Uris, Leon: QB VII
(researched by Meghan Blaszak)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Leon Uris. QB VII. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1970. Copyright 1970 by Leon Uris.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

The first American edition published in trade cloth binding. First American and Canadian editions published simultaneously. First paperback edition published by Bantam Books in 1972.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

252 leaves, pp. [12] [13] 14-18 [19] 20-40 [41] 42-59 [60] 61-64 [65] 66-69 [70] 71-75 [76] 77-82 [83] 84-88 [89] 90-103 [104-107] 108-113 [114] 115-123 [124] 125-135 [136] 137-140 [141] 142-153 [154] 155-166 [167] 168-186 [187] 188-199 [200-203] 204-212 [213] 214-231 [232] 233-239 [240] 241-249 [250] 251-263 [264] 265-269 [270-273] 274-289 [290] 291-292 [293] 294-302 [303] 304-307 [308] 309-331 [332] 333-358 [359] 360-377 [378] 379-427 [428] 429-439 [440] 441-442 [443] 444-447 [448] 449-456 [457] 458-460 [461] 462-474 [475] 476-490 [491] 492-495 [496] 497-504

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

The book is not edited or introduced. There is a list of other works written by Leon Uris.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

The text is not illustrated. There is a simple black and white representation of a soldier on the page of listed works by Leon Uris.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

Type size: 92R Page size (height x width): 8.1" x 5.5" Height and width of full page of text: 6.25" x 3.75 The relatively large margins nad average text size make it easy to read. The text appears clear and well-printed without cracking or wear. Printed in a serif font.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The book is printed on one type of paper throughout. The paper is not of particularly high quality, but it has held up well over time. Although one side of the paper appears to have an even, granulated texture indicative of wove paper, wiremarks are detectable on the reverse/opposite side. There are no tears, stains or foxing.

11 Description of binding(s)

The binding is black calico-texture cloth (not embossed). The following is printed on the spine in gold: Leon UrisΩQBΩVIIΩDOUBLEDAYΩ The endpapers are neither colored nor illustrated.

12 Transcription of title page

Recto: LEON URIS|QB VII|DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC.|Garden City, New York| Verso: Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 70-129894|Copyright 1970 by Leon Uris|All Rights Reserved|Printed in the United States of America|

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

Information unavailable.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

The binding on the spine has faded substantially and is slightly worn on the corners. The following information appears in pencil on the copyright page: PS|3541|.R46Q2|copy 3| Dedications: I dedicate this book to my darling wife|JILL|On her twenty-third birthday|And to |CHARLIE GOLDBERG|Aspen, Colorado|April 16, 1970| Author's Note: THE ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION ADHERES|TO AN EXTREMELY FORMAL PROTOCOL AND|A RIGID ETIQUETTE. I HAVE NOT AT-|TEMPTED TO BIND MYSELF TO ALL THESE|CUSTOMS BUT HAVE USED A REASONABLE|LITERARY LICENSE SO LONG AS THE NOVEL|REMAINS WITHIN A FRAMEWORK OF BASIC |TRUTH AND CREDIBILITY.|THE CHARACTERS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE|PURELY FICTITIOUS.|LEON URIS|

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A


2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

Information unavailable.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

Bantam edition, January 1972 by arrangement with Doubleday. Literary Guild Edition, January 1971. Published in London by Kimber, 1971, and Corgi, 1972. Demco Media, Limited, May 1982. A single volume including Exodus, Mila 18, and QB VII was published by Octopus/Heinemann in 1981.

6 Last date in print?

February 2000.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

According to cover art on current Bantam edition, there are over 3 million copies in print, but information regarding total sales in unavailable.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

The most recent sales figures published in Publishers' Weekly indicate 127,663 copies sold by March 29, 1971.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

The following as copy appeared in a full page ad in Publishers' Weekly (Sept. 7, 1970), The New York Times Book Review (Nov. 15, 1970), and The Washington Post Book World (Nov. 15, 1970): QB VII means Queen's|Bench Court Number Seven|-legal battleground for a|contest between a novelist|and a doctor who claims he has been libeled...|QB VII means suspense-|as a drama involving geno-|cide and the terrible abuse|of medical knowledge builds|to a blazingly unexpected|climax...| QB VII means bestseller excite-|ment-1970s blockbuster novel|by the author of Exodus and Topaz. The following ad copy appeared above the cover images of six Doubleday bestsellers in a half-page ad on the facing page in The New York Times Book Review: QB VII|soon will join these other Doubleday books|on America's major best seller lists...

