The Erik Demos Experiment

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  1. #1

    The Erik Demos Experiment

    In 1969, Steps, a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, won the National Book Award. Six years later a freelance writer named Chuck Ross, to test the old theory that a novel by an unknown writer doesn't have a chance, typed the first twenty-one pages of Steps and sent them out to four publishers as the work of "Erik Demos." All four rejected the manuscript. Two years after that, he typed out the whole book and sent it, again credited to Erik Demos, to more publishers, including the original publisher of the Kosinksi book, Random House. Again, all rejected it with unhelpful comments--Random House used a form letter. Altogether, fourteen publishers (and thirteen literary agents) failed to recognize a book that had already been published and had won an important prize.

    --From Rotten Reviews
    Last edited by Kyle R; August 26th, 2011 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Member Script Girrl's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Chattanooga, TN during the school year and Hollywood CA for the Summers.
    I'd be more inclined to think that the book was rejected the second time around based on its content. Not a conventional novel, it contains a series of dark vignettes which are full of gratuitous sex, bestiality, Sado-masochism, and revenge that revolve around the degradation/torture of men, women, children and animals.

    IMHO the panel who gave the author an award for that book was either bribed or loved the book because they lived in dark places themselves.

    The experiment was interesting though. I'd love to see it done again with a quality piece of literature. The outcome might be different.

    Script Girrl


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