The Winter Cold Weekend Update

To start things off, my review of Chris Bohjalian’s THE DOUBLE BIND appears in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s a mixed take, warranted because of what I thought was one story hook too many.

NYTBR: Marilyn Stasio is fairly upbeat in her crime column this weekend, favorably reviewing new offerings by Ariana Franklin, Giles Blunt, S.J. Rozan and Tim Dorsey; Geoff Nicholson has no patience for Joe Hill’s horror thriller HEART-SHAPED BOX; Dwight Garner has some fun with the idea of a Norman Mailer mix tape; Alexandra Jacobs wishes there was more than just boss-bashing in BECAUSE SHE CAN; and WTF, Lee Siegel again? Writing about Harry Potter? Wha?

WaPo Book World: It’s the Love issue, and that means a book on the secrets of the flower industry, one of psychological components of sex and one on the evils of “hooking up”; Chris Bohjalian is glad to have spent time in the sumptuous atmosphere created by Jane Smiley; and Diana Gabaldon adores Ariana Franklin’s historical forensic thriller.

LA Times: Jane Smiley (interviewed by Maria Russo) uses THE DECAMERON as a template for a new, Hollywood-drenched novel; Jim Ruland has his say on Peter Ho Davies’ long-awaited debut; Tod Goldberg explains why Tom McCarthy’s REMAINDER is a must-read; and Edward Champion serves up his feelings on China Mieville’s foray into YA.

G&M: Martin Levin thinks Ann Coulter and Judith Regan are only “channeling the spirit of the age”; Christy Ann Conlin wishes EXIT A had been a lot more like JARHEAD; Lisa Gabriele wonders how the bonds of sisterhood can become more uncomplicated; and Margaret Cannon reviews the latest in crime fiction by Lincoln Child, Boris Akunin, Asa Nomani, Marcus Sakey, Sean Chercover and Steve Berry.

Guardian Review: Robert Hughes pens an ode to the glories of Barcelona; Seven writers have taken cues from W.G. Sebald to write about the natural beauty of East Anglia; Benjamin Markovits wonders what happens when literary partnerships go bad; Emma Brockes interviews Thomas McGuane about writing the American landscape; and Ian Rankin explains why the City of Edinburgh is reading KIDNAPPED! en masse.

Observer: The Wire crosses the Atlantic, and two of its stars talk about the show’s appeal; Hermoine Lee’s biography of Edith Wharton is “majestic,” according to Hilary Spurling; and a pastiche novel to 19th century detectives? I am soooooo there.

The Scotsman: Allan Massie admires Rachel Seiffert’s effort to write of war, but wonders if the end result could have been more subtle; Evidently, just because you review a lot of novels doesn’t mean you write one well; and the Stevenson kick inspires both Ian Rankin and Louise Welsh.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill considers Linda Fairstein’s ninth novel, BAD BLOOD, to be “a standout.”

Adam Woog at the Seattle Times reviews new mysteries by Peter Spiegelman, Frederick Highland, Allen Wyler & Patrick Anderson.

Jerome Weeks is frustrated with Patrick Anderson’s effort to analyze the thriller genre in THE TRIUMPH OF THE THRILLER.

Ed Champion does double duty this week, as his review of David Markson’s reissued pulp novels appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

At the Telegraph, Susanna Yager and Toby Clements review new crime novels by William Landay, Mari Jungstedt, Natasha Cooper and Andrea Camilleri.

The Toronto Star’s Jack Batten has found another Norwegian author to add to his favorites: Jo Nesbo.

The first reviews of Jon Clinch’s highly (and deservedly) touted debut novel FINN are rolling in. The SF Chronicle’s Katherine Hill likes it with reservations; Newsweek’s David Gates has no qualms about praising it to the skies.

Helon Habila reveals to the Independent why his native Nigeria informs his work, no matter where he happens to live.

Henry Chang had almost forgotten about the manuscript he wrote in the early 1990s, but thanks to a friend’s insistence, he tells the Downtown Express, it eventually got published last fall by Soho Press – to great acclaim.

The Savannah Morning News meets the prolific and Edgar Award-nominated author Mary Kay Andrews.

Fay Weldon and Scott Pack debate whether literary creativity is dying, with entertaining results. 

Elie Wiesel was accosted by a Holocaust denier at a peace conference in San Francisco.