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Book News for Tuesday, July 14, 2009

  • In Memoriam: Charles N. Brown, the influential publisher, editor, and co-founder of Locus magazine, passed away on July 12. Naturally, Locus pays tribute to his legacy.
  • Half-Bloody Good: Even as the Wall Street Journal wonders if Harry Potter can hold its own against Twilight, the new film in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which opens tomorrow in theaters everywhere), scores a tasty 85 on Metacritic's meter and a delicious 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

    (In case you're wondering, the chief difference between the sites is who they use as source material. Metacritic sticks with published critics, while RT adds blogs into the mix.)

    A sampling of critical responses:

    • "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince strikes me as being — by an order of magnitude — the strongest (or at least the most mature, subtle and emotional) entry in the series thus far." — The Oregonian
    • "I admired this Harry Potter. It opens and closes well, and has wondrous art design and cinematography as always, only more so." — Roger Ebert
    • "Dazzlingly well made and perhaps deliberately less fanciful than the previous entries, this one is played in a mode closer to palpable life-or-death drama than any of the others and is quite effective as such." — Variety
    • "It was splendid! No, it’s not a larky kid-pic. We're firmly in the realm of English horror." — New York Magazine
    • "With Half-Blood Prince, again we have a stalwart, satisfying visualization of the Rowling cosmos." — Time magazine
  • Hideously Brief: September will finally see the release of the film adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

    The film, which had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, marks the directorial debut of the actor John Krasinski (of NBC's The Office) and stars Julianne Nicholson (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) as a graduate student who is interviewing men for a thesis project, as well as Will Arnett, Dominic Cooper, Timothy Hutton, Christopher Meloni and Mr. Krasinski as the subjects of some of those interrogations.

    IFC Films is launching it simultaneously in theaters and video-on-demand on September 25th — mark your calendar!

Book News Round-up:

÷ ÷ ÷

Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the 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. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $9.95
  2. The Hunter: Parker #01 Used Hardcover $13.00
  3. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
    Used Trade Paper $8.00
  4. The Year of the Flood
    Used Hardcover $13.95
  5. Twilight (Twilight Saga)
    Used Mass Market $0.95
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood...
    Used Hardcover $5.95

  7. A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition Used Hardcover $13.00
  8. A Moveable Feast
    Used Trade Paper $8.00

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