Stephen King picks Hesh Kestin and Terry Pratchett adds GK Chesterton to accompany their novels in million-book giveaway
Terry Pratchett would like us to sample GK Chesterton, Iain Banks is pushing Alan Moore and Roald Dahl's estate is keen on Sarah Waters. The authors chosen to be part of World Book Night on 23 April, when 1m books will be given away for free, have picked the books they themselves would recommend to readers – with Stephen King's ringing endorsement of obscure American crime novel The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats as "the best book you never read" leading a British publisher to pounce on it.
From King's Misery to Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day, Pride and Prejudice to The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, each of the 25 titles to be distributed in April by 20,000 volunteers is now also set to include a sample extract from another title selected by its author. King's pick of Hesh Kestin's The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats – he calls it "The Godfather on laughing gas, or Catch-22 with guns … witty, sexy, thrilling, and all story" – will see two chapters of the book included in the back of the 40,000 copies of Misery distributed in April. Publisher Hodder & Stoughton couldn't miss out on the chance and has just acquired Kestin's 1960s New York tale about a college student who meets a notorious Jewish gangster, published in America in 2009 but previously ignored in the UK, for release on 12 April.
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