Sterling Lord's Memoir is full of stories, glimpses of the publishing world, and a look at the life of an agent. I enjoyed the book very much, particularly the stories about some of the writers. It was also interested to hear first hand about how agents get their clients, and how they negotiate deals. It was nice to hear that even agents as well respected as Lord sometimes had to send the book out to 20+ editors before getting an acceptance.
The one problem I had with the book was that the text was so unfailingly upbeat and full of successes. That made me favor the chapters on Kerouac and Breslin. While they were filled with success, they also showed the problems of dealing with some writers. More drama here. At the end of the chapter on Breslin, I realized why the book is so consistently upbeat. Lord says that in every sale you have to generate optimism. I'm sure that's what made him so successful. He goes on further to say the when you have a triumph or a disaster, you have only about ten minutes to deal with it before the next problem. (The is a paraphrase of his words at the end of Chapter 8.) After that I got more comfortable with the style of the book.
I recommend this book for anyone interested in the publishing world, particularly how agents deal with clients and manage to sell manuscripts. It's a very enlightening read.
I reviewed this book for Net Galley.