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"If you put me in jail, I can’t earn any money, and I can’t pay you back. If you don’t sue me, I’ll pay you back."

If Bernie Madoff ever writes a memoir, it's too bad he won't be able to have Jacques Chambrun as an agent. They would have been perfect for each other.

Chambrun quietly arranged for the books of Grace Metalious (author of "Peyton Place") to be published in Britain, France, Germany, and Italy and used the money from these deals to cover his debts to Jack Schaefer, another client. Chambrun had used the money from Schaefer’s foreign rights to pay back Maugham, and so on and so on, in a kind of literary pyramid scheme.

Chambrun's life was the stuff of literature, both literally and figuratively. I'm surprised that none of his screwed-over clients never wrote a scathing, thinly-disguised novel about him.

July 11, 2012 in Books | Permalink