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Monday Book News: Abraham Lincoln Cast in “Vampire Hunter” Film, New Murakami Novel and Salinger Bio, and More

  • Four Score and Seven Bloodsuckers Ago: The lead role in the film version of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter has been cast. It's an actor you probably haven't heard of, unless you've been to Broadway recently enough to see the play Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

    The 3D project has been one of the hotter ones in Hollywood....Grahame-Smith's novel re-imagines Lincoln's life as an axe-throwing, skilled killer of bloodsuckers, an obsession that dates back to the death of his mother as the hands of vampires. Lincoln vents his wrath on the vampires and their slave-owning protectors.

    Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay adaptation. Click here to read his posts on our blog. Don't hold it against him that he only posted two of the five days for his week — clearly, he had plenty to keep him busy.

  • RU X-Cited 4 1Q84? Haruki Murakami's newest novel, titled 1Q84, is coming to the U.S. in October, courtesy of Knopf. Plan accordingly.
  • The Catcher Gets Caught: If you're a J. D. Salinger fan, you probably don't need to be told not to miss Kenneth Slawenski's biography J. D. Salinger: A Life. According to Bloomberg News:

    [Slawenski] assembles a picture of what Salinger must have gone through on D-Day and during the hellish later battles in the Huertgen Forest, where only 563 American soldiers of the 3,080 who went in came out alive.

    [...] His diagnosis: post-traumatic stress disorder and a lingering depression that account for the enigmatic suicide of Seymour Glass at the end of "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" — possibly Salinger’s most perfect story — as well as the author's increasing skittishness once he achieved literary celebrity.

    Whoops! Should I have included a spoiler alert more than sixty years later? Anyway, the book is full of juicy tidbits about Saligner's writing, like:

    It's fascinating to learn that "Bananafish" went through a full year of editing at The New Yorker before it was published in January 1948, and that the magazine's fiction editors turned down The Catcher in the Rye.

    Makes you wonder how much of Holden Caulfield's disillusionment was prompted by those editoriali phonies at The New Yorker.

  • Harry Potter in the Land of Ghosts and Wind: Do you accept the Harry Potter 2011 Challenge? All seven books between January and the end of August! Awesome power! Join me or die — can you see that I am serious?
  • Borders Patrol: The long, slow death of Borders just gets longer, slower, and deathlier. Now the floundering book chain is withholding January payments to vendors and landlords so that it can "complete a debt restructuring."

    The news comes after Borders said on Thursday that it had received a conditional commitment from GE Capital, which is one of its banks, for a $550 million senior secured facility.

    But it also said on Thursday that it may have to do its debt restructuring in court, meaning it would file for bankruptcy protection.

    I hate to see any bookseller suffer, but this is why they shoot injured horses.

  • Art Books: The New York Times has a fascinating profile of Joost Grootens, a Dutch book designer who has "reinvent[ed] the concept of books, focusing on information and simplicity."

    As much an information designer as a book designer, he is best known for the award-winning atlases he has produced for the Dutch publishing house 010. By rethinking the kind of information a printed atlas should contain, and creating new ways of presenting it, Mr Grootens has reinvented the old-fashioned atlas to make it useful and relevant in an age when we can call up digital maps instantly on satellite navigation systems and the Internet.

    Books as artwork — I sense this is the future of paper, and I can't say it makes me complain.

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $8.50
  2. J. D. Salinger: A Life Used Hardcover $6.95
  3. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
    Used Hardcover $3.50
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  5. The Catcher in the Rye
    Used Trade Paper $7.95

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