Anyone known to review novels (even, I suspect, the third-string reviewer on the Methodist Recorder) will receive unsolicited pre-publication copies of what their publisher fondly expects will be ‘the next big fiction event’. With the freebie will also come a threat. This book is strictly embargoed, the recipient will be informed. Write anything about it, or mention it in any broadcast, and we will sue. If you dream about this book, wake up and consult your lawyer. You are not holding a book in your hand, you are holding a literary grenade.
For instance, in January I received a glistening package from Penguin via the publicist Colman Getty:
A Young Bond novel
By Charlie Higson
Published by Puffin in paperback original
on 3 March 2005, price £5.99
***STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 3 MARCH 2005 … HIGHLY CLASSIFIED INFORMATION … EARLY PUBLICATION OF INFORMATION RELATING TO THIS DOCUMENT COULD