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion


12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

Television mini-series aired in 1974. Videorecording of the television mini-series released by Columbia TriStar Home Video in 1989. Videorecording of the television mini-series released by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1989. Script of the Douglas S. Cramer production of Leon Uris' QB VII, 1973. Publication info: Newport Beach, CA : Books on Tape, 1984 Physical description: 10 sound cassettes.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

Publication info: Zagreb, August Cesarec, 1982 1970 Title: Soud Jejiho Velicenstva Edition: 1. vyd. v ces. jaz. Publication info: Praha : BB art, 1996 Title: Chi hao huang ting Publication info: Tai-pei : Chun wen hsueh chu pan she, 1972 Publication info: [Milano] : A. Mondadori, 1971 Title: Sud korolevskoi skam'i Publication info: Sankt-Peterburg : Severo-zapad, 1994 Title: A kiralyno torvenyszeke Publication info: [Hungary] : Fabula Konyvkiado, 1990 Title: QB VII Edition: 3. ed. Publication info: Barcelona : Editorial Bruguera, 1975 (According to WorldCat, 3 edition and a special edition of this translation were published.) Title: Kyu bhi khuannac = Q.B. Seven Publication info: Ran Kun : On Kyo Mui Ca Pe, 1975 Title: QB VII Publication info: Buenos Aires : Emece Editores, 1991 Title: QB VII Edition: 2a ed. Publication info: Barcelona : Plaza & Janes, 1990 1988 Title: Mishpat dibah QB VII Publication info: Jerusalem : Vaydenfeld ve-Nikolson, 1971 Title: Hao chieh hou Edition: 880-01 Chu pan. Publication info: Tai-pei shih : Chun wen hsueh chu pan she, 1984 197 Title: QB VII : ein Prozess erregt die Welt Publication info: [Zurich] : Neue Schweizer Bibliothek, 1971 Title: QB VII Publication info: Barcelona : Circulo de Lectores, 1973 Title: QB VII : ein Prozess erregt die Welt Publication info: [Zurich] : Kindler, 1971

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A


15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A


Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

After Uris' 1967 best-selling novel, Topaz, an espionage thriller depicting the Cold War struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, he returned to his Jewish heritage with the publication of QB VII, a riveting novel about a trial involving a famous Jewish writer and a Nazi war criminal. Uris loosely based QB VII on his experience in a libel suit in 1964. Dr. Wladislaw Dering brought suit against Uris after being named in Exodus as having committed atrocities against Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz. Both the real-life and the fictional verdicts were in favor of the plaintiffs, but in both cases, the alleged war criminals were awarded "contemptuous damages" of only a halfpenny. The semi-autobiographical nature of the novel extends to the similarities between the protagonist, Abe Cady, and the author. Both lack the extensive formal education typical of authors, and share the experience that writing is an intensely personal and solitary pursuit Uris is quoted as saying writing is "a job you have to do all by yourself. The odds are all stacked against you" (Christy 70). Additionally, both are Jewish and often use the Jewish experience as a primary theme around which to focus their writings. Uris dedicated QB VII to his new bride, Jill Peabody, who became an inspiring force behind his next novel, Trinity, which he derived from his experiences and research conducted during their travels throughout Ireland. Sources: Leon Uris: A Critical Companion, by Kathleen Shine Cain "Leon Uris: His Word Is Truth," by Marian Christy in the Boston Globe www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Temple/8360/uris.html Gale Literary Databases: Contemporary Authors: Leon Uris

