Apr 22, 2009, 07:52AM

The Rarest Book in Erotic Fiction

The story behind The Original Seven Minutes by J.J. Jadway. Irving Wallace, Simon & Schuster, and Maurice Girodias. Full text of the revised edition online.

In September of 1969, Simon and Schuster published The Seven Minutes by Irving Wallace. This was Wallace's novel concerning obscenity and censorship, its plot centering upon a bookseller accused of selling copies of a fictitious obscene book titled, The Seven Minutes by J.J. Jadway. As part of his research, Wallace had interviewed Girodias, at the time the world's most notorious publisher with Barney Rosset of Grove Press a close second.Girodias was tipped to the upcoming release of Wallace's book and its content. He was not happy about the way Wallace had handled the Girodias-based character of Christian Leroux, a sleazy Paris publisher who had been the "original" publisher of Wallace's fictitious The Seven Minutes by J.J. Jadway. So unhappy was he that Girodias had a book quickly written purporting to be The "Original" Seven Minutes by J.J. Jadway that the Wallace book was based upon.Additionally, in a grand, single-finger salute to Wallace, Girodias wrote an inflammatory Preface, which tells the "real" story behind The Seven Minutes, of how he got a hold of the original manuscript, and how rotten the Wallace book was. He added a blurb to the front cover of the book, too, just to make sure Wallace got the message:"The Last and the Greatest Underground Erotic Masterpiece...On which Irving Wallace Based His Bestselling Novel."Suffice it to say, Wallace and Simon and Schuster got the message and they were not amused. They took legal action against Girodias, and the court decided that Girodias had deliberately produced a book guaranteed to confuse the public and do harm to the publisher and the reputation of the author.Girodias was ordered to destroy all 150,000 copies of the book's print run. In practical terms this was done by tearing off the front covers to provide proof and pulping the now defaced books.


Register or Login to leave a comment