Well, somebody must like Blair

Because they are buying his book (The Times):

First-day sales for Tony Blair’s Downing Street memoirs suggest that his eventual donation to the Royal British Legion might well exceed the £4 milllion advance he has already promised to hand on to the veterans’ charity.

The book chain Waterstone’s said today that the memoir, A Journey, had enjoyed the strongest one-day sales it had ever seen for an autobiographical work. It sold more on its first day than Peter Mandelson’s The Third Man – the publishing sensation of the summer – notched up in its first three weeks.

“It’s outsold anything you care to mention: Russell Brand, Peter Kay, Dawn French, even Beckham,” said Jon Howells, a Waterstone’s spokesman. “All those people had fantastically successful books. This has knocked every one of those for six for sheer speed of sales.

Of course, the international picture is mixed, as you might expect:

Rankings on Amazon’s foreign websites show the book has also been a success in the United States, where it is currently the 12th best seller, and Canada, where it is 9th.

But it is proving less popular with readers on the Continent. It is just 366th in Amazon France’s best-seller list, while in Germany it is down in 529th place ahead of its publication there next week.