Gee-Whiz Facts about 1954 Bestseller

The 1954 bestseller list is about evenly divided between novels by big name authors of the mid-twentieth century and novels by authors who names scarcely warrant a Wikipedia entry.

I cannot present the list without throwing in some gee-wiz facts about one of the lesser-known novels on the list.

Mika Waltari wrote and published The Egyptian in Finnish in 1945. The novel became wildly popular and was translated into more than three dozen languages.  An English translation by Naomi Walford of  The Egyptian ranked first on the 1949 bestseller list in America. (I read the Walford translation.)

Hollywood took note.

In 1954, The Egyptian was made into a movie by the same title.  Again, the novel soared to the bestseller list, this time, however, in fifth rather than first place.

You may recall that something similar happened with The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. It made the bestseller list when it was first published in 1942, stayed there for a second year, and reappeared on the bestseller list a third time in 1953 when the movie version appeared.

Here is the list of the 1954 bestsellers. The date my review is scheduled to appear here is in square brackets.

  1. Not As a Stranger by Morton Thompson [Feb. 22]
  2. Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier [Feb. 25]
  3. Love Is Eternal by Irving Stone [Mar. 1]
  4. The Royal Box by Frances Parkinson Keyes [Mar. 4]
  5. The Egyptian by Mika Waltari
  6. No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman [Mar. 8]
  7. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck [Mar. 11]
  8. The View from Pompey’s Head by Hamilton Basso [Mar. 15]
  9. Never Victorious, Never Defeated by Taylor Caldwell [Mar. 18]
  10. Benton’s Row by Frank Yerby [Mar 22]

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

2 thoughts on “Gee-Whiz Facts about 1954 Bestseller”

    1. I have two Twitter accounts. My Twitter account for my fiction reading @VintageNovels. I also have an account related to my writing and teaching of nonfiction under my own name, @LindaAragoni. If you follow me, please take a moment to introduce yourself.


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