The Weekend Update Gang’s All Here

My review of Lewis Shiner’s new novel BLACK AND WHITE runs this weekend in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. It’s exactly the kind of book review I love, focusing on an underappreciated author writing a fabulous book for a small press. Which is code for hunting this one down as fast as you can.


NYTBR: William Logan describes a new collection of Frank O’Hara’s poems as “long needed”; Mark Sarvas has his say on Ed Park’s novel, and the pairup seems another example of Machiavellian forces at work looking for conspiracies that are not there in the Book Review; Rachel Donadio explores the world of Israeli publishing; Alex Berenson has his say on Devil May Care while Alessandra Stanley (!) manages to be snide about contemporary espionage novels in praising Alan Furst’s new one. In other words, stick to TV and to not making needless mistakes requiring corrections…

WaPo Book World: Susan Straight is the latest to praise Uwem Akpan’s story collection; Jonathan Yardley likes the subject matter but not the prose style of Julia Keller’s history of the Gatling gun; and Jeff Vandermeer praises Jack O’Connell’s genre-bending new novel;

LA Times: James Sallis praises the novelistic skies of Donald Harington; Scott Timberg discovers Salman Rushdie’s close ties to the city; and Jim Ruland evaluates a spy novel without thrillsAnd as for this, a little legwork and proper reporting might have sufficed instead of pointless rumor-mongering, but hey, what do I know? Although I will say, Josh Getlin’s focused columns – there’s the film-to-book pieces on Thursday, “dishing books” with publishing movers & shakers on Wednesday and now upcoming releases on Saturday – feels like one part of the so-called transition expected to be in place by September.

G&M: Margaret Cannon’s crime column reviews the latest by Chris Knopf, Lee Child, Jo Nesbo, Howard Shrier, Jeffery Deaver and Susan Hill; A new book examines the Canadian connection to Perestroika; and Robert Wiersema looks at a slew of promising debut literary novels.

Guardian Review: Kathryn Hughes wonders if the biography is dead or dying; Hugo Hamilton’s tale of disguise disquiets Hermoine Lee in a good way; and Benjamin Markovits visits Lord Byron’s writing room.

Observer: Zoe Jones appreciates Steven Galloway’s subtle craftsmanship; a vigorous study finds common ground in the race debate; and Euan Ferguson heralds Irvine Welsh’s return to form.

The Times: The Sunday broadsheet enters the summer reading fray; Peter Millar looks at the thriller writers predicting mass catastrophes;Millar is also duly entertained by Mark Alpert’s science thriller debut; Justin Evans discusses the source material for his own debut literary horror novel; and Margaret Murphy honors John Creasey on the centenary of his birth.

The Scotsman: Vanessa Curtis wishes Shona Maclean’s debut thriller was lighter on history and stronger on thrills; Susan Mansfield talks with the author, who turns out to be Alistair Maclean’s niece; and Tony Parsons describes his perfect weekend, among other things.

The Rest:

Oline Cogdill marvels at the high standards John Connolly maintains in THE REAPERS.

David Montgomery has his say on mysteries & thrillers by Lawrence Block, Janet Evanovich, James Rollins, Julia Spencer-Fleming and Jon Land.

Hallie Ephron evaluates new crime offerings by Francie Lin, Raffi Yessayan and Barbara Pope for the Boston Globe.

At the Telegraph, Jake Kerridge reviews Andrew Taylor’s new historical thriller and Toby Clements tackles the latest in crime fiction by R.D. Wingfield, Susan Hill, Elizabeth George and Bruce Kennedy Jones & Eric Allison.

The Denver Post’s Tom & Enid Schantz review new mysteries by John Straley, Rhys Bowen and Dan Waddell.

At the Plain Dealer, Les Roberts rounds up crime fiction by Don Winslow, Dave White, N.M. Kelby and Thomas Cook.

Outgoing Minneapolis Star-Tribune books editor Sally Williams talks with the brothers Enger, who started off writing mystery novels together and found literary success on their own.

The Pasadena Star-News chats with Robert Crais about the appeal of Laurel Canyon and Los Angeles in general.

The Arizona Republic’s Kerry Lengel Q&As with Brent Ghelfi about his new thriller VOLK’S SHADOW.

Junot Diaz talks about his addiction to GRAND THEFT AUTO and explains why even a game as brilliant as GTA:IV can’t approach the brilliance of movies and especially books.

Dan Kois differs somewhat from me with his take on Lewis Shiner’s BLACK & WHITE, though I do agree with his assertion that Hayti would make an excellent setting for a graphic novel.

And finally, “they should play rhythm and blues, and they should laugh a lot.”