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Monday, October 27, 2003

I don't hate Mondays.... 

...but considering how unbelievably dreary it is outside, I may have to start.

In today's roundup, first Woody Allen was doing a book deal, then he wasn't. How did things go awry? Amanda "Binky" Urban, uberagent to the stars, is fighting with publicist Leslee Dart over the matter. (link from Publisher's Lunch.)

Janet doesn't like Cecil Beaton's memoirs very much, finding them rather gossipy and nasty from a bitter old man. But it's Cecil Beaton, costumer to movie stars everywhere! Sounds like a good read to me. The more venal, the better....

More from the New York Times: I'm late to the whole Amazon book search game, but not surprisingly, some authors don't like it very much, as they fear making the books' contents available will lead to readers printing off recipes or publishing excerpts without permission. Personally, I wouldn't worry so much; the search engine is a long way from being refined and frankly, it sucks. I did a search on one author's books as a test and the engine returned with 27660 results.

The Sam Sheppard case has been controversial since his wife Marilyn was murdered 50 years ago. Several books give conflicting solutions, so who's telling the truth? All I know is that a high-ranking forensic scientist who was involved in one of the civil lawsuits pertaining to the case once told me that he thought Sheppard was "guilty as hell." Although at least no one has tried to blame Dr. Sheppard for the Black Dahlia Murder yet....

The Washington Post has a long profile on transvestite comic Eddie Izzard. Well, he's way more than that, but as he's touring his new one-man show "Sexie" and he's back in drag, it's too easy to reduce him to a one-line description.

And Patrick Anderson listened to me after all--he's back with a crime novel in his thriller column. It's Donna Leon's UNIFORM JUSTICE, marking the first time in many years that her books are available in the United States. Ms. Leon is an odd bird; fans clamor for the UK editions, and when I was still working at the bookstore, so many people would file in day after day wanting her backlist, her latest novel, and so on. Though the books are set in Venice, she has steadfastly refused to allow an Italian publisher to make the books available in that country. The books were out of print in the US for years because her German publisher somehow controlled the rights and she's been in fights over this issue. Good that she's here now, but lord, was all that trouble worth it? Time will tell.

Over at the Guardian, Hymel Walsh argues that Dylan Thomas, rather than celebrating the Welsh, actually demeaned them in his work.

Every time I hear Zoe Trope's name I'm reminded of Francis Ford Coppola's production company (the one that took a real beating when The Cotton Club tanked at the box office 20 years ago.) But evidently she's a teenage author who's written a buzzed-about book, first published when she was 14. Like any hot young thing, there's a backlash that's begun. (link from Bookslut.)

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