Faxes leak Wolfe novel

Rolling Stone sees $150,000 investment devalued

NEW YORK — Rolling Stone brass was edgy on Thursday upon learning that copies of their much-hyped serialization of “A Man in Full,” the forthcoming Tom Wolfe novel, had leaked out via fax all over Gotham.

The serialization, the first of three installments, is set to hit newsstands June 19. Rolling Stone had been hoping to keep a tight lid on the prose — in order to get the maximum PR bang for the estimated $150,000 they paid for the rights to “A Man in Full,” due in November from Farrar Straus Giroux.

The April deal had the author settling for a good deal less than the $1 million price tag industry observers expected.

The fax making the rounds late Thursday had the header, “Tom Wolfe: Chapter V: The Suicidal Freezer Unit.” The 38-page document “does appear to be the part of the book that we’re excerpting,” a rep for Rolling Stone told Daily Variety.

Words that leaked

Wolfe’s excerpted words begin, “The Croker Global Foods Warehouse in the San Francisco Bay area is not in any part of the fabled Bay area that ever stole the heart of a songwriter. Or, as far as that goes, a travel writer, not even a travel writer desperate for something different to write about.”

FSG reportedly paid Wolfe between $5 and $7 million for this second novel, which is still a work-in-progress, and are planning to print 1.2 million copies. Film rights have not yet been optioned.

One source estimated that Wolfe and agent Lynn Nesbit are looking to get at least $3 million for film rights.

Rolling Stone will run two more chapters from the book in early and late September.