Sheldon, Sidney: Master of the Game
(researched by Stacy McCown)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Published by William Marrow and Company, Inc. in New York, NY in 1982 for $15.95. Paperback first edition published by Warner Books in New York, NY in 1983. Copyright 1982 by Sidney Sheldon
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition was published in a white linen cloth with a dark blue linen spine.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
248 leaves, pp. [1-12] 13-16 [17-18] 19-170 [171-172] 173-218 [219-220] 221-248 [249-250] 251-313 [314-316] 317-488 [489-490] 491-495 [496]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The book is neither edited nor introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The book contains no illustrations.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
General appearance of book: Measurement of the page is 8 Ω" x 5 Ω". Measurement of the margins are: Top 1", Bottom Ω ",Side √¶", Top 1" Spacing between lines on pages: 1.5; spacing between lines on inside of dustjacket: 2 Size of type:9R Dustjacket appearance: designed by Honi Werner in fair condition, slight scratches on cover, and slight tears on the edges. Evidence of yellowing on inside of dustjacket. The back cover of the dust jacket contains a picture of Sidney Sheldon by Harry Langdon. Pages: in fair condition, evidence of discoloration of pages, text is very readable. The book is divided into five "books". In addition, there is a prologue and an epilogue. The typeface for each of the pages listing a particular "book" is italicized and significantly larger than the typeface of the text.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
There are no watermarks on the paper. The pages are fairly thin with granulated texture. There is no evidence of foxing or tearing. Also, there are no stains on the paper.
11 Description of binding(s)
The material of the binding has irregular grains. Cloth texture is linen. The hue of the binding on the spine is dark blue. The front and back of binding is in the neutral shade of white, which is fairly strong. The stamping on the spine is a strong grey. The endpapers are on black paper. Transcription of spine: SIDNEY |SHELDON | MASTER |OF |THE |GAME |MARROW|
12 Transcription of title page
Transcription recto of title page: |MASTER| OF| THE | |GAME| BY| |SIDNEY |SHELDON| WILLIAM|MARROW|AND|COMPANY,|INC.| |New|York|1982| Transcription verso of title page: Copyright 1982 by Sidney Sheldon All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or By any means , electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Inquiries should be addressed to William Morrow and Company, Inc., 105 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016. Library of Congress Catalog Card number: 82-60920 ISBN: 0-688-01365-1 Printed in the United States of America First Edition 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Unknown
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
On page [5] there is the inscription: For my brother, Richard the Lion-Hearted On page [7]: My appreciation goes to Miss Geraldine Hunter for her endless patience and assistance in preparing this manuscript. On page [9] there are the following two quotes: "And hence one master -passion in the breast, Like Aaron's serepent, swallows up the rest." -ALEXANDER POPE, Essay on Man, Epistle II "Diamonds resist blows to such an extent that an iron hammer may be split in two and even the anvil itself may be displaced. This invincible force, which defies Nature's two most violent forces, iron and fire, can be broken by ram's blood. But it must be steeped in blood that is flesh and warm and, even so, many blows are needed." -PLINY THE ELDER
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Master of the Game was published in more than one edition. There was a Book Club edition. Appearance of book not know. There was also a paperback edition. The Paperback edition has the same cover art as the hardcover. A large print edition was Also published. Appearance of book not known.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
Over 2.5 million copies of paperback. 200,000 copies first printing of hardback on July 13, 1982.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Paperback first edition published by Warner Books, New York, NY in August 1983 for (US) $3.95. Book Club edition published by Marrow in 1982. 403 p.;22cm Large print edition published in 1982 by Charnwood in Leicester, England. The large print edition was originally published by Collins in London, 1982.
