introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 27, 2005

Odds and Ends

by Ron Hogan

  • Jay Gould hated book publishing with a passion, says his latest biographer, Edward J. Renehan, Jr.

  • I've been guest-blogging all month at John Scalzi's blog while he finishes his new novel, and I have to write my last entry as soon as I finish typing this. I think I'll probably end up talking about The Traveler and why trying to read it drove me batty. But you'll really want to click through to find out who I'm guessing "John Twelve Hawks" is, and why...even though I'm completely wrong!

  • David Kipen makes a great Manchurian Candidate joke while defending his review of the latest Harry Potter novel, but then he has to go and explain it in the next paragraph. I suppose it's not his fault; it's just an illustration of how hard it is to do obscure humor well in a mass medium. Then he goes on to demolish some of the "myths" readers have about book reviewers. I can feel his pain--the latest issue of a small magazine for which I occasionally write had two letters complaining about the pan I gave a book earlier this year: one from the author, who accused me of being an intellectual snob, and one from a woman who may be the author's biggest fan, convinced I have a "personal agenda" for saying his book was even more badly written than it was conceived. This is what comes from sticking your byline on book reviews, I tell you! Either that, or it's the last time I'm ever going to review a book by a self-styled religious guru...

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