Sheldon, Sidney: Nothing Lasts Forever
(researched by Carol Zurawski)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Sheldon, Sidney: Nothing Lasts Forever. Published in 1994 for $ 23.00. Publisher: William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1350 Avenue of the Americas; New York, N.Y. 10019. Locations: LC Cataloging - in - Publications Data.
Source: visual inspection of first edition.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
Published in cloth: yellow/tan color on spine that extends 1 6/16" onto front and back cover. The remaining part of the front and back cover is black and not of the same cloth, but rather heavy cardboard.
Source: visual inspection of first edition.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
p.1: half title; p.2: blank; p.3: other books written by the author; p.4: blank; p.5: title; p.6: copyright; p.7: dedication 'To Anastasia and Roderick'; p.8: blank; p.9: author's no
te; p.10: blank; p.11: quotes by Hippocrates and Sir William Osler; p.12: blank; p.13: half title; p.14: blank; p.15-42: prologue; p.43: book 1; p.44: blank; p.45-179: text; p.180: blank; p.181: book 2; p.182: blank; p.183-395: text; p.396: blank; p.397-3
98: epilogue; p.399-400: blank.
Source: visual inspection of first edition.
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
Not edited or introduced.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The only illustration occurs on the front and back covers of the dust jacket. This illustration is a modified medical caduseus. The illustrator is Rob Brooks. The photograph on th
e dust jacket is by Thomas Heinser, and the photograph of the author on the inside back flap in the dust jacket is by Ruddy McDowall. The entire dust jacket is designed by Sherry Hockman for Doubleday Book and Music Clubs, Inc.
Source: visual inspection of dust jacket on first edition.
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 layout of the book is well organized. The title and half title pages and chapter pages are well marked and in bold face type. The typography is easy to read - not smaller than 12 point
font and is serif type. The quality of the printing is very good with dark ink that does not smear or wear off. The margins are relatively wide and the page numbers in the text are clearly marked at the bottom. The binding is not very attractive and con
sists of dull colors ( tan/yellow and black.) The dust jacket is slightly more visually interesting but not extremely vibrant.
Source: visual inspection of first edition.
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 is of good quality and appears to be holding up physically over time. The paper is of heavy weight, appears to be tightly woven and is not fragile. No tears are evident. Th
ere are 34 lines of text per page. The size of each page is 9 3/16" by 6 1/16".
Source: visual inspection of first edition.
11 Description of binding(s)
Light yellow/tan colored cloth wraps around the spine as well as 1 6/16" onto the front and back covers. The cloth is of medium weight and medium weave. The remainder of the binding is black cardboard. The
edges are trimmed and reinforced by manila colored paper on the inside of the book before the first page. The pages are glued onto a cloth section that is located underneath the official spine.
Source: visual inspection of first edition.
12 Transcription of title page
SIDNEY SHELDON ------- NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
William Morrow and Company, Inc. New York
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Not available.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Description of dust jacket: Printed on a black background and covered in clear plastic. Front cover: The background contains a black and white photograph of a woman from the waist up with her left arm across her chest and she is looking to the left. There is a printed modified medical caduseus on her upper left arm. This emblem is compose
d of a gold staff with two caterpillars wrapped around it. These are printed on a green background with black, yellow and white markings. Behind the staff is a printed butterfly in crimson with black and white markings. At the top is inscribed in large
gold lettering: SIDNEY SHELDON and the bottom ( in the same type and color ) says: NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. In between these two lines is inscribed in smaller white lettering: A NOVEL. Spine: Vertically down the spine in gold lettering is: SIDNEY SHELDON NOTHING LASTS FOREVER and horizantally at the bottom is MORROW. Back cover: Black background. The inscriptions here are of the same type and color as the front cover. At the top is SIDNEY SHELDON and the at the bottom is NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. In between these two lines is THE NEW NOVEL YOU WISH WOULD NEVER END.
At the end of this line the modified medical caduseus is printed at a slant towards the right. Inside front flap: An introductory quote, title and author's name and commentaries about the book. Inside back flap: Photograph of the author by Roddy McDowall, a description of the author, names of people responsible for jacket design, illustration and photograph. At the bottom is the address of the publisher.
Copyright page: Copyright(c)1994 by Sidney Sheldon. This page also says First Edition at the bottom.
Source: visual inspection of first edition and dust jacket.
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
Yes. (a) Large print book club edition (1994). 556p. (large print): 22cm (b) Large print Book Club edition (1994). 556p. (large print): 21cm (c) Large print edition (1994). 508p. (large print): 24cm
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?
