Monday, January 19, 2004

Bon giorno 

Let's start off with: a new animated version of THE LITTLE PRINCE? Why yes, it appears this is going to happen.

The government will abandon a "Shakespeare test" for 14 year olds after accusations were hurled that the material was being "dumbed down." More egregious, in my own opinion, is how the plays are taught specifically to suck the life out of the material and make it seem boring. It's Shakespeare--culture for the low culture masses, after all! It should stay fun....

The Guardian has more info on the upcoming Salman Rushdie movie starring his galpal (huh? Am I channelling Page Six, or worse, US Weekly? Ack) Padma Lakshi, who cops to being "quite nervous" about the project.

Janet Maslin reviews two books on the light and breezy end of the spectrum: Carrie Fisher's THE BEST AWFUL, which she deems "delightfully snarky," and Howard Kuntsler's MAGGIE DARLING, which she enjoys in parts.

Patrick Anderson looks at Brian McGrory's third novel, a fun book that at its best, recalls Gregory McDonald's FLETCH novels.

Peter Robinson, whose latest book PLAYING WITH FIRE is just out, is interviewed at the Glasgow Herald. Also at the same paper is a retrospective on Len Deighton, who was one of the best espionage writers in the business.

It's a typical story: man finds fabulous Upper East Side apartment and moves in. The twist? There's a roommate who is HIV-positive and slowly dying. Writer Wesley Gibson took on the unexpected demand to help his roommate die, and he discusses it in his new memoir and talks at length with Newsday.

And finally, since the Old Hag is outing herself on said review, I'll link to it gladly. She's less than impressed with Patrick McCabe's CALL ME THE BREEZE. As a fan of Irish fiction, I'm disappointed that the book doesn't deliver, but then again, I'm looking more forward to Eoin McNamee's upcoming novel THE ULTRAS very, very much--if only because he's my favorite Irish writer.

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