Friday, February 20, 2004

Thank Heaven for Fridays 

First, the latest from the Independent, and they concentrate heavily on the conglomerization of UK publishers, what with the impending disappearance of Flamingo and the merger of Harvill with Secker & Warburg. Is it a death knell for diversity? And who, if anyone, is to blame? Of course, wait till Bertelsmann buys up the entire industry and creates a more monotheistic, er, unilateral approach....

The paper also gives a pass to the new novel by Mark Watson, who I should point out is younger than I am. Gotta get a move on....

Speaking of insanely young and successful new authors, Cecilia Ahern answers her critics. Again. Me, I couldn't help noticing she had no business wearing that shirt. Stripes in all the wrong directions! Yuck.

Caryn James takes a look at the Hollywood novel, a trend that's been ever-present of late. I like the fact that she brought up Nathanael West, but how can you do a roundup like this and not bring up Budd Schulberg's WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN? That book could eat all those other bitchy novels for breakfast in about two minutes flat. I think I might have to reread the book again....

Be careful about bylines. An argument about sharing one got Peter Craven sacked as the editor of Australia's Quarterly Essay. He's now been replaced at the helm by Chris Felk.

Reports are already starting to trickle in about the goings-on at Left Coast Crime in Monterey; The Californian offers up a print overview. No mention, sadly, of what's happening at the bar, which I've been told has been rather sedate compared to conventions past. That simply cannot be!

The latest issue of Mystery Morgue is now up, featuring new reviews and an interview with author Ralph Pezzullo.

The popularity of romance fiction is both denigrated and envied in the industry. It is the top-selling genre, after all, and fulfills "emotional needs," according to this article in Florida Today.

I'd be a little leery of any memoir that's deemed "the best since Elizabeth Wurtzel's PROZAC NATION," but this one by Wesley Gibson about roommate hell sounds pretty good.

Dale Peck's final negative review: coming soon from....Maisonneuve? (link from Bookninja.)

And finally, Peter Howell of the Toronto Star marvels at the Vanity Fair Hollywood issue. The timing, can it possibly be coincidental that it comes out just as the Oscars are about to be awarded? Nah... (related, the Cinetrix has been analyzing the issue in all its hatefulness over the last couple of posts.)

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