There were 757,892 printings of the hardcover first edition and 15,000 printings of the paperback version. Source: William Morrow Publishers.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Yes. (a) 1994. Harper Collins, London. (b) 1994, 1995. Warner Books, New York. (c) 1995. Harper Collins, London.
6 Last date in print?
All editions are currently in print as of 1994 and 1995 when that particular edition came out, except for the first edition trade cloth version which went out of print in 1994.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
791,998 numbers of books have been sold. Source: William Morrow Publishers.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
1994 $764,000. 1995 $5,940. 1996 $494. Source: The Bowker Annual. Editor: Catherine Barr. Published by R.R. Bowker, New Providence, NJ. 1995. Source: William Morrow Publishers.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Advertisements for the audio version of the book by Dove Audio were found in Publisher's Weekly.
Advertisement for first edition. From Publisher's Weekly, July 11, 1994 p. 61. " Aficionados of cliches and stereotypes will derive extraordinary pleasure from practically every page of this formulaic potboiler from the bestselling Sheldon. "
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
The book was promoted by the author when he created a special limited edition version of the book in audio version. Sidney Sheldon also had several book signings. The cover of the book has also been shown in various magazines, such as Publisher's W
eekly. Source: William Morrow Publishers.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Yes. (a) Recording. 1995. BOT library edition. 6 sound cassettes (540 mins). Analogue. Unabridged. Read by Alexander Adams. Books on Tape, Newport Beach, CA. (b) Recording. 1994. Special limited edition. 3 sound discs (195 mins). Digital. 4 3/4 in. Compact disc. Read by Sidney Sheldon. Dove Audio, Beverly Hills, CA. (c) Recording. 1994. 9 sound cassettes (10 hrs). Analogue. Dolby processed. Unabridged. Performed by Candy Clark. Dove Audio, Beverly Hills, CA. (d) Recording. 1994. 4 audio cassettes (6 hrs). Dolby. Abridged. Dove Audio, Beverly Hills, CA. (e) Recording. 1994. 2 audio cassettes (180 mins). Analogue. Dolby processed. Abridged. Dove Audio, Beverly Hills, CA.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Yes. (a) Sheldon, Sidney. Semmi sem tart orokke. Budapest: I.P.C., 1995. (Hungarian) (b) Sheldon, Sidney. Nichto ne vechno. Moskva: Novosti, 1995. (Russian) (c) Sheldon, Sidney. Nada dura para sempre. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1995. (Portuguese) (d) Sheldon, Sidney. Yongwonhan kot un opta. Seoul: Yongnim K'adinol, 1994. (Korean) (e) Sheldon, Sidney. Davar eno la-netsah. Tel-Aviv: Shalgi, 1994. (Hebrew) (f) Sheldon, Sidney. Nada es eterno. Buenos Aires: Emece, 1994. (Spanish)
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)
Novels written by Sidney Sheldon have the ability to captivate the reader with their easy-to-read text and appealing plots. Sheldon refuses to acknowledge critics' remarks accusing him of "writing books as
movies." Instead, he defends his goal of striving to write visually. This visual manner in which he writes gives his work rapid momentum and mass appeal. He has created a career for himself based not only on his best selling books, but also his contrib
utions to film and television. His novels are million-selling, translated and in print in thirty-nine countries, all of which contribute to his being considered one of the best-selling writers in the world. Sidney Sheldon was born on February 11, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois. He is the son of Otto and Natalie Sheldon and is of American nationality. He attended Northwestern University from 1935-36, and he belongs to the Church of Religious Science. He ma
rried his first wife, Jorja Cutight (an actress) on March 28,1951. She passed away in 1985, and in 1989 he married his second and current wife, Alexandra Kostoff. He has one child, Mary Sheldon Dastin and he currently resides in Bel Air, CA with his wif
e. His office contact is at the following address: C/O Press Relations, William Morrow, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10016-4702. Sidney Sheldon began and continues his career as a writer. In addition to being a novelist, other highlights include his role as former script reader for Universal and Twentieth-Fox Studios, creator, producer and writer of television shows including
The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Nancy, and Hart to Hart. Sidney Sheldon has written a total of fifteen novels. These include, plus two boxed sets: The Naked Face;1970, The Other Side of Midnight;1974, A Stranger in the Mirror;1976, Bloodline;1977, Rage of Angels;1980, Master of the Game;1982, If Tomorrow
Comes;1985, Windmills of the Gods;1987, The Sands of Time;1988, Sheldon Boxed Set:Bloodline, A Stranger in the Mirror, Rage of Angels;1988, Memories of Midnight;1990, The Doomsday Conspiracy;1991, The Stars Shine Down;1992, Sidney Sheldon:Three Complete N
ovels;1992, Nothing Lasts Forever;1994, Morning, Noon and Night;1995, and The Best Laid Plans;1997. Sidney Sheldon was 53 when he published his first novel and throughout his career he has been published by William Morrow, Inc. However, the first box se
t was published by Warner Books and the second by Random House. In addition to the above publications, Sidney Sheldon has numerous works in other media under his belt especially plays, screenplays and two children's books. He has received multiple awards and honors. These include Academy Award for best origina
l screenplay, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,1948, for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Screen Writers' Guild Award for best musical of the year,1948, for Easter Parade and in 1950 for Annie Get Your Gun, Antoinette Perry Award,1959, for bo
ok of Redhead, Emmy Awards for I Dream of Jeannie, Edgar Allen Poe Award for best first mystery novel, Mystery Writers of America, and New York Times citation for best first mystery novel, both in 1970 for The Naked Face and finally, he received a star on
the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Despite some critics' comments that Sheldon's plots and characters are often unbelievable and his prose is staccato and lackluster, Sidney Sheldon continues to charm his readers with a sense of suspense and urgency he creates in his novels. In the
words of the author himelf: "I have this goal...and it's for a reader to not be able to go to sleep at night. I want him to keep reading another four pages, then one more page. The following morning, or night, he's anxious to get back to the book."
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
" The typical Sheldon potbroiler features a beautiful and determined heroine enacting revenge on her enemies; as Conroy describes, in Sheldon's novels "the beautiful but often poor and pure heroines are raped, so
domized and defrauded, and go on to avenge themselves by questionable, often illegal, but ingenious methods." Works by Sidney Sheldon, including Nothing Lasts Forever, have mass appeal and tend to satisfy everyone except most literary critics. Sheldon w
rites in a brisk manner which makes the reader feel as though he/she were watching a film and without surprise, several television adaptations of Sheldon's work exist. Since its publication in 1994, Nothing Lasts Forever has fared well with general read
ers and some critics but many literary critics find fault with it. Nevertheless, Sheldon continues to be a best-selling writer because books like Nothing Lasts Forever have mass appeal. As Heather Blenkinsopp comments on this novel, "recommended for public libraries, where the demand will surely be high." The plot
line is dramatic, fast-paced and based on themes designated to be popular and not necessarily intellectual. For example, this book centers around three female doctors practicing in a large hospital. Kat is involved in unsavory underworld activities, Ho
ney's perfect medical school record seems to be connected with her "friendliness" with the professors, and Paige is accused of killing a patient to gain access to a large inheritance. These melodramatic and albeit trashy themes are what causes this book to sell. As Carol E. Rinzler notes in the Washington Post, "there aren't a whole lot of writers around who can be depended on to produce good junk reading time after time; Sheldo
n is one of the few." Also New York Times Book Review contributor Robert Lekachman comments, "Although this may be literary junk food, it is hard to put down once you get started...Sheldon's smooth, serviceable, if immemorable, prose carries one along,
much like the movie serials of the Great Depression." In contrast to the positive reactions from diehard fans and some critics, many reviewers came down harshly on Nothing Lasts Forever. Sheldon is often criticized for using banal prose and all too unbelievable characters and situations. Kevin Kelly f
rom The Boston Globe comments, "if hospital hysteria among blue-capped surgeons dangling gleam-sharp blades above blood-pocking intestines, with sex on the side, happens to be your thing, you're better off taking two aspirins and watching "ER." From the
Sun Sentinel, Myrna Lippman writes, "the plot lines are improbable, the writing sophomoric, the characters one-dimensional." Many literary critics are hesitant to equate popularity and quality and therefore tend to denounce works like Nothing Lasts Fore
ver. "Sheldon is nothing if not quick, glib, shallow, melodramatic, sloppily romantic if sexually shy, sure of himself," comments Kevin Kelly from The Boston Globe. Even though Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever has received mixed reviews from critics, the author continues to be a successful best-selling novlist. In general, critics looking for insightful and thought-provoking work will be disappointed by
the book. However, a reader in search of an enjoyable ride will more than likely be drawn in. This schism is thoroughly demonstrated in the reviews of Nothing Lasts Forever.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
" The typical Sheldon potbroiler features a beautiful and determined heroine enacting revenge on her enemies; as Conroy describes, in Sheldon's novels "the beautiful but often poor and pure heroines are raped, so
domized and defrauded, and go on to avenge themselves by questionable, often illegal, but ingenious methods." Works by Sidney Sheldon, including Nothing Lasts Forever, have mass appeal and tend to satisfy everyone except most literary critics. Sheldon w
rites in a brisk manner which makes the reader feel as though he/she were watching a film and without surprise, several television adaptations of Sheldon's work exist. Since its publication in 1994, Nothing Lasts Forever has fared well with general read
