Monday, October 05, 2009

Book News & Snooze

Boy, am I feeling smug. My prognostication that The Lost Symbol would be a piece of crap is just that. I’ve just returned from Amazon.com, where 843 peeps have written reviews and 590 of them, or 70%, have given it 3 or less stars out of a possible 5. The book is selling, of course, to those readers who enjoy mediocrity. That's their decision, so enough said.

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What book has replaced Dan Brown as the #1 seller on both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble? Yes, folks, it’s Sarah Palin and her book Going Rogue, An American Life, a 432 page "memoir" set for publication on November 17.

432 pages of this nutcase?

Surely Palin must have a collaborator, I thought, but neither Amazon nor B&N lists one. But then I found this in an AP story on a site called Blerp:

Palin herself has said that "Going Rogue" will give her a chance to express herself "unfiltered," a bold brand for a public figure who has likened herself to a pit bull with lipstick and once alleged that Obama was "palling around with terrorists." Palin's collaborator, Lynn Vincent, has her own history of attacking the left. She is the co-author of "Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party." [Bold is mine]

If I thought this was going to be the comedy book of the year, I might read it. But Palin is waaaay out right: Rush Limbaugh, the quintessence of truth and objectivity, is hoping she sells 5 million copies. No, folks, I’ll be passing on this one: the minute I read “Church and State” in the same sentence, I would throw it at one of Martha’s good walls.

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Want to see something really neat? Pop over here for a minute, but then come right back here.

See, I told you. I haven't read much of him since he retired, but I will be reading this one. I just hope its 1088 pages live up to the cover and some of his older stuff.

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Before Dennis Lehane had a huge success with Mystic River, both book and movie, he wrote five PI novels featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. The locale was Boston, Lehane’s hometown, which he knows as well as Pete Hamill knows New York. Kenzie and Gennaro were a likeable team, smart-alecky (some of their scenes were hilarious), but they never scrimped on the job at hand. The stories were gritty and violent in a part of Boston known to be gritty and violent: Dorchester. The fans of the series, including me, loved them.

And then the series stopped. With the publication of Mystic River, Lehane said he was done with the duo. Forever. “There’s no way I’ll write another one,” I remember him saying quite forcefully in a magazine interview. The fans of the series, including me, were shocked.

Ten or so years later, Lehane has reconsidered: he is busy at work on a new Kenzie and Gennaro tale, but he won’t give any details. “A man can change his mind,” I remember him saying, but I can’t remember where I read it. His fans, including me, are delighted.

A Drink Before the War won a Shamus Prize for first novel. Others in the series (in order) include Darkness Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Prayers for Rain.

16 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

Palin HAD to have had a ghost writer or something - I simply don't believe she's capable of writing a coherent paragraph let alone an entire book.

Pat said...

I knew we were lucky to have you to guide us through the global library.
It's gals who are allowed to change their minds re Lehane

Meg said...

I would read the King novel just because the cover is awesome. Yep, I do judge books by their covers. Sometimes.

I'm kind of curious as to how Palin churned out 432 pages in a month (even with a ghostwriter), but I'm not curious enough to read it.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Charlie! For some reason, Palin somehow scares me. She's a gas to see on TV though during her interviews. The way she rambles on and on is classic!

DUTA said...

Sara Palin , with or without the book, will hopefully return America it's lost intellect in the last presidenial elections.

Diane said...

The reason it's at the top of the bestseller list is because the RNC has bought up so many copies to giveaway, so that it looks like everyone is interested in her...LOL

JMO

Robert the Skeptic said...

I wonder how many people will start reading Palin's book then quit before they finish it?

Kim Ayres said...

I'm going to wait for the movie of Palin's novel. I wonder if they'll get Schwarzenegger to play her?

Tiffin said...

It isn't Palin per se who scares me so much as the fact that a terrifying number of Amurcans thought she was wonderful. They'll probably be the ones buying her book.

No, no Kim Ayres, it will be a robotic Barbie, you betcha!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Stephen King falls into the guilty pleasure category for me, one in which I haven't indulged in decades, but I would absolutely read that book. It looks entirely cool!

As for Sarah Palin, even a blind squirrel can find the odd nut, I think the poor blind squirrel has stumbled over a huge one.

Charlie said...

WC: Palin is not capable of writing a complete sentence. Vanity Fair magazine took her resignation speech as the governor of Alaska and had their editors edit it. Take a peek:

The Edited Version

PAT: C'mon, Pat, guys change their minds too. Every day I say I'm going to change my socks, but then I change my mind and don't.

MEG: Yay for the cover, which is a four-panel. Only a fourth will show on the front of the book, and the spine will mess things up.

I think it must be easier to churn out 400 pages when you're writing nonsense and bullshit: no thinking is involved.

PETER: You said she's a gas on TV. I guess that makes her a gasbag.

DUTA: America lost its intellect long before the last election. Was it my post and these comments that made you leave?

Charlie said...

DIANE: Maybe so, but wouldn't that be like cutting your own jugular vein?

ROBERT: Probably all her pals in hate radio and at Fox "News" will read it, but I suspect it will make a darn fine doorstop for anyone with a functional brain.

KIM: Or how about Tom Cruise jumping up and down on the sofa? Or what's-his-name, Rambo?

TIFFIN: Yeah, I wonder what all those Amurcans were thinking? Oh, I forgot—they weren't.

Robotic Barbie sounds more like a role for Mr. Sarah. But you work out the casting with Kim.

BARBARA: King's book is set for release on November 10. Maybe you'll have a nice ice and snowstorm so you can curl up with it under ten blankets.

As far as a nut stumbling, we'll see if this is a Last Hurrah or if she is indeed serious about running in 2012.

kara said...

i've read none of these. damnit.

Wandering Coyote said...

Holy fuck.

Charlie said...

KARA: You must be talking about Lehane, and his five novels are readily available.

Huh. Neither one of us said anything outrageous. I'm worried.

WC: Told ya, told ya.

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

Poor Palin - but what a way for Americans and the rest of the world to get a bit of real life comedy in our lives. I just saw an ad for a porno parody of her.... that's gotta be a hoot.
Great post Charlie!