6 Last date in print?
As of February 28, 2000 Master of the Game is still in print by Warner Books for US $5.95 in paperback. By Doubleday Direct for US $12.95
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
The exact number is not known as of February 28, 2000. However, his books have sold 280 million copies.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
N/A
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
The following add appeared in Publisher's Weekly on July 23, 1982. The add was placed two months before Master of the Game was made available to the public. MASTER OF THE GAME Sidney Sheldon. Marrow, $15.45 ISBN 0-688-01365-1 " Kate Blackwell has grown up in South Africa during the Boer War, daughter of corporate tycoon Jamie McGregor. Kate is as tough a manager as her father, and after genteel schooling in England she steps into the family business, which has expanded from the gold and diamond trade to an international holding company. She marries a company man 20 years her senior, and they move corporate headquarters to New York, where Kate give birth to a son, Tony. The boy hates the business world and yearns to be a painter, but Kate uses her manipulative skills to cheat him out of that Career and keep him on her team. Tony marries a woman chosen by his mother, and When his wife dies giving birth to identical twins he goes beserk. Tony is Institutionalized, and Kate devotes herself to raising the twins, who grow up in the 1970's not at all the way Kate had planned. At age 90, our grande dame oversees a Blackwell family reunion in Maine. She is a mellowed matriarch now, but she is Confident that her dynasty will prosper, this time in the hands of her great-grandson. In the Belva Plain manner, Sidney Sheldon gives us an engaging and absorbing Family saga with a full gallery of strong-minded characters, particularly the women. 200,00 first printing; $150,00 ad/promo; Literary Guild and dual main selection. [September 10]
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A210191000228093158.jpg
11 Other promotion
Television miniseries was made to help to promote the book.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
In 1984, CBS developed Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game into a seven part miniseries starring Dyan Cannon and Harry Hamlin. The initial broadcast had such success that it was rebroadcasted. Master of the Game is also available as an audiobook by Dove Audio. Performed by Roddy McDowell, the two cassettes are approximately 3 hours. May be purchased for (US) $16.95 A translation in Spanish, Amo del Juego, is also available on cassette (2).
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
There were multiple translations. The Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed Sidney Sheldon the most translated author in 1997. German translation: Warszawa: Amber, 1998. Mistrzyni, gry. 406 p.; 21 cm Portugese translation: Sao Paulo: Abril Cultural, 1985. Russian translation of The Naked Face and Master of the Game: Moskva: Belgrad Russia: "Novostri"; "Vspyshki", 1995 604 p.; 21cm S*oul: Ch'*ongmok, Geim ui owong, 1982. 548p.; 23 cm (language not specified) Persian translation: S. Shahl-a: ; 1992. -Ariz-uh-a-yi yakzan. Keuruu:Otava, 1983. Timanttidynastia. (language not specified) Oslo: Hjemmets bokforlog, 1983. Spillersherre. (language not specified) Spanish Translation: Esplugues de Llbregat, Barcelona: Plaza & Janes, 1990. El amo del Juego. 495p.; 18cm French Translation: Paris: Denoel, 1983. Maitresse du jeu: roman. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Record, 1982. O reverso de medalha. (language not specified) [Milano]: Sperling Paperback, 1988. Padrona del gioco. 539p. 20 cm. Trst: Zalo*znistvo tr* zaslega tiska 1987. Diamantha dinastija. (language not specified) Lisboa: Edicao. "Livros de Brasil", 1984. O jogo da vida. 434p.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
As of March 2000, the acclaimed master storyteller has written 16 novels, which combined, have sold over 280 million copies. His latest book to date, Tell Me Your Dreams was published in 1998 is available in hardcover and paperback as of March 2000. Not mentioned in the overview on Sidney Sheldon, the South American country of Guyana has honored Sheldon with a postage stamp. The stamp is worth $80 (approximately fifty cents in U.S. currency).
The stamp were designed by award winning artist Ron Rundo of Long Beach, NY.