ers and some critics but many literary critics find fault with it. Nevertheless, Sheldon continues to be a best-selling writer because books like Nothing Lasts Forever have mass appeal. As Heather Blenkinsopp comments on this novel, "recommended for public libraries, where the demand will surely be high." The plot
line is dramatic, fast-paced and based on themes designated to be popular and not necessarily intellectual. For example, this book centers around three female doctors practicing in a large hospital. Kat is involved in unsavory underworld activities, Ho
ney's perfect medical school record seems to be connected with her "friendliness" with the professors, and Paige is accused of killing a patient to gain access to a large inheritance. These melodramatic and albeit trashy themes are what causes this book to sell. As Carol E. Rinzler notes in the Washington Post, "there aren't a whole lot of writers around who can be depended on to produce good junk reading time after time; Sheldo
n is one of the few." Also New York Times Book Review contributor Robert Lekachman comments, "Although this may be literary junk food, it is hard to put down once you get started...Sheldon's smooth, serviceable, if immemorable, prose carries one along,
much like the movie serials of the Great Depression." In contrast to the positive reactions from diehard fans and some critics, many reviewers came down harshly on Nothing Lasts Forever. Sheldon is often criticized for using banal prose and all too unbelievable characters and situations. Kevin Kelly f
rom The Boston Globe comments, "if hospital hysteria among blue-capped surgeons dangling gleam-sharp blades above blood-pocking intestines, with sex on the side, happens to be your thing, you're better off taking two aspirins and watching "ER." From the
Sun Sentinel, Myrna Lippman writes, "the plot lines are improbable, the writing sophomoric, the characters one-dimensional." Many literary critics are hesitant to equate popularity and quality and therefore tend to denounce works like Nothing Lasts Fore
ver. "Sheldon is nothing if not quick, glib, shallow, melodramatic, sloppily romantic if sexually shy, sure of himself," comments Kevin Kelly from The Boston Globe. Even though Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever has received mixed reviews from critics, the author continues to be a successful best-selling novlist. In general, critics looking for insightful and thought-provoking work will be disappointed by
the book. However, a reader in search of an enjoyable ride will more than likely be drawn in. This schism is thoroughly demonstrated in the reviews of Nothing Lasts Forever.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
More than twenty years ago, a budding novelist (and an already successful film and television producer) by the name of Sidney Sheldon launched a new career for himself by writing fiction novels. His popularity h
as subsequently turned him into a best-selling author that has sold millions of books. While most new authors are struggling to make themselves known to the literary world, Sheldon's first book, The Naked Face (1970), received both the New York Times c
itation for best first mystery novel as well as the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery novel, Mystery Writers of America. Even today, Sheldon's books continue to be purchased with the same fervor as before. His best-selling novel, Nothing Lasts For
ever (1994) is a modern day indicator and representative of his persevering popularity. In this essay, I attempt to detail and analyze the popularity of Nothing Lasts Forever in light of the familiarity and ease with which Sidney Sheldon has permeated in
to the best-selling world of contemporary authors. Sidney Sheldon is well known not only for his novels but also for his performances and contributions in other media. He actually did not even consider becoming a novelist until age fifty when he was at the top of his profession as a film and televis
ion producer. From the 1940's through the 1960's, Sheldon has a substantial list of plays, screenplays and short stories under his belt. This menagerie is comprised of 7 plays and 24 screenplays. He has also been involved in writing children's books
and is the author of more than 250 scripts for popular television shows. These shows include The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Nancy and Hart to Hart, all of which had an audience size of about 20 million. All of his plays were first produced on
Broadway. One of his plays, Gomes, gained fame across the Atlantic and was produced in London. Sidney Sheldon obviously had quite a following before he wrote the first word of his premiere novel. In addition to being an accomplished writer, he received several awards for his efforts. The most prestigious awards include an Oscar for best orig
inal screenplay in 1948 for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer , a Tony in 1959 for his book The Redhead, and multiple Emmy Awards for I Dream of Jeannie. Perhaps the most indicative acknowledgement of his fame and popularity is written in stone (literally
!)....he has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Many people wondered why the winner of Oscar, Tony and Emmy Awards would suddenly turn to fiction. Even the author himself viewed novel writing as an unnatural next step, especially since he was already at the height of his career. Sheldon explains
himself in the following manner, "I got an idea that was so introspective I could see no way to do it as a television series, movie or Broadway play, because you had to get inside the characters's mind. With much trepidation, I decided I'd try a novel
." Much to Sheldon's horror, his first novel sold only 17,000 copies, but he rebounded with his second novel, which sold over 3 million copies. He is currently considered one of the best-selling writers in the world and has books in print in 39 countri
es. The success of Nothing Lasts Forever as well as his other novels can at least be partially attributed to his prior popularity with a very wide audience. As soon as the public caught onto the fact that the same person who had affiliations with popula
r television shows and the like was now writing books, they most likely sought to try out his new novels as well. Each subsequent book probably builds on the popularity of the previous book, so that Sheldon's success as a novelist is a continuous, glidi
ng ascent to an apex that is yet on the distant horizon. Because of this, Nothing Lasts Forever became a best-seller in the year 1994. In addition to Sheldon's familiar public persona, there are a myriad of other reasons that can be attributed to the popularity of Nothing Lasts Forever. One of these is the pure smuttiness of the novel. Mystery, murder, sex, deceit.....what more c
an you ask for? Like the other novels, this book moves along at a brisk pace and does not require heavy analysis to understand the plot and character development, which in fact there is little of. The book takes place in a large city hospital and the three main characters are women doctors. Honey Taft has and continues to sleep with professors and other doctors to achieve a perfect record when in fact she borders on incompetency. Paige Taylo
r is on trial for murdering a patient because he left her a million dollars, although she claims it was a "mercy killing." Kat Hunter has vowed never to let a man close to her again until she accepted the challenge of a deadly bet. Intermingled among th
e main plot are the life and death decisions that doctors make, the unglorified aspects of the medical profession and the behind the scenes politics that take place. In this novel, Sheldon does not bore the reader with extraneous details. Instead, he keeps the chapters moving along but yet ends them at a point where the reader is curious as to what is going to happen next. This makes it difficult to put the boo
k down and makes it a very quick read. This is precisely Sheldon's goal: "...it's for a reader to not be able to go to sleep at night. I want him to keep reading another four pages, then one more page. The following morning, or night, he's anxious
to get back to the book." Nothing Lasts Forever is an exact fit to this model. Who will Honey Taft end up with next? Will Kat Hunter be able to lead Dr. Mallory on for much longer? There is a patient in cardiac arrest; what will Paige Taylor do to sav
e him? The book has certain elements of excitement that build up in each chapter until suddenly there is a commercial break, the chapter ends, and the reader finds him/herself sticking around for more. Sheldon's books are generally well received by the public, but are more extensively criticized by those within the true literary circle. Critics have been known to label his novels, including Nothing Lasts Forever, as unsophisticated and banal. Th
e characters are claimed to be shallow, and the prose lackluster and staccato. However, if a mindless diversion is what the reader is after, these are precisely the ingredients that are necessary. Nevertheless, some reviewers declare that the novel is m
ore like a movie than a book, which holds the reader's attention. The characters are vulnerable females which has a certain attractiveness in itself. Although the dialogue is relatively unmemorable, it is smooth and flows along easily. Also, some of t
he events are relatively unbelievable and dramatic but this simply adds to the potboiler nature of the novel. These qualities are praised by certain reviewers and help to explain the mass appeal of this novel. As the decades have passed, people as a whole have generally become much more liberal and tolerant towards subjects that have previously been considered to be taboo. After the 1960's, racy topics began to filter into popular entertainment much more
frequently than before. Such popular fiction tends to have mass appeal because it does not require exertion of the mind. In other words, critical thinking is not necessary in order to understand what is happening. The little events that occur in the n
ovel are also appealing because they tap into that part of the psyche which is fascinated by what we are "not supposed to like or think about." The novel can also be viewed as an escape from the trappings of everyday life and an adventure into a fantasy t
hat is entertaining and satisfying. Since one of the characters in Nothing Lasts Forever (Honey Taft) obviously uses talents other than her intelligence to influence professors and doctors to inflate her grades, or tell her answers in advance so that she appears incredibly brilliant du
ring rounds, this can be interpreted and compared to the rise of Clintonism and his women. President Clinton was elected in 1992 and has probably achieved the height of fame with the recent scandals. As everyone who watches the news or reads the newspap
er knows, he has been accused of improper behavior towards various women who worked near him in the government. Honey Taft is in many ways similar to the Monica Lewinskys out there, but at least Honey is discrete about it and other people don't end up f
