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Book News for Tuesday, June 2, 2009

  • The Mouse Circus Comes to Off Broadway: Variety has a review of the new musical production of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. The review starts off noting that the book has already been adapted into a graphic novel, a feature film, and a video game.

    The latest and most ambitious of them is a hand-tooled, proudly low-tech and endearingly mad Off Broadway musical written by maverick theater artist David Greenspan, with music and lyrics by the Kurt Weill of indie rock, Stephin Merritt.

    [...] Gaiman is a cracking good storyteller, weaving a message about children finding the courage to overcome their fears into his suspenseful fable without an ounce of sentimentality. The author's hymn to seeking adventure is well served by the fearless pair of Greenspan and Merritt, who balance wry detachment with wide-eyed immersion in the tale's fantasy world. Even when it borders on the precious, the show is mesmerizing and original.

    The show opened last night at the Lucille Lortel Theater — catch it while you can!

  • Geoff In Wodehouse: Geoff Dyer has won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction (inspired by the late, great P. G. Wodehouse) for his novel (or, rather, double-novellas) Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi.

    "Geoff Dyer is a naturally funny writer," said one of the judges, the broadcaster James Naughtie. "It's a curious book in a way — it has two locations, one in Venice and the second in India. It's a book of two halves and it actually becomes a rather serious book — at least it takes on the serious subject of our spiritual journey in the world."

    "But the whole spirit of the book is naturally comic," he continued, "and what is quite clear about Dyer is that he's got a real feel for the absurd. That's why we thought the should win this year."

    You can still get signed editions while they last!

  • We Have Movie Sign: Book trailers are fairly standard these days. But when a book is co-written by the Academy Award-winning creator of Pan's Labyrinth, you should probably expect a bit more.

    Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain is just such a book.

    It has a trailer, yes — and two scenes from the novel have also been shot with live actors and special effects (by Francisco Ruiz Velasco, not del Toro).

    Be warned: it is a vampire novel, so some of this might unsettle viewers of a more tender-hearted persuasion.

Book News Round-up:

  • Lawyers for J. D. Salinger have filed suit to stop the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, an "unauthorized sequel" written by J D California.

    "The sequel is not a parody and it does not comment upon or criticise the original," Salinger's lawsuit is reported by the Associated Press to say. "It is a ripoff, pure and simple."

  • Martin Amis's dirty laundry is hung out to dry by an angry ex. Ooooh... naughty, naughty author!
  • Will Google's entry into the eBook fray create a standards war?

    Well, why not — that worked out so well in the '90s for the competing mini-disc formats, and more recently, for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Hmm... maybe that's why not.

  • In this comic strip, Twilight author Stephenie Meyer discovers something far more terrifying than vampires or werewolves... Internet trolls!

÷ ÷ ÷

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. Coraline
    Used Trade Paper $3.95
  2. Coraline Graphic Novel
    Used Hardcover $10.00
  3. The Strain (Strain Trilogy #1)
    Used Hardcover $8.50
  4. Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
    Used Hardcover $5.95

  5. Twilight (Twilight Saga #1)
    Used Trade Paper $5.95

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