview with a Vampire. She was born as Howard Allen O’Brien and when she went off to school she re-named herself Anne. She certainly got the bad luck in the family when it came to names, given her sisters ended up with more mainstream names: Tamara, Alice and Karen! Anne fell in love with Stan Rice and after some years living their own lives, they were drawn back together and eventually married and had a daughter. Their daughter died at a very young age due to medical problems but this is when Anne’s writing began to focus on vampires- ironically the creatures that have eternal life. I actually have the first volume of the Vampire Chronicles sitting on my bookshelves that I haven’t braved to pick up because it is so heavy and thick, but reading a bit about the author’s background has sparked my interest in her again and perhaps I will pick it up someday soon.

Five Billion Sold is an entertaining, informative collection of author profiles that is a must-have for any book lover or book collector!

3.5/5 rating

Purchase book @

 Book Depository UK/ Arbon




Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: