Hailey, Arthur: Airport
(researched by Farrell Scifres)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Arthur Hailey. Airport. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1968. The back of Leaf 3 states that the copyright is held by Arthur Hailey, Ltd.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first American edition is published in trade cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
228 leaves, pp [8] [1-3] 4-103 [104-107] 108-258 [259-261] 262-440 [8] The pages are numbered about one inch from the top outside corner of each page. The book is divided into three main pages, all marked by an unumbered page (page 1, 104, 259) that read: PART ONE (TWO or THREE)and then are followed by a smaller font the gives a time (all EST).
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The first edition is niether edited nor introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
There are 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?)
The presentation of the text is attractive and simple to read. The text is cleanly printed, with no smudges or smears. The corners on the dust jacket are worn and showing a bit of age. The actual pages are slightly yellow, showing their age. The book is bound in light blue cloth with embossed calico grain. The words on the spine of the book are embossed in gold. The spine has the title of the book embossed in gold, which is above a square with a dot in the middle (both embossed in light green), which is above the author's name, which is above the publisher's name. There are no writings or illustrations on the cover. The dust jacket has a photograph of an airport runway, with the title, author's name, and "A New Novel by the Author of ë'Hotelí'' printed across the bottom of the jacket. The spine of the dust jacket simply has "AIRPORT ARTHUR HAILEY" printed vertically, with "DOUBLEDAY" printed horizontally across the bottom. The actual font of the text does have serifs and is Monotype Century Old Style. The font is rather large, and the pages are well spaced, not cluttered. There is about one to one and a half inches of margin around 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?)
The paper in this copy of the book is holding up extremely well. The only signs of age it shows is its slight yellow discoloration. The paper is smooth and even-textured and in exellent condition. It has no apparent stains or imperfections. The endpapers of the book are of a heavier stock and are a dark, olive green color.
11 Description of binding(s)
Front and back cover: Blue Cloth of embossed calico grain. Front cover is blank, but spine is stamped with gold writing and a light green design (title, design, author's name, publisher's name).
12 Transcription of title page
AIRPORT|Arthur Hailey|Doubleday & Company, Inc.| Garden City, New York|1968
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
An email was sent to Doubleday & Company, Inc. (via Random House) on September 15, 2002 regarding the whereabouts of the manuscripts. No reply has been received as of September 22, 2002.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
On the backside of Leaf 2 is listed: Novels by Arthur Hailey AIRPORT HOTEL IN HIGH PLACES THE FINAL DECISION RUNWAY ZERO EIGHT (with John Castle) Collected Plays CLOSE-UP ON WRITING FOR TELEVISION ------------------- Inscription On the Front of Leaf 4 is an inscription that reads: Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth. And danced the skies in laughter-silvered wings. From High Flight By John Gillespe Magee, Jr. (1922-41) Sometime Flight Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Air Force ---------------------------- Dust Jacket The front inside flap of the dust jacket lists the selling price as $5.95 American Dollars. The back inside flap of the dust jacket states: "Jacket Photography Courtesy of American Airlines-Bob Taxis." The inside flaps of the dust jacket have a brief summary of the book and also include a very brief ìAbout the Author.î On the back cover of the dust jacker is a black and white photograph of Arthur Hailey with his family. ---------------- Disclaimer On the back of Leaf 3, above the copyright information, there is a disclaimer (in italics) that states: "All of the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.î
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
1. After searching both Eureka and WorldCat extensively, it appears that the original publisher (Doubleday & Company, Inc.) did not publish the book in more than one edition. Source: WorldCat; Eureka
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?