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Although QB VII's popular reception was enormous, giving it the position of being second only to Exodus in the author's hardback sales only seven and a half months after publication, contemporary critical reception of Leon Uris's QB VII was predominantly negative. There were complaints regarding everything from predictable plot to "cardboard characters" to poor use of language. Whatever positive reviews were written focused on Uris's abilities as a storyteller, and the book's success as a "page-turner," a common feature of many bestsellers. For example, in the New York Times Book Review, W.G. Rogers said, "Quicker than you can say Uris you are caught up at once in the unfolding conflict." A reviewer for Newsday said, "A fine suspense story, an excellent courtroom story, written with genuine passion." Most critics, however, were not so complimentary in their reviews of the novel. In a scathing review for the New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote: "The trouble is: Knowing all along with Mr. Uris where "QB VII" is headed in its final chapter, what are we as readers supposed to do for entertainment in the meantime? That's what I was trying to explain when I said the book was so relaxing. You can do anything you like while reading it. In fact, you needn't even bother to read it at all." Martha Duffy was of the same opinion describing QB VII as a "heavily predictable tale." Unfortunately for Uris, the complaints ranged far beyond complaints of a slow plot. Duffy astutely stated that "Many of QB VII's sins are standard for the genre." Carefully catalogued by Joel Carmichael, these "sins," common to all of Uris's works, include a complete inability "to tell a story, describe a character, or refer to an idea or feeling without everything simply dissolving into a porridge of cliches at best or more normally, into an inarticulate mumble." As for the complaint of inadequate character development, Lehmann-Haupt said the following: "Fortunately, he does do us the favor of giving his characters different names, so we can tell them apart-except when they get bunched up in scenes together." Wanting to leave no stone unturned, Lehmann-Haupt also complained: "For one thing, having his last chapter clearly in view keeps Mr. Uris's mind (and ours) off the problem of language, which can be distracting sometimes to a novelist who stops to think about it. Where writers who don't know how their novels are going to turn out sometimes start fiddling with the meanings of words, Mr. Uris is always satisfied with what first came to mind as well as what probably never got there at all. Duffy also objected to the prose of the novel, referring to it as an "illiterate shorthand." Few of the reviews considered QB VII as a social act rather than as a literary act, which subsequent critical examination has done, and failed to view it as an attempt to effect social change rather than as a form of carefully crafted literature. SOURCES: Contemporary Authors on Gale Literary Databases: Leon Uris Downey, Sharon D. and Richard A. Kallan. " Semi-Aesthetic Detachment: The Fusing of Fictional and External Worlds in the Situational Literature of Leon Uris." Communication Monographs, September, 1982. Duffy, Martha. "Bestseller Revisited." Time 28 June 1971: 80. Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. "How to Write a Leon Uris." New York Times 2 December 1970: 45. Rogers, W.G. "Dr. Adam Kelno: Hero or Villain?" New York Times Book Review 15 November 1970: 70. Newsday citation from back cover of Bantam Edition paperback.

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

There has been limited critical reception of QB VII in recent years. What have appeared are passing mentions of the novel in conjunction with Uris's other works about Israel and the Jewish experience, and a few more serious attempts to analyze the book as a serious piece of literature. One such attempt is Kathleen Shine Cain's A Literary Companion to Leon Uris, a book dedicated to an analysis of all of Uris's works, including social, literary, and biographical influences evident in his novels. The chapter devoted to QB VII praises much more than it criticizes, setting Cain in stark contrast to earlier critics. Another piece of subsequent criticism, an article in Communication Monographs refers to QB VII as a work of " 'situational' literature?which addresses an immediate, specific, external world concern and envisions its audience as capable of effecting change through an outwardly directed reader response," a consideration not made by contemporary reviews of the novel. Furthermore, it states that "Uris's view of the novel as a situational and transitory tool by which to resolve specific injustices dramatically influences his rhetorical posture, consequently altering the implicit agreement between novelist and reader," an idea that changes the reading and interpretation of the novel. Regardless of the purpose of the novel, or its literary merit or lack thereof, QB VII continues to receive enthusiastic praise from readers. One review on barnesandnoble.com states: "Once I started the book, I couldn't put it down?It left me thinking about it a long time after I finished it." One on amazon.com said, "The novel is gripping from start to finish and part of its appeal is you are never sure what twist awaits around the corner. Sheer genius, a literary talent at his most dynamic and brilliant best." It is precisely this sort of response that rocketed QB VII to the top of the bestseller lists when it was published in 1970, and that has continued to ensure a devoted following for all of Uris's works in subsequent years. SOURCES: Downey, Sharon D. and Richard A. Kallan. " Semi-Aesthetic Detachment: The Fusing of Fictional and External Worlds in the Situational Literature of Leon Uris." Communication Monographs, September, 1982. Cain, Kathleen Shine. Leon Uris: A Critical Companion. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998. www.bn.com www.amazon.com

