On Thursday, Amazon’s top selling books included works by famed children’s author Dav Pilkey, rapper Action Bronson, the late chef and author Anthony Bourdain and former President George W. Bush.
Topping them all? A Scottish grandfather who recently published his first book of poems.
“101 Poems” by Gordon S. McCulloch reached the top of Amazon’s best sellers list Thursday after a viral tweet by McCulloch’s granddaughter prompted thousands to buy the book and leave five-star reviews.
“My 96-year-old grandpa has just had his own book published with all his poems from his life,” Twitter user @jessica_keachie posted on Monday. “It’s available on Amazon if anyone is interested :) a review would make him so happy.”
As of Thursday morning, the post has been retweeted nearly 48,000 times and favorited nearly 300,000 times.
By Tuesday, Jess reported that her grandfather’s book had reached No. 1 in Amazon’s poetry category. By Thursday, it was outselling all other books.
The book is also currently averaging a five-star rating from nearly 400 Amazon users.
The Daily Record, a tabloid newspaper in Scotland (who reports McCulloch’s age as 92) spoke to McCulloch’s son, William, who said his father is “completely chuffed” from the response to the book.
"It is amazing seeing all these positive comments come in. He can't believe all the five star reviews,” William McCulloch told the Daily Record.
The description of McCulloch’s book on Amazon describes it as “a fine collection of one hundred and one poems…covering a wide range of topics such as love, romance, relationships, religion, prayers, the meaning of life, death and our relationship with God.”
McCulloch's son added that his father even put together the cover art.
Some of the poems are about McCulloch’s wife, Mary, who died of cancer around seven years ago, William McCulloch told the Daily Record. He also noted that his father lives alone in the village of Braidwood, where he looks after a pony.
“He has been handing out copies to his neighbors and some people asked him to sign their book,” William McCulloch told the Daily Record. “He thinks he’s a celebrity now.”
His family was initially just happy to see his work finally published after years of work. Now, Gordon McCulloch is a best-selling author.
“We only expected 100 books to sell but now his words are all over the world,” McCulloch’s granddaughter wrote in a message posted to Twitter. “I am thankful I’ve been able to put a smile on his face because that was all I ever wanted.”