4. After searching Publisherís Weekly extensively, no information regarding other printings or impressions could be found. Source: Publisherís Weekly
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
5. There were several editions released from other publishers: 1968: Readerís Digest Condensed Books, Volume III, Spring Selections 1970: Bantam Books 1986: Dell Publishing Group 1992: Random House Audio Books 1993: Longman Publishing Group 1994: Buccaneer Books 1998: Planeta Editorial, South America 2000: Berkeley Publishing Group Source: Books in Print (web)
6 Last date in print?
6. The most recent edition of Airport was printed by Berkeley Publishing Group in 2000. Source: Books in Print (web)
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
7. According to Hackettís Eighty Years of Bestsellers (1977), there were 5,474,949 copies sold (paperback and hardback combined) as of 1977. Of those sold, 5,200,00 of the copies were paperback. Source: Hackett, Alice. Eighty Years of Bestsellers. New York: R.R. Bowker & Co, 1977.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
8. Sales information by year could not be found. However, according in Publisherís Weekly: As of April 11, 1968 Airport was ì a new bestseller, just published two weeks ago and selling furiouslyî with 8,600 copies sold. As of April 8, 1968, Airport was ìcontinuing a steady march up bestseller lists!î As of May 20, 1968 there were 150,000 copies in print. As of June 24, 1968 there were 175,000 copies in print. As of July 8, 1968 there were 190,000 copies in print. As of July 29, 1968 there were 215,000 copies in print. As of September 16, 1968 there were 230,000 copies in print As of May 26, 1969, there were 300,000 copies in print. Sources: Publisherís Weekly April 11, 1968-May 26, 1969
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
9. In Publisherís Weekly on January 8, 1968, their ë PW Forecastsí section advertised Airport as follows: ìAirport. Arthur Hailey. Doubleday, $5.95. This is a novel bookstores will welcome, a good story in the bestseller tradition. Along with an audience prepared by ëHotel,í the new book has an appeal for almost all readers. The scene this time is a great modern airport, Lincoln International, near Chicago; the time is one critical day, the third of a big snowstorm which has seriously hampered operations. The reader is introduced into the personal lives of a half a dozen to a dozen characters, chief among them the manager of the airport, Mel Bakersfield. There are many minor conflicts ñ of love, sex, business, and psychological problems ñ all building up to the tremendously exciting scenes of a shattered transoceanic plane trying to make its way back to the airport and a runway that canít, but must, be cleared. (Alice P. Hackett) Source: Publisherís Weekly January 8, 1968, p64
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
11. After searching Publisherís Weekly and the web extensively, no other ads or promotions can be found, although the ë PW Forecastí for Airport does indicate that Doubleday was planning a major national publicity program.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Audiocassette: Airport was recorded in 1992 on Random House Audio Books. Source: Books in Print (web) Movie: In 1970, the movie Airport was released starring Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, and Helen Hayes. The movie was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Source: Google.com, http://www.dvd.reviewer.co.uk/reviews/details.asp?Index=646
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
13. Spanish Translation: ìAeropuertoî, 1998: Planeta Editorial, South America Source: Books in Print (web)
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
14. Airport was not serialized. Source: Publisherís Weekly
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
15. There is no indication that there were sequels or prequels to Airport. Source: Worldcat, Eureka
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
In a 1997 interview with the Boston Globe Magazine, best-selling author Arthur Hailey was asked if he could "consciously fabricate best-sellers." He answered frankly that he "never, never, never think[s] ?is this a book that could go into big number?'" when he is writing. In the same in interview, Hailey admitted that his first thought when writing his books is "is this a subject which interests and enthuses me?" He acknowledges that unless he has "that feeling of interest" when writing a book, he just "can't do it." Born on April 5, 1920, Arthur Hailey grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, a town north of London. Hailey's formal schooling ended in England at the age of 14. He actually never went to high school, as it required tuition that his family could not afford. Hailey's parents did not have much money; his father was a factory worker. In his 1997 Boston Globe Magazine interview, Arthur Hailey admits: "'I loved education, and, yes, I did want to go on learning. But in this town of 100,000 [Luton], there was one scholarship a year, and I was one of two finalists [but not the winner]. I wanted to write since I was 14.'" In a 1990 Boston Globe