from Deadline

Who Is Anonymous, The Author Of Hot Book ‘Next To Heaven?’ Deadline Solves The Mystery As TV Rights Deal Closes With Publishing Pact Coming

By Mike Fleming Jr.

The novel Next to Heaven hit the market this week. Written by Anonymous, it’s a social satire that is being shopped by WME simultaneously for both a publishing deal and a TV deal. The TV deal has just closed, and the publishing deal will be next.

The rights to turn the book into a TV series were snapped up by former AGBO and Chernin executive Mike Larocca and Michael Schaefer for their as yet-unnamed production venture. They will produce with Entertainment 360’s Guymon Casady (Game of Thrones). Schaefer most recently ran New Regency and produced The Martian.

So, who is Anonymous?

Deadline sniffed out that it is James Frey, known for A Million Little Pieces and many other literary works. Actually, this was not like cracking the case of the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping. Lit scouts who read the novel quickly deciphered the mystery. Frey has a way with grammar and sentence structure that makes his works move at 60 mph, and those trademark flourishes were there.

In Next to Heaven, best friends Devon and Belle are the Queen Bees of super-affluent New Bethlehem, Connecticut (a town that suspiciously resembles Frey’s hometown of New Canaan). They are very beautiful, very rich and very bored, their marriages mostly business arrangements at this point. And so they decide to host a carefully curated, invitation-only swingers party. But later, when one of the invitees ends up dead, the stakes in their game turn out to be much higher than any of the guests could have anticipated.

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