(http://www.sidney sheldon.com) Also, the Guinness Book of World Records has proclaimed Sheldon as the most translated author in 1997 translated in 51 languages. Sidney Sheldon's books have known to be at the number one mark on the New York Times Bestseller List and Master of the Game is no exception. Due to the success of book sales in 1984, CBS produced a miniseries, which also proved to be a success. When asked if he was satisfied with the TV movie Sheldon replied, "I thought MOTG was brilliantly done as a mini series. I liked it very much." (Lycos Chat Transcript: Sidney Sheldon) Master of the Game was Sheldon's sixth novel with his publisher William & Marrow. In 1974, after the blockbuster smash hit of The Other Side of Midnight, Sheldon signed a contract with William & Marrow for hardcover publication and Warner Books for paperback publication. The contract still exists between Sheldon and both publishers as of March 2000. Sheldon usually writes his books in a year to a year and a half. The only exception was Tell Me Your Dreams which was written in about six months. Only two of his books are based on true events/people. Bloodlines,and The Other Side of Midnight were the two exceptions. The ideas/characters for the rest of his novels come from his imagination. "No one knows where ideas come from. I think it's God given." (Lycos Chat Transcript: Sidney Sheldon). As for the places he writes about Sheldon travels to each place before writing about a place. Master of the Game takes place in South Africa Paris, England, and the United States. Complete research is done for every novel. Since the ideas for his novels all come from his imagination there are no personal, legal, commercial events, or events surrounding the production of the book that has helped to shape its content associated with the publication of Master of the Game Main characters in his books are usually female. Sheldon feels that this has never been a conscious decision, yet he admits to the fact that he does not believe in the "dumb blonde" myth. "The fact that my female characters have strong personalities but are also physically attractive probably reflects the women I've known in my life." (Twbookmark.com: Sidney Sheldon interview). This is commonality is also present in Master of the Game. The main character, Kate Blackwell (a blonde) is head of a powerful international conglomerate. Sheldon works seven days a week from 9-6 in his office. His favorite Sidney Sheldon book is The Other Side of Midnight.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Despite what critics have written about Sidney Sheldon, they can not dispute Sheldon's ability to skillfully write compelling and absorbing novels. Master of the Game has proved no exception. Sheldon's publishers realized how popular his novels were with the public. Book reviewer Robert Lekachman commented on the mass publication of Master of the Game by Sheldon's publisher William & Marrrow. "Why review 'Master of the Game'? Its fortunate publishers have printed a first edition of 200,000 copies, budgeted $150,00 for advertising and arranged a national publicity tour for the perpetrator" (New York Times Book Review). The hundreds of copies printed gave the appearance that the average book reader should not overlook buying Master of the Game.By printing so many copies the publisher made the consumer think a lot of people were buying the book and so should they. From the research conducted on Master of the Game the reviewers agree once this book has been started it is difficult to put down. "But don't get me wrong. Although this may be literary junk, it is hard to put down once you get started" (New York Times Book Review). The Los Angeles Times Book Review claimed Sidney Sheldon "a genius?at writing potboilers. In 'Master of the Game' he has outdone even himself. Publisher's Weekly did not comment on Sheldon's apparent ability to write novels that are not difficult to follow or have anything negative to say. Instead, it commented, "Sidney Sheldon gives us an engaging and absorbing family saga with a full gallery of strong-minded characters, particularly the women" (Publisher's Weekly). The London Review of Books said, "But for those who do not care for such complexities, there is Sidney Sheldon." Some reviewers were careful to mention that Master of the Game does not contain even miniscule amounts of sex. The reviewer for the Los Angeles Times Book Review remarked, "This viewer hoped for a wee spot of sex to relieve the monotony. The business of sexual union is depicted with curious, witless brevity." The review in the New York Times Book Review did not feel that Sheldon was neglecting sex at all. "If your reading taste runs to rape, sodomy, homosexuality, and numerous other fleshy diversions, be assured; Mr. Sheldon has something for you." Sheldon tells the story of a woman, Kate Blackwell, "the frail but indomitable heroine who rises above the heartache of her private life in order to get into zinc, armaments, real estate."