Magazine interview, Hailey admitted "one of the saddest days of his [my] life was his [my] last day at school." Before beginning his career as a freelance writer, Arthur Hailey pursued careers in both industry and sales. Hailey was also in the British Air Force, joining as a 19 year-old in 1939. He entered World War Two as a private and finished ranked as a flight lieutenant. In England, he worked as a junior clerk in a real estate broker's office. Hailey even owned his own advertising and public relations company in Canada. Although he is British by birth, Arthur Hailey and his wife immigrated to Canada and became naturalized Canadian citizens in 1947. Hailey has never lost his British citizenship and holds both Canadian and British passports. The couple actually met in Toronto, Canada. Arthur Hailey has written numerous best-selling novels. A common, underlying theme in many of his novels is Hailey's focus on natural disasters. Additionally, many of Hailey's novels have also doubled as popular movies (ie: Hotel, Airport, Wheels). Although he has lived in England, Canada, and the United States, as of 1997 Arthur Hailey had been living with his wife, Sheila, in Lyford Cay, the Bahamas for 28 years. Hailey has six children. Arthur Hailey is hailed as a scrupulous researcher, spending at least a year learning the intricacies of his subject, numerous weeks planning for the book, and at least another year writing and rewriting. Hailey's writing career has spanned many decades and eleven novels. He wrote his first book, "The Final Diagnosis," in 1959 at the age of 39. In fact, some of his more popular books were actually written nearly three decades after his first ones premiered: Strong Medicine (1984) and Evening News (1990). Hailey actually came out of retirement to write Detective, which was published in 1997. As of 1997, Hailey's books had sold over 160 million copies and were printed in over 40 languages.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Publisher's Weekly's March 5, 1968 edition hails Airport as "a novel bookstores will welcome, a good story in the best-seller tradition." This review predicts a rather favorable reception for Hailey's novel, noting that "an audience prepared by Hotel" will embrace it. This particular excerpt also notes that Airport is destined to be widely enjoyed, as "the new book has an appeal to almost all readers." It goes on to provide a concise introduction to Airport's general plot, making a quick mention of the "many minor conflicts?of love, sex, business, and psychological problems" that all come together to form the "tremendously exciting scenes of a shattered transoceanic plane trying to make its way back to the airport, and a runway that can't, but must, be cleared." The Library Journal's March 1, 1968 edition offers similar praise for Hailey's Airport; their comments are nothing but positive. From the very beginning, this review not only praises the book itself, but also Hailey's craftsmanship, asserting: "Arthur Hailey has managed to capture the excitement and intensity of life in a big city airport, and has evidently researched his subject thoroughly for technical accuracy." The reviewer continues to sing Hailey's praises as he mentions how "vividly portrayed" the character's emotional lives are. This review is laden with powerful diction that characterizes Airport as a thrilling, passionate book. The reviewer's word choices suck the reader in and make them want to drop everything and pickup a copy of the novel: "as a snow storm of blizzard proportions rages around the airport, Mel Bakersfeld, the airport manager, is beset with soul-trying problem: his social-climbing, man-hungry wife is demanding a divorce; his brother, suffering from a guilt complex resulting from a crash which was his fault, is planning suicide; an anti-noise demonstration adds to an already near chaotic evening; and a bomb threat and near-fatal explosion aboard an elite jet flying to Rome threatens destruction to everyone." As is evident from his descriptions, this reviewer can do nothing but affirm his flattering opinion of Airport, when he declares the novel "a necessary addition to fiction shelves of any public library; definitely a circulator; you cannot go wrong with this one." In the May 15, 1968 edition of Library Journal, the reviewer offers a similar toast to Hailey's novel. This account cites that Airport's readers are "offered total involvements in the problems of Lincoln Metropolitan Airport," a compliment to Hailey's technique. They continue on to mention that Hailey has filled Airport with "a little bit of everything" by way of his main characters. This review finishes by distinguishing Airport as "a good acceptable escape." The New York Times Book Review in April 7, 1968 echoes the aforementioned reviews. After providing a description of airport activities, the brief concludes with a few critical words. It asserts that although "Mr. Hailey is a plodding sort of writer," "he has just the talent to suggest the crashing ennui of airport routine, where only a mortal disaster can provide color." Time Magazine's March 22, 1968 review of Airport brands the novel as a typical Hailey novel, stating that in it, he [Hailey] "gives airports his typical Hotel treatment." Whatever similarities Airport may bear to other Hailey novels, Time does proclaim that Hailey's authentically described airport situation may "permanently ground all of his readers." Time's review is a bit more critical than others, referring to Airport as offering suspense and entertainment, but also branding it as an "obvious, but well-programmed novel." SOURCES: "Airport" Publisher's Weekly; vol. 193 (January 8, 1968): p 6 "Airport" Library Journal; vol. 93 (March 1, 1968): p 1020 "Airport" Library Journal; vol. 93 (May 15, 1968): p 2132 "Airport" New York Times Book Review; vol. 73 (April 7, 1968): p39 "20th Century Waiting Rooms" Time; vol. 91 (March 22, 1968): p 84
