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Books in brief: Hit Makers by Derek Thompson

"Insofar as he posits a theory on the quality that most “hits” share, it is that they tend to be novel re-combinations of tried-and-tested elements"

cover-1.jpg.rendition.460.707Hit Makers: How Things Become Popular by Derek Thompson (Allen Lane, £20)

The question “What makes a hit?” has often been asked, but no one has ever satisfactorily answered it. As Atlantic writer Derek Thompson points out in his inquiry into the subject, if a “perfect formula” for hit-creation existed, we’d live in a world “awash in similarly successful cultural products,” rather than one in which the vast majority flop. This makes Hit Makers a tricky proposition. If no one—including hit-creators themselves—knows the secret of success, what can meaningfully be said about it?

Thompson’s…

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