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

The secret of a bestseller is to cut across genres, to have multiple objectives, and in doing so, to appeal to a wide group of readers. At least this is what one can deduce from reading Leon Uris's QB VII. Many contemporary bestsellers, as well as bestsellers over the course of the twentieth century, are written primarily to entertain. There are spy novels, romance novels, adventure novels, novels about the rich and the famous, and many more. Less common are those that cover "serious" subject matters, which are often incompatible with the light entertainment of most bestsellers. Serious topics such as the Holocaust, are generally relegated to the pages of serious literature. Is there room in the ranks of the bestseller lists for a novel that tackles such serious, and often thorny, issues? Again, QB VII serves as a useful example of a bestseller that confronts serious issues without becoming overly heavy and dry, and without alienating a huge portion of the reading public in the process. Uris has constructed his career out of writing modern historical fiction. He covers historical events in the form of novels, and in doing so manages to entertain and educate at the same time, making him a perfect candidate for the so-called high-school canon. High schoolers read books such as Exodus in order to learn about real events and real issues in a relatively painless manner. Uris, along with authors such as James Michener, has garnered a substantial audience writing historical fiction, and, in the process has produced multiple bestsellers. Michener's works have been characterized as "dramatized journalism" (Michener entry in bestsellers database), and a similar claim could be made for Uris's works. As is the case with Abe Cady, the protagonist of QB VII, Uris conducts extensive research before writing each of his books, and exhibits an extensive knowledge of the subject at hand, which in this case is the English legal system and the history of forced sterilization in Nazi concentration camps. According to one reviewer, "[Uris] seems to have mastered a vast range of information in many fields, from heap-big medicine men and bare-bosomed natives in Sarawak to time-honored court traditions in London," (Rogers 70) knowledge that he usually painlessly imparts to the reader without ruining the fast-paced nature of the novel. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as there are parts of the novel that do not advance the plot, yet, in journalistic style, serve to educate the reader on a variety of topics. For example, Uris gives a detailed, albeit dry, description of the geography of London, the backdrop for much of the action of the novel: "Greater London encompasses the city of London and thirty-two boroughs, among which are the former city of Westminster, and the former Royal Borough of Kensington, and such other famous areas as Chelsea, Harrow, Hammersmith, Lambeth, and the picturesquely named Tower Hamlets. The city of London is a fiefdom of one square mile running along the Thames Embankment from about Waterloo Bridge to Tower Bridge?" (Uris 169). Michener writes in a similar fashion, "He was sole owner of the vast Rancho El Codo, twenty-five thousand acres named after an elbow of the Medina, that river which marked the boundary between the two provinces of Coahuila and Tejas?Most important, it bordered a segment of Los Caminos Reales, that system of royal highways which reached out like spokes from Mexico City, the hub of New Spain." (Michener 129). It is this similar journalistic style that anchors the historical fiction of both of these authors, introducing an educational element to the novels, without sacrificing the broader entertainment value of most best-selling narrative fiction. Despite this commonality, there is a distinct difference between QB VII and many of Michener's works, though. Uris, in keeping with the trends emerging in the latter half of the twentieth century chooses as his subject matter, something relatively recent and modern, whereas Michener writes novels spanning generations, often beginning in distant history (Hawaii entry in database). According to Alice Payne Hackett, beginning in the late 1950s, "The modern world was decidedly replacing history as the basis for best-selling novels," a trend illustrated by Uris's 1959 bestseller, Exodus, and his later novels including QB VII. The historical events Uris treats in QB VII include both an actual libel suit in which he was involved, and the forced sterilization that occurred in Nazi concentration camps. The latter is a topic lacking in popular appeal if the subjects of other bestsellers are any indication. He presents a relatively in-depth examination of the forced sterilizations, without shying away from graphic descriptions that may disturb readers: "I tried to jump off the table and was hit a blow on the side of the head?One of the orderlies held a piece of glass under my penis and the doctor or someone in white shoved a long wooden stick like a broom handle forcing me to eject sperm on the glass" (Uris 312). What makes the account even more disturbing is the fact that similar events actually happened. Such a description had become acceptable in mass market literature, because over the course of the century people had become increasingly tolerant of sexual and repugnant content in novels, as proven by the overwhelming success of the Portnoy's Complaint (1969) and The Exorcist (1971) respectively. It is significant, though, that Uris's treatment of the Holocaust stands in stark contrast to more serious literary accounts. For example, Elie Wiesel's personal account of life in a concentration camp presents a deeply personal account based on first hand experience. Wiesel grapples with questions regarding the existence of God, and throughout, seeks to confront deep theological and philosophical