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Publisher's Weekly's March 5, 1968 edition hails Airport as "a novel bookstores will welcome, a good story in the best-seller tradition." This review predicts a rather favorable reception for Hailey's novel, noting that "an audience prepared by Hotel" will embrace it. This particular excerpt also notes that Airport is destined to be widely enjoyed, as "the new book has an appeal to almost all readers." It goes on to provide a concise introduction to Airport's general plot, making a quick mention of the "many minor conflicts?of love, sex, business, and psychological problems" that all come together to form the "tremendously exciting scenes of a shattered transoceanic plane trying to make its way back to the airport, and a runway that can't, but must, be cleared." The Library Journal's March 1, 1968 edition offers similar praise for Hailey's Airport; their comments are nothing but positive. From the very beginning, this review not only praises the book itself, but also Hailey's craftsmanship, asserting: "Arthur Hailey has managed to capture the excitement and intensity of life in a big city airport, and has evidently researched his subject thoroughly for technical accuracy." The reviewer continues to sing Hailey's praises as he mentions how "vividly portrayed" the character's emotional lives are. This review is laden with powerful diction that characterizes Airport as a thrilling, passionate book. The reviewer's word choices suck the reader in and make them want to drop everything and pickup a copy of the novel: "as a snow storm of blizzard proportions rages around the airport, Mel Bakersfeld, the airport manager, is beset with soul-trying problem: his social-climbing, man-hungry wife is demanding a divorce; his brother, suffering from a guilt complex resulting from a crash which was his fault, is planning suicide; an anti-noise demonstration adds to an already near chaotic evening; and a bomb threat and near-fatal explosion aboard an elite jet flying to Rome threatens destruction to everyone." As is evident from his descriptions, this reviewer can do nothing but affirm his flattering opinion of Airport, when he declares the novel "a necessary addition to fiction shelves of any public library; definitely a circulator; you cannot go wrong with this one." In the May 15, 1968 edition of Library Journal, the reviewer offers a similar toast to Hailey's novel. This account cites that Airport's readers are "offered total involvements in the problems of Lincoln Metropolitan Airport," a compliment to Hailey's technique. They continue on to mention that Hailey has filled Airport with "a little bit of everything" by way of his main characters. This review finishes by distinguishing Airport as "a good acceptable escape." The New York Times Book Review in April 7, 1968 echoes the aforementioned reviews. After providing a description of airport activities, the brief concludes with a few critical words. It asserts that although "Mr. Hailey is a plodding sort of writer," "he has just the talent to suggest the crashing ennui of airport routine, where only a mortal disaster can provide color." Time Magazine's March 22, 1968 review of Airport brands the novel as a typical Hailey novel, stating that in it, he [Hailey] "gives airports his typical Hotel treatment." Whatever similarities Airport may bear to other Hailey novels, Time does proclaim that Hailey's authentically described airport situation may "permanently ground all of his readers." Time's review is a bit more critical than others, referring to Airport as offering suspense and entertainment, but also branding it as an "obvious, but well-programmed novel." SOURCES: "Airport" Publisher's Weekly; vol. 193 (January 8, 1968): p 6 "Airport" Library Journal; vol. 93 (March 1, 1968): p 1020 "Airport" Library Journal; vol. 93 (May 15, 1968): p 2132 "Airport" New York Times Book Review; vol. 73 (April 7, 1968): p39 "20th Century Waiting Rooms" Time; vol. 91 (March 22, 1968): p 84
