The Emergence of the Curmudgeon

October 30, 2009 admin 2

Many people still remember when Martin Amis was the enfant terrible of the British literary scene. Then he matured into the hot, cool guy who’d make pithy observations on other artist’s work while producing a fairly dazzling stream of work of his own. From there, it’s inevitable, right? First enfant terrible. Then hot guy. From there it’s only a matter of time until you hit curmudgeon. This last seems to have arrived quite recently when […]

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Happy Birthday to Ezra

October 30, 2009 admin 0

Ezra Pound was born on this day in 1885. From Writer’s Almanac: Pound was born within a few years of James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, D.H. Lawrence, Marianne Moore, Hilda Doolittle, and T.S. Eliot, and he was instrumental in promoting the careers of each one of these writers — as well as many, many others. He was a champion of modern poetry and prose; Richard Ellmann and Robert O’Clair proclaimed that it was Ezra Pound […]

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Stephen King to Enter the Twilight

October 29, 2009 admin 0

Early in 2010, Vertigo will publish a five book series of graphic novels told by dark overlord Stephen King and short story writer Scott Snyder. The series will feature American cowboy vampire Skinner Sweet and was originally conceived of by Snyder who had approached King for a blurb and ended up with a co-author. “I love vampire stories,” King told The Guardian, “and the idea of following the dark exploits of a uniquely American vampire […]

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Birthday Brilliance

October 27, 2009 admin 0

While it’s true that great writers can be born on any day of the month or week, it does seem as though there are certain days where the muses have sprinkled extra magic. October 27th is one of those. Today is the birthday of at least three of the really greats: from both now and then. Dylan Thomas was, says Writer’s Almanac, “the man who called himself ‘a freak user of words, not a poet’ […]

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Zombie Success Story Tops One Million

October 26, 2009 admin 0

The usually elegant Three Rivers Press is quick to point out that their “2003 sleeper hit,” The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, was at the vanguard of the current zombie movement. From a Three Rivers Press release: The Zombie Survival Guide has spurred countless other books on zombies, along with its own line of products such as The Zombie Survival Guide Journal that gives people a chance to record their to-do lists and survival […]

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Kafka Controversy Continues

October 26, 2009 admin 0

Eighty-five years after his death, the author of The Castle and Amerika is at the heart of a strange controversy. From The Guardian: Israel’s National Library is calling on a German museum to hand over the original manuscript of Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial to correct a “historical error”, in the latest unravelling of a complex dispute over the writer’s legacy. The manuscript was sold at auction by Sotheby’s in 1988 for almost $2m to […]

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Cookbooks: The Entertaining Encyclopedia by Denise Vivaldo

October 24, 2009 admin 1

Today I dropped by my local Home Depot only to be met with a shock: the rows upon rows of barbecues I’d seen there just a few weeks ago had disappeared and been mysteriously replaced with … fake Christmas trees and decorations. After I’d recovered and had gotten my too-hard-beating heart under control I stopped and took stock. After all, the time between when you see the first Home Depot Christmas tree of the season […]

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Children’s Books: Guinevere’s Gamble by Nancy McKenzie

October 24, 2009 admin 0

The Arthurian legends have inspired countless tellings and retellings though few of those have been for children. Nancy McKenzie corrected that a couple of years ago with Guinevere’s Gift, intended to be the first book in the series she is calling the Chrysalis Quartet. Guinevere’s Gamble (Alfred A. Knopf) is the second book in that series. The strong female heroine in this series is likely to make this a book favored by girls aged 10 […]

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Comedian Soupy Sales Dead at 83

October 23, 2009 admin 0

The Rap Sheet reports that pie-throwing comedian Soupy Sales passed away yesterday: Another character from my boyhood has passed on to that great entertainment venue in the sky: Milton Supman, better known as the “rubber-faced” comedian and TV personality Soupy Sales, has died at age 83 in New York City. Sales was also the author of several books, including My Life & Zany Times and Stop Me If You Heard It, both from M. Evans […]

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Biography: Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

October 22, 2009 admin 0

David Small’s Stitches: A Memoir (McLelland & Stewart/W.W. Norton) is fantastic. As good or better than the most celebrated graphic novels that it will inevitably be compared to. Stitches is all the more compelling because it is not a novel at all. Rather, it is a graphic telling of author and illustrator David Small’s early life. This is David through the Looking Glass as seen by David Lynch or perhaps Tim Burton, a dark and […]