Photo by Boston Book Festival via Flickr
It was hard not to feel cheerleaderish during Saturday's inaugural BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL, which crammed 90 authors into 40 or so hour-long programs in and around Copley Square, and drew lines-around-the-block crowds for . . . well, people talking about and reading from books.
James Ellroy, the self-described demon dog of American crime fiction, has been pulling the same literary-Crazy-Eddie schtick for years -- he was doing it, for instance, way before Jim Cramer borrowed the act for Mad Money. The schtick is at once a useful mask and, at base, exactly what it appears to be: a meticulously cultivated, nakedly needy, vastly narcissistic self-promotional vehicle whose sole purpose is the further economic enrichment of James Ellroy.
I can safely say that until this week I had never been to a book signing or anything to do with a book-related event at a bar. But Craig M. Mullaney (not Craig Mullaney, that's an entirely different person I found out by emailing the wrong person) is not your average author, he's not really your average anything.
Maine author Hannah Holmes, whose natural history of humans, The Well-Dressed Ape (Random House), I reviewed last month, has started a new viral campaign to help market her book. The first installment of her effort is this video, which I've embedded here:
But I'll also share with you her note introducing the video, both to give you a sense of Hannah herself, and a sense of the book world as it stands today.
The best Revolutionary Road adaptation of 2008, hands down, was season 2 of Mad Men. If Sam Mendes's Revolutionary Road takes home any of the bazilion Golden Globe awards it's up for on Sunday night, it'll have very little to do with the limp, Titanicized performances of Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio, and every bit to do with the enormous (and justly deserved) reputation that Richard Yates's novel has acquired over the past half-century.
After spinning such gritty urban yarns as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and some cracking episodes of The Wire, Dorchester native Dennis Lehane decided to go ahead and not write the great American novel (he claims), but a great, sprawling Boston novel instead.
In The Given Day,
Lehane surveys the vortex of chaos that gripped 1919-era Boston -- a
city rocked by anarchist terrorism, Spanish influenza, World War I, the
Great Molasses Flood, and the Boston Police Strike --
through the eyes of a black ballplayer and an Irish cop.
MASSAGE HERESY10 years agoApril 3, 1998 | Sarah McNaught looked into why a local massage student was expelled from the Muscular Therapy Institute upon divulging that she was a professional dominatrix.“Sheila, however, says there is nothing dangerous about her work, which involves various forms of erotic pain or domination.
Game 5 of the ALCS was about an hour from start-time when Nick Hornby took the stage at the Devotion School in Brookline last night. The first question from the floor concerned, not surprisingly, Hornby's take on the current Red Sox series -- given that Hornby's Fever Pitch, a book about English soccer fanatics, had been magically turned into a Farrelly Bros film about Red Sox obsessives, which in turn was famously forced to undergo several last-second rewrites as the real-life Sox miraculously won their first World Series in 81 years.
One of the traditions at The New Yorker that has continued unabated by tables of contents, photographs, bylined Talks of the Town, and other heady incursions of late-20th-century magazining is the "newsbreak" -- the wry, lightly condescending filler blurbs at the tail end of select New Yorker stories in which the magazine's copy-editing staff, having plowed through its 3,000-word feature for the afternoon and availed of no better way to entertain itself, takes to excerpting the copy-editing malapropisms of lesser publications.