Jonathan Mirsky

Sales of the Century

Leon Uris: Life of a Best Seller


University of Texas Press 352pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Instantly famous in 1958 after the publication of his novel Exodus, and for years afterwards one of the bestselling celebrity authors in print, Leon Uris was in person awful. He was egomaniacal but insecure, bullying, misogynistic, an unfaithful husband, an inconstant (at best) father, venomously envious of many other writers, a celebrant of violence practised by those he admired – Jews, Marines and the IRA – and a relentless hater of Arabs and any individual, especially his wives and children, who defied his unbending will.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,
    • ‘Look,’ says Trump. ‘The fact is I’m only human.’ On the evidence of this book that point is debatable. From the A… ,
    • From our December/January issue - here's John Banville's review of Colm Tóibín on the fathers of Wilde, Yeats and J… ,