Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Valley of Bones

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Valley of Bones

A Novel

by Michael Gruber

Valley of Bones
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 448 pages
    Feb 2006, 432 pages

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Beyond the Book

Although Tropic of Night was his first book in his own name, Gruber has ghost-written 14 books for his cousin Robert Tanenbaum (his mother and Tanenbaum's mother are sisters). According to Publishers Weekly, in 1984 Tanenbaum, a successful trial lawyer, called him from his offices in Los Angeles asking him to look at the first hundred pages of a book he had written at the request of a publishing house. Gruber says "I called him, and I said, 'This is unsalvageable. It's not a novel, it has no characters, no plot, nothing.'"

In return for half the advance, Gruber rewrote the novel, they renegotiated the contract and went into business. This arrangement continued for 14 books. Gruber says he created the characters and the novels based on stories Tanenbaum told him, or transcripts of cases Tanenbaum had worked on. However, Gruber's credit ...

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