(London Review of Books) yet causes her son an unbearable pain. Kate Blackwell, who lets no one or nothing stand in the way of what she wants, "is presented as some kind of role model, but it is the sort of role made popular in olden times by Joan Crawford" (London Review of Books). The Los Angeles Times Book Review concluded it's review on Sheldon's Master of the Game by saying, "This book is really a number of silly little stories strung loosely together like 'schlenters' (fools diamonds) about to fall off a string of dental floss." The London Review of Books remarked, "This particular story is so schematically written that it could be used as a script for a film which has not yet been made but will undoubtedly proceed, as of right, to the wide screen." Two years later, in 1984 CBS put together a mini-series based on Master of the Game. Sources: Welles, Patricia. "Diamond dynasty in South Africa." Los Angeles Review of Books. 5 Dec. 1982 p. 4 Lekachman, Robert. "The Love of Money." The New York Times Book Review. 29 Aug. 1982 v.87 p. 11 Brooker, Anita. "Enthusiasts" London Review of Books. 3 Feb. 1983.v.5 p. 16 "Master of the Game" Publisher's Weekly. 23 July 1982 v. 222 p. 125.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Despite what critics have written about Sidney Sheldon, they can not dispute Sheldon's ability to skillfully write compelling and absorbing novels. Master of the Game has proved no exception. Sheldon's publishers realized how popular his novels were with the public. Book reviewer Robert Lekachman commented on the mass publication of Master of the Game by Sheldon's publisher William & Marrrow. "Why review 'Master of the Game'? Its fortunate publishers have printed a first edition of 200,000 copies, budgeted $150,00 for advertising and arranged a national publicity tour for the perpetrator" (New York Times Book Review). The hundreds of copies printed gave the appearance that the average book reader should not overlook buying Master of the Game.By printing so many copies the publisher made the consumer think a lot of people were buying the book and so should they. From the research conducted on Master of the Game the reviewers agree once this book has been started it is difficult to put down. "But don't get me wrong. Although this may be literary junk, it is hard to put down once you get started" (New York Times Book Review). The Los Angeles Times Book Review claimed Sidney Sheldon "a genius?at writing potboilers. In 'Master of the Game' he has outdone even himself. Publisher's Weekly did not comment on Sheldon's apparent ability to write novels that are not difficult to follow or have anything negative to say. Instead, it commented, "Sidney Sheldon gives us an engaging and absorbing family saga with a full gallery of strong-minded characters, particularly the women" (Publisher's Weekly). The London Review of Books said, "But for those who do not care for such complexities, there is Sidney Sheldon." Some reviewers were careful to mention that Master of the Game does not contain even miniscule amounts of sex. The reviewer for the Los Angeles Times Book Review remarked, "This viewer hoped for a wee spot of sex to relieve the monotony. The business of sexual union is depicted with curious, witless brevity." The review in the New York Times Book Review did not feel that Sheldon was neglecting sex at all. "If your reading taste runs to rape, sodomy, homosexuality, and numerous other fleshy diversions, be assured; Mr. Sheldon has something for you." Sheldon tells the story of a woman, Kate Blackwell, "the frail but indomitable heroine who rises above the heartache of her private life in order to get into zinc, armaments, real estate."(London Review of Books) yet causes her son an unbearable pain. Kate Blackwell, who lets no one or nothing stand in the way of what she wants, "is presented as some kind of role model, but it is the sort of role made popular in olden times by Joan Crawford" (London Review of Books). The Los Angeles Times Book Review concluded it's review on Sheldon's Master of the Game by saying, "This book is really a number of silly little stories strung loosely together like 'schlenters' (fools diamonds) about to fall off a string of dental floss." The London Review of Books remarked, "This particular story is so schematically written that it could be used as a script for a film which has not yet been made but will undoubtedly proceed, as of right, to the wide screen." Two years later, in 1984 CBS put together a mini-series based on Master of the Game. Sources: Welles, Patricia. "Diamond dynasty in South Africa." Los Angeles Review of Books. 5 Dec. 1982 p. 4 Lekachman, Robert. "The Love of Money." The New York Times Book Review. 29 Aug. 1982 v.87 p. 11 Brooker, Anita. "Enthusiasts" London Review of Books. 3 Feb. 1983.v.5 p. 16 "Master of the Game" Publisher's Weekly. 23 July 1982 v. 222 p. 125.