Those who’ve snuck a peek at the galleys for Andy Kaufman Revealed (due from Little, Brown in September) will find a ”secret message” on the last page from comic Jim Carrey, who portrays Kaufman in the upcoming Milos Forman-directed biopic Man on the Moon. The cryptic epilogue can be read only while held up to a mirror, in homage to the late comic’s penchant for decoder rings. ”Nobody f—-ed with an audience like Andy, and that’s what Jim does here,” explains the book’s author, Bob Zmuda. ”It’s purposely far-out.”
Clarice Starling isn’t the only FBI agent with a hot book. Real-life G-man Christopher Whitcomb, a veteran of Ruby Ridge, has just sold his memoir Cold Zero to Little, Brown for a rumored $500,000. (The title is sharpshooter jargon for the first shot at taking down a sniper.) ”It’s told from the perspective of one of the guys actually looking through the scope,” says editor in chief Michael Pietsch, who will publish it next year.
Polar books are still hot: John Wiley & Sons just bought — for mid-six figures — Scott Cookman’s Ice Blink: The Mysterious Fate of Sir John Franklin’s Lost Polar Expedition. Part true adventure, part medical detective story, the book suggests the explorers were done in by botulism caused by canned meat. And in another substantial six-figure deal, Knopf editor Robin Desser acquired Lucy Jago’s The Northern Lights, which will tell the story of Kristian Birkeland, the eccentric Norwegian scientist who solved the riddle of the aurora borealis.
Up, up, and away
Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones, who last March became the first balloonists to successfully circumnavigate the globe, are about to sign a major book deal. Agent Alex Smithline is considering several six-figure offers for the account of their journey, with the hope that the book will be published in the fall, when their balloon capsule will go on permanent display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.