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Monday, May 17, 2004

Monday morning QB 

It's the start of a new week, and what have we here? More insanity. For it seems the gods have decided that I must, absolutely must, take another trip later this week, and that two major job interviews must happen within 48 hours of each other, 1000+ miles apart. For all I know, it'll come to nought, and I'll just end up back to my former life as a broke unemployed freelancer. But I kind of doubt it.

Enough preamble. Time for the links:

Let the buzz begin: Hari Kunzru's long-awaited second novel, TRANSMISSION, is finally available, and who should have the first word? Why, only Ms. Maslin, who calls the book "wickedly astute" and thoroughly enjoys this tale of man and machine.

There's Ian Rankin, making the news yet again (hot on the heels of finishing up the manuscript for his new novel), this time in harsh criticism of the Scottish executive's grand plan for a Cultural Commission. Rankin, along with fellow authors Janice Galloway and Michel Faber, take issue with the proposed commission for being consumer-driven and not artist-friendly. I have to admit, the use of the term "verbal sludge" was what intrigued me the most...

The Boston Globe interviews Andrew Taylor, the author of the Historical Dagger-winning AN UNPARDONABLE CRIME (I've done the whole "also...blah blah blah" thing too many times, you should all get my drift by now) and likely a contender for next year's Best Novel Edgar. I mean, it would be too perfect, right? A novel about Edgar Allan Poe being nominated the year the MWA has its 60th anniversary? Luckily the book more than deserves that hypothetical nom....

Mark Sarvas (of Elegant Variation fame) delivers on his long-awaited Q&A with Andrew Sean Greer, the author of THE CONFESSIONS OF MAX TIVOLI, which is racking up praise every which way (and fwiw, Faber will publish the UK edition of the book this fall.)

Patrick Anderson uses Lincoln Child's new futuristic thriller DEATH MATCH as a means to...expound upon the perfect marriage? Seriously, although he does find the book to be extremely derivative and slick.

Beryl Bainbridge is something of a doyenne in Britain, but she's at a crossroads: writer's block, and giving up her beloved smoking in order to ward of death? In any case, she speaks to the Independent about battling her demons.

The Denver Post is ecstatic to have Tres Navarre, the wisecracking English lit prof/PI hero of Rick Riordan's novels, back after a one-book hiatus. In other words, SOUTHTOWN gets a very, very nice review indeed.

On the muted enthusiasm front, there's David Hellman's review of Michael Andre Bernstein's CONSPIRATORS. Hellman admires the book for its intelligent approach to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but ultimately feels the novel falls short because it's "too ponderous." Well, light reading it certainly ain't...

Holy crap--Jordan's biography is doing amazingly well, as her publisher, John Blake, has just ordered up a reprint of 100,000 copies. I freely admit to finding the phenomenon of Ms. Price terribly fascinating, because she really hasn't done anything to merit her fame, and would get laughed out of LA or New York in about six seconds, whereas it took about fifteen to have the same effect on the Beckhams. Or something like that.

Maud Newton wins the caption contest at Bookninja! Huge congrats, as it was extremely funny. (My own entry: "I didn't mean to take funding away from 826 Valencia!" )

And finally, I suppose it had to happen. They stock CDs, so why shouldn't you be able to buy a book with your venti chai soy latte? Yes, it seems that Starbucks is getting into the books racket. Great, just what I need--copies of the latest bestsellers available in each of the chain shops that dot practically every corner on the Upper West Side (and yes, I can make a list. Please don't ask, it's scary that I can even do this.)

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