Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Tuesday morning QB 

Is Roddy Doyle spoiling for a fight? He votes Ulysses a most overrated novel, saying that it "could have done with a good editor." Next: Doyle's opinion on the wildly unreadable FINNEGAN'S WAKE (true story: my Grade 8 English teacher read us the first page of FINNEGAN. We pretty much begged him to stop after that.) The Guardian then asks some other authors and scholars to give their opinion on Joyce's masterwork.

Valentine's Day is approaching. So what should you splurge on for your loved one: poetry or flowers? According to a new survey, poetry wins that debate. Probably because verse (usually) won't make you sneeze uncontrollably for hours which might put a damper on all things amour...

What to make of Dave Pelzer? He turned his childhood of abuse and torment into a multitude of bestsellers. Not surprisingly, such success has been greated with scorn and controversy, and the Independent takes a closer look at the man behind the success.

Chris Lehmann deems THE CONFESSION OF MAX TIVOLI to be an "engaging, wry and melancholy" novel. I suspect I'll be jumping on the bandwagon myself as soon as I can get a hold of a copy.

Presented here a couple of days late is Dick Adler's crime fiction roundup for the Chicago Tribune. He raves about Scott Phillips' Western COTTONWOOD (which, based on the great reviews thus far, should merit more attention than the publisher intended it to get) and is also keen on books by Barbara Nadel, Edgar-nominee Rebecca Pawel, Kris Nelscott, and Victor Gischler.

Anthony Shaffer, the playwright best known for writing SLEUTH (which will be remade into a film with Michael Caine switching into the Laurence Olivier part and Jude Law taking up Caine's role), died in 2001. Since then, his will has been the subject of a nasty fight in court as family members vie for chunks of the inheritance. A judge has now ruled that Shaffer's mistress cannot claim part of his estate, backing the argument of Shaffer's wives and daughters. Oh, the tangled web one weaves....

So Time Magazine's all over the whole "dude lit" (or whatever) craze that isn't really sweeping through North America? Hmm. I tried reading Kyle Smith'S LOVE MONKEY a few days ago. I loved the first chapter but after that, somehow, it got kind of old. Maybe it's because I'd rather read about the antics of single male bloggers than read it in fiction? (link from one such SMB, Ed.)

So Mickey Spillane claims the whole hard-boiled image is just an act? Uh oh, I think we've found our next candidate for crime writer turning to kids' books. In related news, Elmore Leonard's own foray into kidlit, A COYOTE IN THE HOUSE, will be out in June. (link from Mark.)

Wondering what ousted Orion Chief Anthony Cheetham is up to now? Why, the usual thing. He's trying his hand at a novel, something he hasn't attempted in more than 30 years. (scroll to 3rd item.)

And finally, Gerard Depardieu's estranged son Guillaume has written a tell-all book that will be published in France today. To say it's stirring up a controversy is putting it mildly.

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