Friday, March 21, 2008

Random House Has Reservations

What could be better for the spring reading season than gossip? Juicy, juicy gossip, about the stars and the wealthy and those who thought that they were assured of some privacy.

Abigail Hart and Nancy Joyce Callahan once worked the concierge desk at Chicago's elite Four Seasons Hotel. What stories they accumulated over the years. The rich and the famous were their clients, all people who could ask for whatever and expect to get it because they could afford it.

The ladies penned a tell-all book, to put their many memories in print for all to share. The manuscript was sold to Random House, and the publisher was fully prepared to lay down the book on April 22. Reviewers had their review copies so that the publicity machine could be revved up into high gear. You can imagine how thrilled the authors must have been, to be riding this wave of literary promotion.

It has all come crashing down.

Random House pulled the plug on Great Reservations. Ms. Hart and Ms. Callahan assured their publisher that they had legal opinions on their side. It seems that they had signed confidentiality agreements when they were hired by The Four Seasons, and they did not believe that they were in violation of their contract. The Four Seasons felt otherwise. The hotel must have had a more convincing argument, because the tell-all won't be telling anything anymore.

Some of their anecdotes are floating about on the Internet, gleaned from ARCs sent out earlier. If you're the sort who wanted to read about Demi Moore falling for a panhandler claiming he ran out of gas, then you'll sorely miss what might have been.

As for the book's authors, will they sorely miss their advance? After all, the book's been killed. Do they have to return the money?

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