Thursday, November 22, 2007

Proof that the Book Isn't Dead Yet

The lecture is on the Internet, and the prof has given a short version on Oprah, yet the published book is getting a mega-millions advance. Somebody must still have faith that there are readers out there.

Dying prof's last lecture hits home: "The attention-getter with Jeffrey Zaslow's book will be the staggering multimillion-dollar advance, at least at first, but he trusts that the focus eventually will fall on the words.

That's not just pride of authorship. The words that inspired 'The Last Lecture' and will serve as its foundation came from a college professor who might not live long enough to read it.

Zaslow lives in West Bloomfield and writes for the Wall Street Journal. The professor who inadvertently inspired Zaslow and untold millions of others is Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University, who's been known for years as the best speaker in the computer science department.

Pausch says that's like being the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs, but -- continuing the theme -- he's selling himself short. His mesmerizing final lecture two months ago is already the stuff of legend, 'Oprah' and more than 5,000 blogs, and Hyperion just paid a reported $6.7 million for the right to turn it into a book."

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