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Best-selling author Arthur Hailey admits, "I am a very nosey person, always have been. I'm curious about everything." (http://www.s-t.com/daily/12-01/12-02-01/e05li133.htm) Arthur Hailey is an author who has come to fame because of his ability to ask questions about "ostensibly dry subjects" like hotel management, airport workings, and bank procedures. (http://www.s-t.com/daily/12-01/12-02-01/e05li133.htm) Using his research into each of these arenas, as well as others, Hailey has produced a string of different books. Sam Vaughan, one of Arthur Hailey's editors at Doubleday and Random House, once noted that: "He [Hailey] likes to write about things or places that touch almost everybody. Arthur likes explaining things, how things work." (http://www.s-t.com/daily/12-01/12-02-01/e05li133.htm) In these intricate explanations of how things work, Hailey found himself producing a succession of popular best-sellers. Between these novels, there are many common characteristics that contribute to their success: attention to fine details, relatable characters, reader appeal, relationship to popular culture, evidence of the "follow-on" phenomenon, translatability into other forms of media, etc. The success of Hailey's best-selling novel, Airport, draws upon four of these main distinctions: relatable characters, the "follow-on" effect, attention to minute details, and its ability to easily be adapted into other forms of media. Arthur Hailey's first novel, Runway Zero Eight, was published in 1958. His second novel, Final Diagnosis, was published in 1959. This thriller focused on a hospital pathologist who erroneously causes the death of an infant. (http://www.s-t.com/daily/12-01/12-02-01/e05li133.htm) High Places (1960) and Hotel (1965) preceded Airport's 1968 best-selling success. Six additional successful novels then followed Airport: Wheels (1971), The Moneychangers (1975), Overload (1979), Strong Medicine (1984), The Evening News (1990), and Detective (1997). Thus, it is very evident that Airport was neither the first nor the last that readers would hear of best-selling author Arthur Hailey. Because of this, Airport's sales were much more successful. Essentially, Airport was a "Follow-On" bestseller, as some of its sales were no doubt due to the success of Hailey's earlier novels. When dealing with writing based on any sort of mechanical subject, it is obviously imperative that the author makes the technical details and scenarios as accurate ad believable as possible. Arthur Hailey's books are famous for providing "information about the way a [that] particular environment functions, and how it affects both society and the people in it. " (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Hailey) Hailey does an excellent job of this in Airport; he describes the daily airport functions to such a degree of detail that there is virtually no question as to their technical authenticity. For instance, when describing the "flat face scope" in the radar room, Hailey describes it as a horizontal glass circle, the size of a bicycle tire, set into a tabletop console. Its surface was dark green, with brilliant points of light showing all the aircraft in the air within a forty-mile radius. As the aircraft moved, so did the points of light. Beside each light point was a small plastic marker, identifying it. The markers were known colloquially as ? shrimp boats' and the controllers moved them by hand as aircraft progresses and their positions on the screen changed. As more aircraft appeared, they were identified by voice radio and similarly tagged. (Hailey 91) With his attention to details such as this, it is hard to discredit Hailey's knowledge of airport technology. Similarly, this confidence in Hailey's scientific accuracy helped to make his books best-sellers; consumers are much more likely to buy and enjoy a book that seems to be both intelligent and credible. Additionally, when a reader puts Airport down for the last time, they can be assured that they will feel as though they have learned something about the airline industry. In fact, it is noted that Hailey often spends nearly a year researching and gathering information prior to writing each of his novels. (Bevilacqua 261) Part of what makes Airport, along with Hailey's other novels, such successful best-sellers is the presence of real-life characters to who are both very believable and relatable to their readers. Additionally, it seems like the characters presented represent all walks of American life, thus almost every reader can relate to someone in Airport. The most "real" character in Airport is Mel Bakersfield, the airport general manager who works his way into almost everyone of the book's subplots. Airport follows Mel through the trials and tribulations of a crisis-filled evening in "a winter to be discussed at meteorologists' conventions for years to come." (Hailey 5) Mel Bakersfield's emotions, thoughts, and actions are portrayed in such a way that readers cannot help but feel some sort of emotion for him and his situation, whether it be sympathy for his stressful situation, disapproval of his adulterous desires, or bewilderment for his ironically unfortunate turn of events. The main focus of Mel Bakersfield's adulterous desires is the beautiful, professional, and charming Trans America employee, Tanya Livingston. Mel and Tanya's amorous intentions are evident from the start of them novel, when it is pointed out that the couple has had a handful of "dates" outside of the airport and that "if their meetings