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The Independent Culture
Why buy a book when you can have a stake in it? That's the thinking behind the campaign for Bombardiers, a thriller set in the sexy-greedy, unbelievably baffling world of high finance. Hell, we can't even understand the press release! Reed Consumer Books are offering "BOMBS" (Bond Obligations Matching Bombardiers' Sales) to curious punters in the book trade. There are, they claim, sound literary and financial reasons why we should back cute-looking 30-year-old dbut novelist Po "Face" Bronson. "This is a marvellous novel," quoth Mario Puzo, adding, less promisingly, "You will never invest again." If Bronson shifts 20,000 copies (no mean feat for an unknown), the profit will be £1, rising in units of £1 for each 10,000 sold, up to a max of £8. They should cocoa! "All phone reservations will be `on account', meaning that no money will change hands until after the year is concluded... after the initial offering, investors will be free to purchase as many shares as they like from other shareholders on the open market." Whoah, it's already sounding too Leesonesque for words! Can we make a packet on the futures market in BOMBS, we wonder?

For some unfathomable reason Bronson wrote the book while listening to Nirvana hunched into what sounds like a veal crate, suffering thereby "many of the physical maladies of his characters: stiff back, shortened hamstrings and worsening eyesight". Well it beats Michael "writing by numbers" Ridpath's computer-prose. Oh, and Bombardiers is going to be serialised on the Internet. That's three gimmicks...

Bombardiers is published by Secker on 27 March at £15.