Caveat scriptor!



– Mr. Leland Gaunt

Akron, Ohio

I was leafing through the book of hopes and dreams the other day and saw a new literary agency – the Michael Berenti Literary Agency, established this year. Unusually for an agency website, there is no client list or news page – just a home and submission section in simplistic block layout. The agency does not appear to be listed by the Association of Authors’ Agents.

Google Michael Berenti and you get a Palimpsest thread titled ‘Worst self published books’. Frontrunner is one Michael Berenti, apparently an ‘investigative journalist’ who has ‘degrees in law and economics’ although ‘[p]hotography, computer and security networks are also in his field of expertise.’

He is also the author of something called The Berlin Protocol. A brief synopsis:

When ex-CIA agent Martin Newman finds an encrypted document left by a murdered friend, he doesn’t realize that he has fallen into the pit of a Neo-Nazi coup d’état financed by the lost billions of Nazi Germany.

Now, to stay alive, he has to stop the coup before it stops him. He has nowhere left to run other than forward. He thinks there is only one way, one side and one solution. But, neither Nina with her crack MOSSAD team, nor Kristen, a ruthless spy-catcher, has entered his path yet.

For some, it is for the dark secrets and the chance of recovering the lost billions. For others, the stakes are even higher.

The race he entered extends from Buenos Aires to London, Tel-Aviv and Berlin. It is paved with blood, and at the end only the pitch-darkness awaits

The Palimpsest authors have great fun quoting extracts from the novel. The book begins thus:

‘Martin, you devil. What took you so long to escape from the Russians?’ A tall, blond woman opened the door and pulled him inside. ‘What the hell were you doing at a missile base, anyway?’

‘I was lost,’ replied Martin with a faint smile. ‘And slipping away in one month is not a bad score, is it?’

And then there’s this:

They did not look like one’s ordinary car thieves -with jeans, hoods and sneakers stuff. However, this was not an ordinary area, either; and it was not unheard that, in order to be able to steal quality cars in posh areas with the least of suspicion, the real pros could think of dressing up accordingly to the occasion.

Berenti turns up the heat here:

‘Do you want another one?’ asked the barmaid. When she reached for the empty glass, her bulging breasts revealed themselves up to the rims of her nipples. The low-cut tank top was already having a hard time to confine them in place even without such moves.

Luckily, the protagonist collects himself:

He had started to think strait again. He tried to remember what exactly he had told her there, while his mind had been occupied with her bulging breasts. He had not told her that he was German. He was absolutely sure of that. But, somehow, his name had slipped through his lips. He shrugged; well, no harm had been done. It was just a name, after all. Who knows how many more Erics were around?

Who indeed? Final quote:

It had been nearly an hour now that they had been driving towards the opposite direction of Munich. He had no idea of where they were going.

According to the Palimpsest guys, The Berlin Protocol was originally published by a company called Pegasus but Berenti was unhappy with the final edit, claiming it was ‘marred with errors that often appeared as significant grammatical errors’. It was then released by AMB Books.

A poster called Stewart has encountered the book before:

I knew I knew that name (and, indeed, that book) from somewhere. I Quarantined a spam post about it, back in October, over on Book&Reader:

Originally Posted by sanachan
hello everyone…

Michael Berenti is a new author and i’m reading his first book and I love it! I think it’s important to appreciate new talent and proper books that are actually truly enjoyable to read rather than those books that have been hyped so much but are none other than well marketed plotless ‘reads’.
his new book is THE BERLIN PROTOCOL and it’s really good, its a spy thriller and reminds my of robert ludlum and len deighton style books.
its published by AMBbooks and theyre doing a promotion on ebay where you can buy the book before it hits the bookshelves (it’s cheaper if you get it on ebay too), plus its a limited edition signed copy. it’s a really good book and if you like spy thrillers and intriguiging plots and action then you’ll love this (and for £1.49 it’s well well worth it, plus it’ll probably be worth a lot more in the future since its a collectable )
i hope you check it out and am interested in what people think of it and hope to discuss it.

Originally Posted by Stewart
Originally Posted by sanachan
its published by AMBbooks

Let me guess. The M & B in AMB books stands for Michael Berenti. And that A & B in the initials in your email address are also a clue to you being Michael Berenti, a hopeless self-publisher and someone who would seek to deceive others by pretending you are not the author in an (oh so never been done before) attempt to get people to buy your wares.

Classic Sean Wright mention of collectibility.

I think there are two lessons for the aspiring novelist in all this.

1) More or less anyone can call themselves a literary agent, and;

2) Apparently, more or less anyone can advertise in the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook.


3 Responses to “Caveat scriptor!”

  1. pandapopper Says:

    wow. must be fun having no life mr. dunar

  2. writergirl Says:

    thanks for this, hilarious reading if a bit worrying. I was a tad dubious myself after looking at the website which has no client list… that asterisk is so important in the W&A yearbook.

  3. mrscarlielee Says:

    Oh thank you. I thought the text on his website read a little oddly…

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