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Book News for Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Howdy, y'all! Welcome to the "Wild West of journalism," a place where "anything goes and nothing lingers."

Before I start my scribbling on the "bathroom wall" that is the blog, I'd like to take a moment to consider how often print journalism finds an opportunity to denigrate the blogosphere as fleeting and insignificant, and whether such opinions are perhaps a just wee bit self-serving. Yeeeeee-haw!

  • Broadcasting & Cable, the TV business magazine, has pointed out some uncanny similarities between NBC's new TV series Heroes and Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children.

    If you know the book and happened to catch the Heroes premiere last Monday, the Japanese man on the show who can bend time may have reminded you of the book's character with "the gift of traveling in time." Or the series' young woman who has a dark relationship with mirrors may have brought to mind the book's character who can step into and emerge from "any reflective surface in the land."

    What's more, the young Indian geneticist on the show, who sets out to find and nurture the budding heroes, shares the name "Suresh" with the doctor in Midnight's Children who delivers the book's narrator into the world.

    No word yet from Rushdie, who is expected to blame the situation on notorious "wife-swapper" John Updike. (Via's PopWatch.)

  • I'll have an order of irony on a bed of steamed irony with a side order of irony: a father attempts to censor an anti-censorship book during a week devoted to celebrating books that many have sought to censor:

    Alton Verm's request to ban Fahrenheit 451 came during the 25th annual Banned Books Week. He and Hines said the request to ban Fahrenheit 451, a book about book burning, during Banned Books Weeks is a coincidence.

    Coincidence... or conspiracy?? You decide.

  • Ever wonder what happens to an author who toils away for years on a novel, only to watch it get published, garner two negative reviews (from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, no less), and fade from view? Wonder no longer.

    However, I should point out that Michael Laser's book, Dark & Light: A Love Story, actually did get a positive review on our page for the book:

    "[Laser] is brutally honest about the difficulty of bridging the racial gap and the assumptions that even well-meaning blacks and whites make about one another....Recommended." Library Journal

    So cheer up, Mike! Librarians like you... they really, really like you!

  • Stephen King on the writer's life:

    There is indeed a half-wild beast that lives in the thickets of each writer's imagination. It gorges on a half-cooked stew of suppositions, superstitions and half-finished stories. It's drawn by the stink of the image-making stills writers paint in their heads. The place one calls one's study or writing room is really no more than a clearing in the woods where one trains the beast (insofar as it can be trained) to come.

    King gets at least one detail wrong. While strolling in Laurelhurst Park, I have frequently seen random people stop, point out a man scribbling in his notebook near the duck pond, and exclaim to no one in particular, "Oh, look! That man is caught in the cosmic godhead fire of the writing life!" Happens all the time, in fact.

÷ ÷ ÷

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. Midnight's Children
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  2. Fahrenheit 451
    Used Trade Paper $6.95
  3. Dark & Light Used Trade Paper $2.25

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