away from the airport continued, there could be a natural and obvious progression" of their extramarital relationship. (Hailey 31) Their association unfolds and presents itself more and more as the novel progresses. There is a very human side to it, as affairs are something that most readers know exist and many even participate in. Thus, their liaison catches the attention of the readers, who can often relate or sympathize, or who are just intrigued to follow it until the last pages of Airport. Another Airport character that draws readers in is Trans American Captain Vernon Demerest. A rather contemptible character from the start, Demerest is one who definitely holds the reader's interest, as he is involved in the action of Airport from the first pages to the last. Vernon Demerest is not only Mel Bakersfield's brother-in-law, but he also plays the role of the conceited, adulterous, selfish pilot. Airport chronicles his affair with the beautiful British flight attendant Gwen Meighen. Demerest admits that he has no regrets about cheating on his wife Sarah with Gwen, and that his wife obviously was aware of his cheating tendencies: "He [Demerest] was also sure that Sarah suspected his philandering, if not in fact, then at least my instinct. But, characteristically, she would prefer not to know, and arrangement in which Vernon Demerest was happy to cooperate." (Hailey 60) Throughout Airport, Demerest is not shy about his sexual affections for Gwen, remarking frequently on their much anticipated "layover" in Italy, a liaison which his was very much looking forward to: The word ?layover' has long ago been adopted officially by airlines and was used deadpan? Demerest and Gwen Meighen were planning a personal definition now. On arrival in Rome, they would leave immediately for Naples for a forty-eight hour ?layover' together. It was a halcyon, idyllic prospect, and Vernon Demerest smiled appreciatively at the thought of it. (Hailey 60) Readers cannot help but be drawn in to follow along with the couple's affair. Another of Vernon Demerest's relationship hooks readers, also. This is his relation with Mel Bakersfield, his brother-in-law. It is instantly evident that the two do not get along, and that Demerest delights in highlighting Mel's errors and shortcomings: "Another thing which pleased him [Demerest] this evening was the Airlines Snow Committee report in which he had delivered a verbal kick in the crotch, aimed at his stuffed-shirt brother-in-law, Mel Bakersfield." (Hailey 61) Throughout the course of the novel, Demerest never fails to focus his energy on causing "maximum embarrassment and irritation" to Mel. (Hailey 61) In this relationship, the distasteful side of human beings is shown. Readers latch on to this dysfunctional relationship. As it is much easier to feel sympathy for Baskersfield than for Demerest, readers follow the quarrels and vindictive conflicts throughout the entirety of the novel, hoping to see Mel end up on top and Demerest get some kind of retribution for his spiteful behavior. This conflict makes the novel appealing not only to the general reader, but also to those who can sympathize with similar in-law battles or malicious behavior at the workplace. Hailed as "one of the original ?disaster' movies," Airport was released in theaters in 1970. (http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?PID=1143268&frm=sh_google) The cast was filled with stars ranging from Burt Lancaster and Van Heflin to Helen Hayes, Dean Martin, and Maureen Stapleton. The star power of this movie definitely helped it gain popularity and great acclaim. In fact, Airport the movie was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Helen Hayes won the 1970 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. (http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?PID=1143268&frm=sh_google) Not only did this film spawn the "sequels" Airport 1975, Airport '77 and The Concorde - Airport '79, but it was also the inspiration for a plethora of other disaster epics based on the same catastrophic premise. ((http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?PID=1143268&frm=sh_google) The great success of Airport in 1970 no doubt fueled further sales of this best-selling novel. The mere fact that the book itself translated so well into a film says much for its success as a best-seller. Books that follow this pattern historically are very successful best ?sellers (ie: Jaws, The Godfather, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Angela's Ashes, etc.) It has been asserted that Arthur Hailey's novels "have won popular acclaim because they elucidate clearly and simply some of the complex machinery of contemporary society and satisfy in melodramatic fashion the average reader's desire for a well-packaged and entertaining story." (Bevilacqua 261) This reason, combined with its translatability into film, its humanistic characters, and its follow-on trend with Hailey's other novels all contribute to Airport's success as an American best-seller. AIrport demonstrates an excellent melange of qualities that make prove to make an extremely popular book.
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