Monday, April 12, 2004

Easter Monday Linkage 

Would you believe today is a holiday here? Some stores are open but no mail, no banks, oh, and it's still Passover. Will the agony ever end? Will I ever eat normal food? Will a weekday start being a weekday once again? Ponder those philosophical questions for me as I give you the morning links...

Patrick Anderson uses his review of David Hewson's Italy-based THE SEASON FOR THE DEAD to kind of rip into THE DA VINCI CODE. Which is fine, and doesn't obscure the main point, which is that Hewson's book looks very good and deals with the Catholic Church in a more nuanced way with lots of good character development. There's been much buzz about the book since it was released in the UK last summer, and a second book will follow in that country in a few months' time.

Boy, as Mark (who's back from New York, and welcome back to him) points out, Lauren Slater is getting taken down all over the place. UK papers, Beatrice, and now the New York Times joins the fray of covering why OPENING SKINNER'S BOX has met with such spectacular criticism...

The Elegant Wonder also links to some news about Ian McEwan's next novel, which looks plenty interesting--also timely for me, in that I finished ENDURING LOVE last night and thought it rather brilliant, especially the first appendix. And yet for all that it has such wonderful language, clarity of vision and a very analytical look at how obsession can ruin people's lives, it's basically a crime novel...right?

Lev Raphael is back with his semi-regular mystery roundup for the Detroit Free Press. Meriting his attention and praise are new offerings from Lev Grossman, Donna Leon, and a Cornel Woolrich reissue.

Tom Lappin at the Scotsman is rather cranky about the whole End of Story concept the BBC is doing where regular joes can finish short stories started by Ian Rankin, Alexi Sayle, and others. Also at the same paper is yet another examination of the whole amateur reviewing business as famously (and back-scratchingly) done by Amazon.

So what, exactly, is a Bergdorf Blonde? The Telegraph attempts to find out what the phrase means with the release of Plum Sykes' new bestseller. Put your brain on hold as you read this article. You have been warned.

I managed to miss this on the newsstands (hey, this is what happens when you barely leave the house all week) but Lynne Truss' runaway bestseller EATS, SHOOTS AND LEAVES is profiled in Newsweek as they attempt to understand its success in the UK, and whether it will translate across the Atlantic, where it's just been released in the US.

Donna Leon's new novel DOCTORED EVIDENCE gets the treatment at the SF Chronicle, which points out the irony that the Venice-set books are, by the author's choice, unavailable in Italy. Irony? I dunno, I think it's more the fact that she couldn't take whatever criticism would be lobbed her way. Kind of a cheat, if you ask me....

And finally, well, I just had to link to this because it's funny. (Thanks, Jen!)

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