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Archive for January, 2009

Reevaluating the myth of Bolano.

READING: Flannery O’Connor — THE COMPLETE STORIES
HEARING: Joy Division — STILL

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Novelist (among other things)  Andrew Vachss recently published ANOTHER LIFE, the final book in the Burke series. Rather than doing a standard book tour, he hosted a three-hour webcast. You can now view the webcast here, in three separate hour-long chunks. I haven’t watched it yet — I am beyond busy at the moment with other things — but I plan to watch it sometime this weekend, since I don’t know how long it will remain up. You should do the same if you’re down with Vachss and his message. I saw him in person at a book tour stop in Austin several years ago (I can’t remember which book he was promoting at the time, but it was probably ONLY CHILD or DOWN HERE) and he was extremely interesting, even illuminating. If you know anything about Vachss, then you already know that he (deliberately) only has one or two things to say, but those things are worth hearing, and it’s both entertaining and educational to hear the way he says it. Watch the webcast; you’ll see what I mean.

READING: Trevanian — THE MAIN
HEARING: KTL — IV

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Normally I’d post mad link-fu on my LiveJournal account, but LJ appears to be down and most of these are genuinely relevant to writing, so here they are — enjoy….

Now that’s a work ethic. (And why he’s successful.)

“Perhaps I should be asking the same question.”

Like you didn’t see this coming….

The standards for war reporters have diminished, I see.

Using buses to send provocative messages.

The history of advertising in books.

THE QUARTERLY CONVERSATION review of 2666.

The top ten out of print books sought after in 2008.

I need this book.*

Talking with the author of APPETITE FOR SELF-DESTRUCTION on how the music biz fumbled the ball so badly.

Fear of a bad blurb.

* “I bleed” is now my standard answer to anyone foolish enough to ask why I write. Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

READING: Roberto Bolano — 2666
HEARING: Cheer-Accident — BABIES SHOULDN’T SMOKE

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a useful tidbit.

The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words.

READING: Roberto Bolano — 2666
HEARING: Korperschwache — FEAR THE HEX

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Donald Westlake has died. This is a severe bummer. I just recently started reading the Parker books (published by Westlake under the name Richard Stark), and while I’m looking forward to reading even more of them, it will be a drag to know that the man who wrote them won’t be writing any more. I was never a fan of his more popular Dortmunder series, but the Parker books I’ve read so far have all been excellent examples of the hard-boiled genre, and any guy who merits boundless admiration from the brilliant but famously cranky Lawrence Block is all right with me. Westlake will definitely be missed.

More on the subject courtesy of Sarah Weinman, including many, many links to interviews with and articles about the man.

READING: Roberto Bolano — 2666
HEARING: Eyehategod — IN THE NAME OF SUFFERING

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