The Weekend Update’s Passion

NYTBR: This is pure conjecture on my part, but I can’t help wondering if Colm Toibin’s review of HUMAN SMOKE adorned the cover only at the last minute. Maybe because it’s not as long as cover reviews have been of late. Or because the NYTBR, ca. 2008, wants to distance itself from the whiff of Wieseltier and focus more on what other editors notice. Whatever the case, I’m not complaining.

Otherwise, Polly Morrice reflects on 60 years of J.D. Salinger’s published prose; Robert Kaplan seems to enjoy Alex Berenson’s new spy thriller in spite of himself; and Marilyn Stasio reviews new crime novels by Anne Perry, Lisa Lutz, David Levien and Patrick McManus.

And from Friday’s paper, I don’t know, but you think Janet Maslin might be burning out just a bit on crime novels? Perhaps the repetition of “because the world of crime thrillers is finite” is a giveaway…

WaPo Book World: There’s a comics theme what with Glen David Gold riffing on Jack Kirby and Dennis Drabelle with his say on David Hajdu’s survey of the form’s history; Jonathan Yardley has serious problems with Sadie Jones’ new novel; and Wendy Smith suggests putting aside the plot and enjoying the ride of Jerome Charyn’s JOHNNY ONE-EYE.

LA Times: Scott Timberg has a valuable reappreciation of Bret Easton Ellis; Ed Park appreciates Arthur C. Clarke and examines a Secret History of Moscow; Tod Goldberg has a mixed take on Jeffrey Ford’s THE SHADOW YEAR, which struck me as the end result if Jean Shepherd had dabbled in the otherworldly; and Lizzie Skurnick visits Second Life and reports back on the results.

G&M: Michael Ondaatje pays tribute to Anthony Minghella; William Kowalski defends the greatness of THE GREAT GATSBY; Robert Wiersema enjoys himself some LUSH LIFE; and Andrew Allentuck ponders the significance of gold.

Guardian Review: Will Self reveals why he prefers to write and read satirical novels; Josh Lacey is impressed with a debut psychological thriller; and Paul Theroux boards the Orient Express and winds up with a slew of adventurous tales.

Observer: Robin McKie remembers Arthur C. Clarke; Ed Vuillamy is unimpressed with Justin Cartwright’s paean to Oxford and its university; and Ed Smith mounts a defense for sport’s prominent position in current life.

The Times: Glitz & Glamour returns with a twist as the bonkbuster; Tim Teeman thinks Katie “Jordan” Price’s new book isn’t terrible; Philip Pullman talks about his new novella; Peter Millar reviews three Nazi-themed thrillers by Philip Kerr, David Downing and Marek Krajewski; and Ed Park gets his first newspaper review! (The exclamation point is in his honor.)

The Scotsman: Jackie McGlone plunges into the dark side with Sara Paretsky; David Robinson meets newest literary wunderkind Ross Raisin; and AL Kennedy takes the piss out of yet another hapless journalist.

The Rest:

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Jon & Ruth Jordan’s segment on B&N’s weekly “Book Obsessed” serial documentary, you can do so right here.

Oline Cogdill has both good and bad things to say about Randy Wayne White’s latest thriller.

Laura Lippman is interviewed on video by the WSJ’s Robert Hughes.

Also in the WSJ, Jeff Trachtenberg chats with Deon Meyer about his newest South African-set thriller DEVIL’S PEAK.

Morag Joss talks with the Boston Globe’s Anna Mundow about her new psychological thriller THE NIGHT FOLLOWING.

Stella Duffy, one of my all-time favorite authors and far, far too underrated, has a new novel out, reviewed by Matt Thorne at the Telegraph.

The Seattle Times asks local cops to pick their favorite reading material.

Already much linked over the past couple of days but Putnam VP Neil Nyren dispenses many words of wisdom on the publishing industry at Murderati.

When it comes to separating fact from fiction, Bob Hoover stresses that job is the author’s, not the publisher’s.

And finally, Canada rocks. It really, really does. Way to go Jeff, Tessa & Scott and Jessica & Bryce!