issues. Although his book was an international bestseller, it did not appear on bestseller lists in the United States. Uris, on the other hand avoids these heavier treatments of the subject matter, and rather, presents a much more journalistic account of the story, skimming over the deeper implications of the events, and earns himself a place on the bestseller lists. The other crucial element in this balancing act between education and entertainment is suspense. The modern suspense novel entered the foreground of the publishing world in the 1960s, paving the way for novels such as QB VII (Hackett 118). Although not a spy novel like many others introduced at the time, including John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, QB VII was praised by critics and readers alike as being a fast-paced, suspenseful novel. W.G. Rogers comments: "As Cady-Uris theorizes, a novel must move and this one does: it's a professional job all the way" (Rogers 70). Thus, by providing readers with a knowledgeable account of recent historical events in the form of a fast-paced page-turner, QB VII was in line with appetites of the day. As an interesting side note, QB VII was also ahead of its time, a trial novel preceding the recent wave of courtroom dramas in the publishing world, on network television, and in the movie theaters. Such recent blockbusters include the works of authors such as John Grisham and Scott Turow, while television shows such as The Practice, Law and Order, and Ally McBeal continue to dominate network ratings. Perhaps even more significant that issues of genre, are issues of audience, because it is, after all, the audience that determines whether or not a book will even appear on bestseller lists. An interesting facet of the world of publishing at the end of the twentieth century is what has been dubbed the "Oprah effect." According to D.T. Max, much of its power is derived /derives from the fact that the books selected are "springboards for self-reflection," and present characters with whom readers can identify (Max 36). Although few readers can probably relate to the experience of the Holocaust victims presented in QB VII, an entire group of people can relate to the Jewish experience related in QB VII. Despite the fact that the bulk of the book presents the libel trial and the events behind the trial, the final lines of the book are: "Tel Aviv, June 6, 1967 (AP) The Israeli Defense Ministry announced that its casualties were light in the strike that destroyed the Arab air forces. Most prominent among those killed was Sergent (Captain) Ben Cady, son of the well-known author" (Uris 426). Thus, Uris draws the reader's attention back to the Jewish experience which lies at the root of the book. It is Cady's Jewish identity that compels him to write The Holocaust, the book involved in the libel suit: "He's a Jew and he wants to write about Jews" (Uris 150). It is every victim's Jewish identity that caused them to be singled out for torture in Jadwiga, the Nazi concentration camp at which the alleged atrocities took place, and it is Ben Cady's Jewish identity that leads him to fight for and to die for the Israeli army. Through the centrality of the Jewish experience in the book, Uris appeals to a particular ethnic group, as do books such as Chaim Potok's The Promise, William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint. It is further notable that seven out of the eleven novels Uris has written have focused on the Jewish experience, primarily in the Middle East, suggesting that once an author has appealed to a particular group of readers and has concentrated on a particular theme, he has done much to secure readership for his future novels on similar subjects. Along with the previously mentioned The Confessions of Nat Turner, Uris novels seek to target a segment of the population with a well-developed social conscience in the battle to fight injustices. Uris has said that "the finest thing a writer can be doing is exposing injustice and trying to correct it?" (Downey 193). Again, along with The Confessions of Nat Turner the timing of the publication of QB VII was hugely important, allowing it to tap into the anti-war fervor, the general atmosphere of activism and low tolerance for social injustices, while The Confessions of Nat Turner had an audience in all the civil rights activists of the 1960s. QB VII is a brilliant balancing act, and as with many other such balancing acts, including Gone with the Wind, Exodus, Dr. Zhivago, and The Thorn Birds, was a highly successful bestseller. While it is easy to read, fast-paced, and entertaining, it avoids falling into the morass of low-level, mass market fiction with little literary value by presenting readers with an informative, educational account of tragic historical events. Furthermore, it could have had limited appeal, attracting only Jewish audiences, but it succeeds in not alienating other readers by appealing also to people desiring to fight social and historical injustices, and to people who just want a good page-turner. It is its very resistance to being categorized that leads to its resounding success as a bestseller. SOURCES: Downey, Sharon D. and Richard A. Kallan. " Semi-Aesthetic Detachment: The Fusing of Fictional and External Worlds in the Situational Literature of Leon Uris." Communication Monographs, September, 1982. Hackett, Alice Payne. "Best Sellers in the Bookstores 1900-1975." Bookselling in America and the World. Ed. Charles B. Anderson. Quadrangle. 109-137. Max, D.T. "The Oprah Effect." The New York Times 26 December 1999: sec. 6: 36. Michener, James A. Texas. New York: Random House, 1985. Doris Lum's entry in this database on Michener's Hawaii. Rogers, W.G. "Dr. Adam Kelno: Hero or Villain?" New York Times Book Review 15 November 1970: 70. Uris, Leon. QB VII. New York: Bantam, 1970.

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