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Since the publication of Sidney Sheldon's first novel, The Naked Face in 1969, Sheldon has been a best selling author. He has received constant praise from readers and critics. Though some may dispute in his ability to write a good book, it is indisputable that his books immediately entice the reader once they begin. The suspense of each of Sheldon's novels lures readers to eagerly anticipate and read his other novels. Sheldon's Master of the Game exhibits bestseller qualities and appeals to readers through common themes, a plot that is not loaded down, the portrayal of women, the ability to appeal to the reader's emotions, and his power to inspire readers almost sets him up for immediate success. Due to successful reoccurring themes, Sheldon has found a way to successfully draw readers to his novels. Sheldon's common themes of ambition, sex, and manipulation appear in Master of the Game. The main characters all exhibit these characteristics and use them to get what they want. Master of the Game follows the story of the McGregor dynasty spanning over one hundred years. It is a true story of rags to riches for the McGregor family. At the age of 18, Jamie McGregor leaves his family and his comfortable lifestyle behind in Scotland in search of gold in South Africa. Young Jamie has the ambition and determination for success, but a wealthy merchant cheats Jamie out on his share of gold. Jamie avenges his nemesis and begins his new life of fortune, fame, and power. The McGregor dynasty is now born. Jamie's daughter, Kate Blackwell becomes the next to expand the dynasty making it even more powerful than Kate. Kate realizes at the tender age of seven that power is what makes someone unstoppable. She remarks, "One day, Kate thought, I'll have power. No one will be able to do this to me again" (Sheldon 169). Her constant desire for power and manipulation makes those around her, including her family bend to her will. Her controlling nature brings pain and sadness to her son, Tony literally driving him crazy. To Kate, she does what is in the best interest for her son. Everything I have done has been for you. How could you not know that? (Sheldon 313). Kate, now left to raise her son's twin daughters, once again controls the lives of those she loves. Kate's granddaughters, Eve and Alexandra, must now live their lives according to their grandmother's will. The women in the novel, including Kate, know the power of sex and use their bodies to entice men to give into their demands. All throughout her life, Kate and fears anyone finding out any of the things she has done that have caused her loved ones anger, pain, and grief. Sheldon has become very comfortable using the same themes, due to their success. He has not diverted very much from these topics and does not appear to want to. His topic of writing draws many people to read his novels. Readers classify Master of the Game as a "page-turner," 'not being able to put it down," and a "timeless classic." Sheldon knows that his books have characterized as "can't put me downs." Sheldon remarks, "I think that's because believable action is based on authenticity, and accuracy is very important to me. I always spend time researching my novels?I go to great lengths to make certain situations fell right to the reader. I think readers can always tell when an author is 'faking it,' and that undermines the story, no matter how good it may be" (Sidney Sheldon-An Interview). According to Sidney Sheldon, his novels are bestsellers because of the extensive research that goes in to each novel. He spends about six months to a year researching each novel. Readers also feel the same way. Bestsellers are novels that are well thought out. The non-stop action and emotional twists and turns make very hard to put Master of the Game down. One reader remarks, "I read the book in one night. I just couldn't put it down" (Amazon.com Customer Reviews). Another reader remarks, "Pick up this book?get comfortable, and start reading it. Let's see if you can put it down?if you can, once you've started. Anyone who dismisses this novel as anything but a fantastic, first-rate read truly doesn't know a good book when they see one. This is a timeless classic?" (Amazon.com Customer Reviews). The quick and easy plot adds to Sheldon's success. It apparently reads so fast that it is easy to read a hundred pages and not even know it. Readers also enjoy Sheldon's book because the plot is not loaded down and heavy. Overall, the plot's simplicity leads readers to take Sheldon novels to the beach or read them on a plane. Sheldon fans constantly note the fact that his novels are good for a flight. "The first time I read ,Master of the Game was in 1990. Someone had left it on an airplane." (Amazon.com Customer Reviews). Characters in Master of the Game are described as "memorable and exciting." Readers find his characters easy to relate to and filled with so many problems that it helps to take the focus off their own problems. Sheldon's characters evoke sympathy out of his readers also leading to his popularity. His characters go through emotional turmoil in their lives pointing to the fact that readers do not like "perfect" characters. Sheldon says, "I think people throughout the world identify with my characters. Perhaps, it's because the characters in my books are more than just 'all good' or ' all bad.' I try to give both my heroes and villains an emotional dimensionality which provides the motivation for their actions" (Sidney Sheldon- An Interview). Though the characters may be rich and powerful, they also have their share of problems. Sheldon's bestseller novels show us how readers are drawn to books where the characters from wealthy and powerful