Author Randall Hansen recently noted with great surprise — and enormous pleasure — how his book had suddenly shot up the Amazon charts a decade after it was published.
The book, an examination of the Allied bombing of German cities during the Second World War, received positive reviews when it landed on bookshelves 10 years ago. It sold pretty well in those early days and even received some award nominations, but then things pretty much went quiet. Until last week.
Why? Well, it seems it’s all down to the book’s title: Fire and Fury.
Yes, it’s exactly the same as Michael Wolff’s controversial account of seven months inside Trump’s White House, the content of which the global news media has been lapping up since its publication on January 5.
Hansen told BBC Radio this week that when he saw his book suddenly appear at the top of several Amazon book categories in his home country of Canada, and also jump noticeably in other countries’ book charts, he tweeted about it. The next day, he realized from the replies that came in that there was a range of reasons why people had been buying it.
Comments suggested a few may have actually purchased it in error, with Hansen noting one Amazon review along the lines of: “This book has nothing to do with Donald Trump, I don’t know why the Democrats are so excited about it.”
“Clearly a few people made a mistake,” Hansen said, adding, “I think what happened after all the likes and discussion on Twitter and the media attention, at least I hope, is that people began buying the book again because they were interested in it. But we shall see.”
“I’ll have to track the number of returns,” the author quipped.
According to some of the reviews, a few supporters of The Donald appear to have purchased it as a way of getting back at the author of the Trump version of Fire and Fury. But interestingly, some readers ended up buying both, as Amazon’s Canadian site lists the two Fire and Fury books as “frequently bought together.”
Hansen said that he’d struggled with the title when he was preparing the book for publication 10 years ago, revealing that he’d almost called it Hell’s Fury, before ditching it because it sounded “too much like a video game.”
He must be delighted he settled with Fire and Fury, and that Wolff went for the same title, giving Hansen’s work a second stint in the limelight.