- A Little Bit Flaccid: Gawker notes that several pieces have come out all around the same time bemoaning essentially the same problem: Why can't boys write anymore?
I had to read this piece twice and email Tavis to figure out what it was even about. From the posted excerpts and relentless entendres, I got the feeling that today's young male writers were having awfully unsatisfying sex lives. Fortunately, GalleyCat is here to elucidate:
Instead of worrying why boys can't write, we should be thinking, again, of what we're losing when we rush to publish novelists while their author photos still lack crows'-feet to photoshop. It's unrealistic to think that we'll ever revert to some pre-metrosexuality, pre-Styles-profile, probably-nonexistent golden age when book promotion was all about what was between the covers. But blaming boy writers for allowing our culture to begin to objectify them almost as much as it has always objectified lady-writers — lady-anythings, really — seems slightly unfair.
But what if every negative review came with an electric shock to the author?
And what if author readings had tiger pits from which ferocious, carnivorous felines would be unleashed if the audience grew disinterested in the book at hand?
I suspect we'd find a much higher caliber of storytelling — and far fewer books from tragic young novelists about tragic young novelists. Don't you?
- To the Excerpt: You've got to figure that "tragic novelists" have nothing to do with a book titled To the Death.
And sure enough, Patrick Robinson's "fast-paced, provocative" thriller has less to do with overeducated, underinspired grad students and everything to do with bombs going off in airports and a team of courageous Navy SEALs.
Best of all, you can sample the wares before you buy! Not just a single chapter excerpt — oh no, dear reader. Download the first 122 pages of To the Death and decide for yourself if it's explosive enough to qualify as this summer's must-read beach book.
- S Is for Statue: If you're going to be in the L.A. area before May 18th (that's this Sunday — saved you a trip to the calendar!), check out this Ray Bradbury-inspired statue at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
The figure, which contains overt and subtle references to such Bradbury classics as The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes, was intended to be an even more direct tribute to the author:
Initially, Slatoff hoped it would be of Bradbury himself. Instead, the author suggested an alternative subject: He remembered, as a child, being carried home by his father after a long day spent at two circuses. For Bradbury, the image of a father with his child in his arms is a "Pieta" of sorts.
I'm looking forward to the recently commissioned Brockman statue featuring Yours Truly cramming an armload of books into a laptop keyboard. Solid bronze — just like me.
- Watch It: This animated video isn't book related, but who cares? It's too cool and weird to keep to myself:
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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