Jim Pierce/Amelia Island, FL
posts on 8/2/2009 12:44:16 PM
How Robert Crichton came to write "The Secret of Santa Vittoria" can be found in the interview he gave in "Afterwords: Novelists on their Novels," edited by Thomas McCormack, (c)1969, Harper & Row. The PB edition I read was St. Martin's Press, NY. After filling up a wastebasket with crumpled up beginnings, Crichton began to write his best-selling novel "in the form and style of a Dick and Jane first reader." The rest, as they say, is history. And the story of the million bottles of wine is true, says Crichton in the interview.
posts on 12/17/2005 7:47:32 PM
The night Jemmie died there was a struggle in his room. I wasn't sure what happened and who was with Jemmie? Any answers? Thanks.
posts on 11/27/2005 1:00:30 AM
Where is Robert Chrichton now? is he related to Michael?
posts on 10/12/2005 12:03:23 PM
Big argument here. Some say this book was a snap to write--Crichton simply took a true story and padded it out to 300 pp or so to make a novel.
I say that view denies credit to Crichton and his creative imagination, because as a factual account (rather than artistic), the story simply doesn't add up, especially if you know anything about wine. I think he used fragments of several legends about outfoxing the Germans, many of which appeared in Italy and France after the war as sops to injured nat'l pride. First of all, the villagers make wine (one million bottles) for vermouth--such cheap wine is/was never bottled (except for a little, in large demijohns, for home use) because bottling is expensive, slow and inconvenient. (It would take WEEKS even today, on a modern mechanized bottling line!) And at the vermouth plant--do you imagine the workers there pulling one million corks from a single village's shipment--even in peacetime? Where would the villagers get one million bottles and corks out of nowhere in the middle of a war? Storing one million bottles wd require about 85,000 cubic feet of space.
Crichton, as a novelist, had no need to pay attention to such things because he was writing a novel, not a text on bottling and storage.
What do you think?
posts on 9/15/2005 5:56:17 PM
I am a freelance writer trying to find out what became of Fred Demara. Robert Crichton was his biographer.
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