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Books That Were Written On A Bet

  • Got writer's block? Just take a bet to clear your mind
  • Great literature has come about thanks to a wager
  • Never bet an author
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Mary Shelley

So what books were written on a bet? Ever wonder what is it that exactly inspires an author to take up the pen and start spinning a tale? Some claim to be enlightened by dreams. Yet others are moved by some life event or some small detail noticed during the daily grind of life. But there are some great books which were written on the whim of another person.

Introduction: Books That Were Written On A Bet

Sometimes setting yourself goals for the author can still prove difficult. Dead lines loom, but maybe a case of writer’s block stops one from being able to proceed. Gripped by a paralyzing fear that the novel inside cannot find a means to escape onto the page. Or that all motivation is somehow missing. Maybe the added pressure of a wager will help get those creative juices flowing once more. Here are some examples where of books written on a bet. And here are examples of online gambling sites in the US!

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Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise know as Dr. Seuss, wrote the famous children’s book after accepting a bet. It was from Bennett Cerf, the co-founder of the publishing house, Random House. The wager was for the sum of $50. You’d get more than that as a beginners bonus on any of these online gambling sites in the US. It was to write a complete children’s book using no more than 50 unique words. As we all know, Dr. Seuss won the bet, though Bennett Cerf never paid him the monies owed.

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This fine piece of Romantic Gothic writing was also written on a bet. Whilst traveling with Percy Shelley and Claire Clairmont to Geneva one summer, they all met up with Lord Byron and his friend John William Polidori in May of 1816 at the Villa Diodati near Lake Geneva. In modern times they’d amuse themselves with PartyPoker. After amusing themselves during a stormy night by telling German ghost stories, Lord Byron set them all a task. He bet they couldn’t write a truly frightening ghost story.  Mary struggled for days looking for inspiration. After an evening’s discussion on the nature of the principles of life, Mary has a”waking dream” as she later lay in her bed. And so began the beginnings of one of the greatest novels of all time.

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The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky was what we might today call a “heavy gambler”. Today he would of used PartyPoker! He was forever saddled with large gambling debts. One day, in order to escape one such debt, he wagered that he would complete a new novel within a few months. He would then provide it as payment to his creditor. The terms of the bet also noted that failure to complete the said task in time, would result in the author handing over all the royalties and publishing rights belonging to all his previously published works. A considerable sum. And so he wrote The Gambler, one of the most famous books ever written about the compulsion to gamble.

Don’t leave it up to luck – make sure you buy it today!

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Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Crichton

Another book written on a bet is one of Crichtons most popular novels, Eaters of the Dead. This 1976 novel tells the story of an Islamic envoy, Ahmad ibn-Fadlan, and his adventures after his kidnapping by Vikings in 932. He travels to their settlements and battles monsters in the cold and heavy mist. Crichton mentions that the book was written on a bet that he could tell the story of Beowulf in a non-boring manner. Unfortunately the book was later the source of the awful and boring John McTiernan film, “13th Warrior” with Antonio Banderas.

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