The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large

Decades before the ABC-TV series Scandal or House of Cards on Netflix, The Solomon Scandals existed in manuscript form—a quirky look at a darker side of D.C. that you can’t see on the screen right now or read about in the standard bestsellers. Scandals isn’t about a comely fixer in love with Mr. President, or […]

A new local bookstore and Twilight Times Books, publisher of The Solomon Scandals, are teaming up to offer the e-book version for free, in major digital formats, for customers who buy the paperback from the store (price: $16.95). The bundling deal will be limited to the first eight buyers. re∙reads Books is south of Alexandria, […]

Jane Austen wrote for herself, not her contemporaries. Her earliest reviewers were less than fully gung-ho about her fiction. Among other things, if you go by a recent book by Claire Harman, certain critics felt Austen’s writing wasn’t fresh enough. Talk about critical blunders! It took decades and decades, but the world finally caught up […]

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Twitter has been abuzz with talk about The Price of Typos. Here’s the angle in the essay that most intrigues me:  the possible differences in the particular literary gifts of good and rotten spellers. On the New York Times site, Virginia Heffernan says: “A writer with a mind that doesn’t register how words are spelled […]

A sign that the U.S. economy is looking up? Twilight Times Books has ended the 99-cent sale, and the e-book edition of The Solomon Scandals is back at its former price of $2.99 on Amazon. I myself liked the 99 cents, but this is my publisher’s choice to make, and I actually can see both […]

Update, 7:51 a.m., July 20: The AdWords gods have sent me other notes recommending Amazon-style features but for now are letting me use the service without them. – D.R. Good news, Google fans. The AdWords gods in India were finally satisfied that I didn’t have to do a mini-Amazon act and include certain store-style features […]

Update, 5:53 p.m.: I’ve just heard from Google’s Alan Davidson and will not be calling the FTC tomorrow. As a shareholder, I’m rooting for Google to get to the bottom of what happened.  – D.R. If my AdWords hassles are not just an isolated screw-up, Google deserves a tough antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade […]

The Solomon Scandals is fiction—a mix of suspense, tragedy and satire—but more than a little history lurks within in it. A high-rise collapsed in Northern Virginia, and a Senator really did hold a secret and illegal investment in a CIA-occupied building a few miles away. Characters and events are composites or imaginary. But Scandals still […]

Ever wonder why our politicians, business leaders, and media figures so often disappoint us, and what happens after the scandals? The Solomon Scandals is not only about the original chicanery and related crimes but also their ripples—right up to the late 21st century. It mixes suspense, tragedy, and satire in an edgy look at Washington […]

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Pete Hamill is out with Tabloid City, a New York newspaper novel commanding its share of pixels, column inches and decibels. If the rest of Tabloid City is like the first parts, I could never have written his book, just as The Solomon Scandals would have been impossible for him—we see life,  newspapers and fiction […]

Note: This is an expanded version of my talk to the Washington Biography Group on Monday at Washington International School. By David H. Rothman Founder of TeleRead, Co-Founder of LibraryCity, and author of The Solomon Scandals SEEING the windmill blades turn—in Al Gore’s multimedia book Are we wasting our time talking about books and the […]

For years, as founder and editor of TeleRead, I complained of e-book gouges by big publishers eager to protect their trade in paper books. My little publisher, Twilight Times Books, owned by the author-friendly Lida Quillen, listened. Last week with my blessing, Lida dropped the price of The Solomon Scandals on Amazon to 99 cents, […]

What was Sy Solomon—the D.C. real estate tycoon in The Solomon Scandals—-doing on the book’s blue cover shown here? Picking up a refrigerator with one hand? Or a gargantuan keyboard? Or plunking down a high-rise in a favorite location, with a little help from well-bribed zoning officials? The correct answer is the last one. But […]

Do you have the nerve to think that The Solomon Scandals isn’t Shakespearean in style? Hah! Just paste my foreword and first three chapters into a Web form on the ”I Write Like” site—and see for yourself. Even a blog post from the Scandals site can be Shakespearean. Try How TBD could use hyperlocal journalism […]

I’ve remarked before on weird coincidences related to my name. Two letters, for example, distinguish me from David Roffman, at least if you don’t include middle names. He’s the veteran journalist associated with the Georgetowner newspaper, shown with a Kitty Kelley feature (temporary link). Much of The Solomon Scandals happens in Georgetown, which, by the […]

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For the op-ed page and Web site of the Providence Journal, my friend Dan Bloom wrote partly about his song honoring old-fashioned newspapers, aka ”Snailpapers.” He confessed that not everyone loved this “musical obit,” as ex-Washington Star gossip columnist Diana McLellan dubbed it. Lo and behold, however, Danny’s Journal op-ed drew a link from Jim […]

Two kinds of parties show up in The Solomon Scandals, my D.C. media novel: the private variety (“party-parties”) and “name-in-the-paper parties” (where the givers and the guests want publicity). For both, the location is still the Georgetown section of Washington, famous over the years as home to the liberal elite. I’ve never applied for “elite” […]

Hollywood mentions pop up in The Solomon Scandals, my Washington newspaper novel. L.A. and D.C. overlap, all right, and even the peons can fixate on this. In Scandals, a GS-11 bureaucrat isn’t just dreaming of making a mint as a tabloid tipster. He already knows who’ll play him in the movie. Closer to real life, […]

Jonathan Stone, the reporter in The Solomon Scandals, grilled me for this Q. & A.—uncut. STONE: Why’s Scandals copyrighted in your name? Those are my newspaper memoirs. ROTHMAN: Er, faux memoirs. Without me, you wouldn’t even have been born…or have worked for the Washington Telegram…or have struggled to avert an IRS-CIA building collapse…or lived through […]

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Psst! Advance promo copies of The Solomon Scandals are on sale now in e-book format (retail $5.95 USD). Twilight Times Books is also taking advance orders for First Editions in trade paperback (retail $16.95 USD). The paperbacks will ship in January 2009. These are “pre-release promotional copies.” Twilight’s phone number is 423-323-0183, and other ordering […]

Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, the whistleblower in the FBI who blew open much of the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, is dead. Leonard Downie, a Post staffer at the time, writes how much investigative reporting has changed since then—for example, technologically. Imagine staying in touch with a source who totes a prepaid cell […]

Jonathan Stone as an Afro-American? Because Jewish protagonists are such old hat? So suggested a buddy of mine—not an anti-semite or self-hating Jewish, but an intelligent man of the observant, practicing variety. May I respectfully disagree? In fact, The Solomon Scandals in some respects is as much a Northern Virginia Jewish novel as a newspaper […]

Sen. Abraham Ribicoff, the late Connecticut senator who also served in President John F. Kennedy’s cabinet, secretly held a $20,000 investment in a GSA-leased building that the CIA moved into. My story for States News Service, reproduced below, appeared in the New Haven Register on May 29, 1975, and later made the NBC Nightly News. […]

Blame The Solomon Scandals on my lack of ESP. Oh, to have read the minds of the people whose lives and deeds helped inspire the novel! Just why did the late Sen. Abraham Ribicoff end up in the 1960s with a $20,000 investment in a building that the CIA moved into? What were Ribicoff and […]