Have poor book sales forced Peter Costello, the former Australian treasurer, to take up a new pastime?
Just one week after the launch of The Costello Memoirs an announcement has been made of Costello's appointment to the World Bank's Independent Advisory Board, which will provide advice on anti-corruption matters. (Please, readers, stop that guffawing!)
Sales of the book have been so poor that it has already been binned by many stores.
The Age reports that the book, which carries a recommended retail price tag of $54.99, has been marked down significantly.
Borders chain stores slashed its price by almost a third and other stores are also discounting it heavily. Big W, which is having trouble getting rid of its stocks, cut its price to $32.93.
One does not have to be an Einstein to see that Costello's book is a gigantic flop and any hopes he had of flogging more literary efforts have gone out the window.
So, with prospects of living off his royalties completely dashed, Costello has had to look elsewhere for another activity to fill his hours. Hence, Costello's appointment to the World Bank's position is indeed very timely.
But, hang on!
The World Bank launched its global search for members for its advisory board on July 8 and interested individuals had to forward their names to the bank by July 20. That means Costello lodged his 'expression of interest' with the Bank two months ago.
Perhaps his publishers knew then where the Memoirs was heading and let Costello know that they would not be requiring his services again.
Costello's appointment by the Bank is for a three-year term, with the possibility of a one-time renewal. Well, that gives him something to do for three or perhaps six years.
A biography of Costello that the Bank has published looks very much like it was written by the man himself. Then again, maybe his father-in-law penned it.