Friday, May 07, 2004

A bloody good friday 

Has it been six weeks since Janet Maslin's last "Crowd Pleasers" column, where she spends a good portion of ink on books that don't deserve it? Indeed it has, and indeed she does.

It's all Jeanette Winterson, all the time, as her new novel LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING is finally published. The Independent interviews her and finds that she's managed to "find the plot" after some years away, but the Telegraph isn't so sure. I think I tried a Winterson novel some years back, and didn't care for it, but I'm intrigued by the comparisons--just or not--to Angela Carter, who is one of my favorite writers (and who died far, far too young.)

Boyd Tonkin, writing in his current "Week in Books" column for the Independent, is nonplussed by the latest trend in "crossover lit"--books that are published in adult and children's editions, such as THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.

Newsday seems to be quite impressed with Martin Clark's new noirish novel, PLAIN HEATHEN MISCHIEF, essentially saying Clark gives Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen a serious run for their money. Interesting, but do either of those guys write 400-page crime novels? Didn't think so...

Tod Goldberg writes about his less-than-smooth experiences at the LA Times Book Festival a couple of weeks ago. One story will make some crime fiction fans keel over and collapse...(link from his brother Lee)

There's a spirited discussion going on at The Elegant Variation about the merits (or lack thereof) of Steve Almond, now that his ode to all things saccharin, CANDYFREAK, is just out. If you're a regular reader, you know I'm a fan; others are less charitable.

Click here for the shortlists of the British Sport Book Awards. Boy, there were a lot of those published last year...although I wonder if David Beckham will get the nod.

Jane Jakeman, who hasn't reviewed for the Independent in ages it seems, finally does, and adores John Harvey's new series launch FLESH AND BLOOD.

And finally, Craig McDonald enjoyed Michael Connelly's THE NARROWS, but his article focuses more on the strategy that Little, Brown has employed to market the book, namely the spiffy companion DVD. McDonald also interviewed Connelly, who speaks out about the reason there were no ARCs of the book:

"It's my 14th book," Connelly said. "For 13 previous books, I put out galleys as much as six to eight months ahead of time. There was a valid use in doing that then, but I've reached a point where I don't know what the value is now ... They become the instigators of Internet chatter. Stuff in the book is given away. I've been saying for a couple of years, 'Let's stop doing galleys. And, this time, with this book, I really mean it -- no galleys because there's a lot of interesting, surprising stuff in this book and it's all going to be out there six months ahead of time.'''

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