inding out. President Clinton is a younger president and therefore has a greater deal of appeal to the younger crowd than previous presidents. Sheldon's book focuses on fairly young characters as well. Honey is also not a particularly attractive girl
(also like Clinton's accusers) but uses her learned talents to benefit her. Ultimately, she is trying desperately to satisfy her parents who desire her to be a doctor even though she wants to become a nurse. Other contemporaneous events that might help to explain the book's popularity is the general rise of "Generation X" in the 1990s. Many young people of this generation are considered to be apathetic about important issues concerning the future. Ins
tead, they are said to be interested only in sex, drugs, music and other unwholesome subjects. In this context, Nothing Lasts Forever would definitely appeal to the younger crowd. Although the character development in this book may not be very extensive, Sheldon creates his characters so that the average person feels he/she can relate to them in some way. For this reason, the book is not restricted to a certain age subdivisio
n. For example, the main characters are women doctors, but male doctors as well as hospital administrators and boyfriends are also mentioned in certain scenes of the book. All three female characters have just made it through medical school and are now s
truggling interns. They face the long hours of being an intern and the unwanted advances and smirks of the new male doctors. Honey Taft is trying to please her parents by becoming a doctor even though she does not want to. She therefore must make it th
rough medical school and residency even though she borders on incompetency. Paige Taylor is an incredible surgeon but she is frustrated because a well known and respected visiting surgeon is especially tough on her. She faces the moral dilemma about whe
ther or not to humanely end the life of a patient because this is against the Hippocratic Oath and everything she has been taught. Kat Hunter is an African-American doctor who is struggling to prove herself to those with prejudices. Sidney Sheldon does not write in a manner that keeps his characters concealed or on a level above the reader. Instead, they are shown for who and what they are (and are not) so that they come across as real people, in perhaps a few unrealistic scene
s. The 1990s have fueled the women's movement and many more opportunities now exist for women in professions that used to be solely for men. Medicine is one of these professions, so Nothing Lasts Forever might be appealing to an audience of women becau
se it shows them persevering in a male dominated profession. This book may be compared to other similar popular fiction books, especially those by Danielle Steele. Danielle Steele writes romance novels that contain the same type of material as Sidney Sheldon's books. The main character of Steele's novels i
s also usually a woman. She writes in a manner analogous to Sheldon, but her plots seem to be more intricate than the plot in Nothing Lasts Forever. Her characters face similar situations and heartaches as do the characters in this particular Sheldon bo
ok. For example, in Steele's book Palomino, the beautiful female main character is faced with losing her fiance, much like Paige Taylor in Sheldon's book. Both authors have reached best-selling status because their material is easy to read and the cha
racters are intriguing enough to keep the reader interested. Without reverting to clich├ęs, sex definitely sells, and both authors have hit the nail on the head. In addition to the original hardcover edition of Nothing Lasts Forever, Sheldon's novel has been well represented in the form of audio cassette and other listening forms. A few versions also exist with large type. This has expanded the audience to
the visually impaired and has made the book available to an almost unlimited audience. There are also translations in six different languages, which helped to increase the popularity of the book worldwide. Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever reached best-selling status in 1994 and remained in the charts for many weeks. However, this is not a book that will linger in the mind of the reader for very long. This is partly because Sidney Sheldon is kn
own for churning out books in rapid-fire manor. He claims that it never takes longer than two years to write a new novel. By the time the reader gets around to this particular novel, a new one has already come out and much like the title implies, Nothin
g Lasts Forever is soon forgotten. The influence that television and film has had on Sheldon's novels is obvious in Nothing Lasts Forever. The chapters are much like movie cuts, where they end at a point that seems to be in the middle. This keeps the reader interested and curious a
bout what is going to happen next. Literary critics tend to heavily criticize Sheldon's novel as banal and lackluster but somehow the public seems to eat it up. Sheldon writes simply and directly without trying to be confusing. It's much easier to hav
e everything given to you than to figure it out for yourself, which is probably why novels like Sheldon's are so well liked. It's always safest to go with the lowest common denominator. Sheldon's prior success as a producer was also an asset to his ne
w career as a novelist. For these reasons, Nothing Lasts Forever was an incredibly popular book, as will most likely other books by Sidney Sheldon.
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