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Book News for Thursday, December 27, 2007

  • Sneak Peek: Neil Gaiman's website offers a glimpse of the upcoming stop-motion animated feature of his young adult novel Coraline, directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach).

    You can view a high-res Quicktime video on Gaiman's site.

    Or check out the low-res version via YouTube:

    This is light-years away from Year without a Santa Claus.

  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Carver's Edits Random, Interchangeable Book News Piece: In case you missed it in yesterday's entry from guest blogger David Silverman, you really must check out the New Yorker's document comparing Raymond Carver's draft of his short story "Beginners" (later retitled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love") with editor Gordon Lish's changes.

    Just a sampling (additions to Carver's draft in bold; deleted parts struck through; paragraph mark ¶ indicates break insert):

    Terri said the man she lived with before she lived with Mel Herb loved her so much he tried to kill her. Herb laughed after she said this. He made a face. Terri looked at him. Then Terri she said, “He beat me up one night, the last night we lived together. He dragged me around the living room by my ankles. He kept saying, , all the while saying, ‘I love you, don’t you see? I love you, you bitch.’ He went on dragging me around the living room. My , my head kept knocking on things.” TerriShe looked around the table at us and then looked at her hands on her glass. “What do you do with love like that?” she said. ¶ She was a bone-thin woman with a pretty face, dark eyes, and brown hair that hung down her back. She liked necklaces made of turquoise, and long pendant earrings. She was fifteen years younger than Herb, had suffered periods of anorexia, and during the late sixties, before she’d gone to nursing school, had been a dropout, a “street person” as she put it. Herb sometimes called her, affectionately, his hippie.

    Which puts me immediately in mind of some of the edits I get on my blog posts. A sampling from one of last week's Book News items:

    Some dude I've never met Caleb Crain wrote this one thing about a bunch of stuff posits a non-literary place that doesn't seem too rad dystopian time that isn't now but is kind of like later like maybe next year or whatevs future in his New Yorker piece of crap "Twilight of the Books," wondering what life is already will be like if people keep not stop doing that one thing you have to do between levels on a video game that explains the plot reading.

    Evidently the chick or dude Crain has never heard of a book about a boy wizard that ten trillion kids (and adults) have read. Curious. I mean, what the F??? I know, right? Totally!

    Leave it to stupid editors to squash true genius.

  • And Nine Delicious Caramel Macchiattos: Nine more books USA Today couldn't resist in 2007.

    Judging by their selections, the staff evidently spent some time in Starbucks this year.

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.

The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.


Books mentioned in this post

  1. Coraline
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  2. Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas Used Trade Paper $4.50


  3. What We Talk about When We Talk...
    Used Trade Paper $8.00



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