The spine collector | Curio
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Vulture

The spine collector

41 mins | Apr 29, 2022
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Is it espionage? Revenge? Or a complete waste of time? For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release. They have adopted multiple aliases to obtain unpublished manuscripts, targeting victims worldwide and acting with no apparent motive. The whole scheme resisted explanation. Was it someone in publishing or a Hollywood producer desperate for early access to books they might buy? Was the thief simply an impatient reader? Reeves Wiedeman tells the fascinating tale of a mysterious figure scamming the publishing world searching for unpublished manuscripts as the thief was still on the loose, exhibiting even bolder and more bizarre behaviour. 'This was a setup Stieg Larsson would have admired: a clever thief adopting multiple aliases, targeting victims around the world, and acting with no clear motive. The manuscripts weren’t being pirated, as far as anyone could tell. Fake Francesca wasn’t demanding a ransom. “We assumed it was the Russians,” Mörk said. “But we are the book industry. It’s not like we’re digging gold or researching vaccines.” Perhaps someone in publishing, or a Hollywood producer, was desperate for early access to books they might buy.'
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