backgrounds, yet go through common everyday problems. Another popular theme in Sheldon's bestseller novels are heroines. Sheldon constantly uses the same time of woman in all of his novels. They tend to be women with very strong personalities. This ties into Sheldon's own view of women and to those he has met. Sheldon remarks, I hate the cliché of the 'dumb blonde'?that if a woman is beautiful she must be stupid so I write female characters who are attractive who are as good at whatever they do that any man might be and to retain their femininity. My mother was that kind of woman. My wife Jorja, who died was that kind of woman and so is my present wife, Alexandria. I know a lot of women like that and I love women! (Sidney Sheldon-The Life & Works of). Kate Blackwell fits this description perfectly. She is head of Kruger-Brent, Ltd., a mother, a grandmother, and also involved in charitable functions. The character of Kate Blackwell shows Sheldon's women readers that women can have it all. To Kate, "the name of the game was to win, and you won by beating everyone else. It seemed so obvious to her" (Sheldon 229). Having a powerful position in a company does not make a woman any less of a woman, and this is what his novels demonstrate to women readers. In addition, Sheldon's decision to make Kate Blackwell an attractive woman shows readers that women in power can be attractive and smart. Bestsellers can incorporate their own beliefs and ideas into a novel and possibly project them onto the reader. Sheldon incorporates his own feelings about apartheid and airlines in the novel. For example, Sheldon writes, "When Tony's vacation was over, he went to Southampton, England, where he boarded a Pan American Airways System plane for the Untied States. Kate flew Pan American whenever possible. It spoiled her for other airlines. Kate left an important meeting to greet her son when he arrived at the Pan American terminal at the newly built La Guardia Airport in New York" (Sheldon 243). This insertion appears random, yet it also conveys to the reader that Pan American Airlines Sheldon's including of Pan American Airlines cannot be anything else but a plug for the airline company hoping that Sheldon's readers will also follow the lead of Kate Blackwell and Sidney Sheldon and fly Pan American Airlines. Readers regard Sheldon in such a high manner that they may take his advice. If Pan American Airlines is good enough for the wealthy and esteemed such as Sheldon and Blackwell, then readers may feel that the airline is good enough for them as well. Book reviewer Anita Brookner remarks, "All these people fly Pan Am, apparently: the airline is mentioned several times, always with an unmistakable note of appreciation" (London Review of Books). The first half of the novel Sheldon indirectly talks about his feelings on apartheid. When the book first opens tensions between whites and Africans are beginning to escalate. As the book progresses, Sheldon includes little pieces of information about tensions. The McGregor family has always helped the Africans as best they could and were sympathetic to their struggle. Jamie McGregor had great respect for his confidant and friend Banda. Banda had helped Jamie out in times of struggle and helped Jamie to get even when he was cheated out of his gold. Kate, born and raised in South Africa also felt very strongly about her father's friend Banda and South Africa. The way Sheldon describes whites and their interaction with blacks shows that Sheldon himself was sympathetic to the struggle in South Africa. As Kate grew older, she gives money to Banda, who has become a fugitive and active leader for the South Africans, does everything in her power to help Banda and his movement. Sheldon writes: The only disturbing factor in Kate's life was her homeland. She card deeply about South Africa. The racial problems were growing, and Kate was troubled?Kate arranged a meeting in South Africa with several high government officials. 'This is a time bomb,' Kate told them. 'What are you're doing is trying to keep eight million people in slavery?That's bloody nonsense,' Kate retorted. 'South Africa has become a racist hell.'?Kate left the meeting frustrated and deeply fearful for her country (Sheldon 233). Sheldon appears to want his readers to know that he as an author is very sympathetic to the tensions in South Africa. When the book was published in 1982, native South Africans were still fighting for their independence. By trying to educate his readers in an entertaining way, Sheldon helps to increase the consciousness of his readers about the fight for independence going on in South Africa. Master of the Game was developed into a seven part miniseries in 1984 by CBS starring Dyan Cannon and Harry Hamlin. The initial broadcast had such success that it was rebroadcast. Sheldon's Master of the Game shows that such successful books are often made into television productions. Recent readers of Master of the Game strongly desire to see or know where they can get a copy of the television miniseries. One book reviewer remarks, "I read the book years ago when I was about 13 years old. I am 28 now. I loved it. I read it because I saw the mini-series on TV and loved the mini-series too! I would like it if someone could tell me where I can get the video of the movie!" (Amazon.com Customer Reviews). Another reader says, "Could somebody please tell me where I could purchase the movie. My husband and I seen it on t.v. years ago and would love to see it again" (Amazon.com Customer Review). Even though the miniseries was produced in 1984, the demand to see the movie increase as more people read Master of the Game. Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game also serves as a source of inspiration for many readers. Bestseller's can help readers with problems they are going through. Readers have remarked that Sheldon's books have helped to change their lives. Sheldon feels the most rewarding part of writing is when someone writes or speaks to you telling him how much he has changed their lives. He says: I received a letter from a girl in a hospital telling me that she had suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 21 and had felt that she just wanted to give up and die. She wouldn't see her parents or her boyfriend. She just wanted to get her life over with. Then someone left a copy of The Other Side of Midnight on her bed. She picked it up and began to read. She got so caught up in the characters and the story that she forgot about herself and felt ready to begin facing life again (Sidney Sheldon- An Interview). Master of the Game and other Sidney Sheldon novels show fiction bestsellers can be a sort of self-help for readers. Readers become detached from their everyday lives and problems that when it is time to turn their attention back to their problems they have a different outlook on life. Another factor that contributes to Sheldon's success with bestseller novels concerns booksellers. In order to get readers to buy more novels by the same author, they tap into the reader's mind. By telling readers they will like other Sheldon novels if they liked a particular novel, readers will consider the suggestion and possibly purchase his other novels. For example, on Amazon.com when searching for Master of the Game the web- based book company mentions at the end of the reader's search, " Customers who bought this book also bought: If Tomorrow Comes; Sidney Sheldon, Bloodline; Sidney Sheldon, Rage of Angels; Sidney Sheldon, and Memories of Midnight; Sidney Sheldon. Booksellers believe that readers will follow the crowd and purchase the same books everyone else has. Readers tend to enjoy Sidney Sheldon novels and will purchase his other novels because they also believe his other novels will be good as well. One reader remarks, "The best review I can think to give this book [Master of the Game] is I can't wait to read another Sidney Sheldon novel. Now I really know what people mean by a 'real page turner.' I am officially a Sidney Sheldon fan." (Amazon.com Customer Reviews). Despite what critics may say about Master of the Gameother Sheldon novels no one seems to dispute the fact that his novels are "page turners" and once you get started it becomes hard to put the book down. One customer remarks, This is the first Sydney Sheldon novel I've read. You don't often find stories this enticing. I was hooked from the first page?I read it in just a few days even though with my schedule it usually takes me at least a week to finish a book?. However, despite the story's addictive sway, Sheldon's writing style did not meet my expectations. After reading all the glowing reviews at Amazon.com, I expected this to be a terrific epic that would leave me awed and inspired?This book is pure brain candy, all fun with no substance (Amazon.com Customer Reviews). Sheldon's methodological style and common themes draw all readers to his novels, despite how they may feel about the book in the end. His light plots appear to be exactly what readers are looking for. The heroine's in Sheldon novels show women readers that it is possible for them to have it all. His novels also serve as a source of inspiration to many of his readers causing them to buy his other novels. Booksellers realize his popularity and coax potential buyers into buying his other novels by telling them how other readers like themselves, liked his other novels and so will they. When best selling authors find a style of writing that is successful for themselves as well as readers, they do not move out of their comfort zone causing them to produce repeat bestsellers that have the same themes. Sources: Brooker, Anita. "Enthusiasts" London Review of Books. 3 Feb. 1983.v.5 p. 16 "Master of the Game" Publisher's Weekly. 23 July 1982 v. 222 p. 125. Lekachman, Robert. "The Love of Money." The New York Times Book Review. 29 Aug. 1982 v.87 p. 11 Sheldon, Sidney. Master of the Game. William & Marrow: New York, 1982. "Amazon.com: buying info: Master of the Game" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos http://www.sidneysheldon.com "Lycos Chat Transcript: Sidney Sheldon" http://www.chat.lycos.com/transcripts/sheldon.html "Sidney Sheldon- The Life &Works of." http://empierezine.com/spotlight/sheldon/sheldon2.html "Sidney Sheldon-An Interview" http://www.twbookmark.com/features/sidneysheldon.com/interview.html
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