One Book I’m Excited About

I recently got the interview treatment over at a new website called Bloggasm.

I enjoyed the questions, but I’d like to change one of my answers. They asked what upcoming publications I’m looking forward to and I answered “none”, but that’s only because I forgot about Charles Frazier, whose follow-up to Cold Mountain, Thirteen Moons, will be out in October. I liked Frazier’s Cold Mountain a lot. Sometimes I don’t even understand why I liked this book so much. I am definitely worried that Thirteen Moons will not knock me out as much, despite the favorable review cited above. The plot sounds rather James Fenimore Cooper-esque, revolving around an orphan who becomes an honorary Cherokee during the time that Andrew Jackson was battling native Americans on the southern frontier. I will definitely be letting you know more about this book as soon as I get my hands on a copy.

I also mention in the above interview that I’m eagerly awaiting the paperback publication of Rick Moody’s Diviners. I wish I could change this answer as well, because I’ve just discovered that the paperback edition is already out (but I wasn’t aware of it because none of my regular bookstores are displaying it). Ironically, when I finally discovered this fact, I decided not to read the book after all.

How many times has this happened to you? A book comes out in hardcover and sounds interesting, and you think “I’ll read this when it comes out in paperback”. A year later the book comes out in paperback, and you hold it in your hand and study it and read the blurbs and think about the fact that nobody’s really been talking about this book in the year since it first came out, and it just doesn’t seem that hot anymore and maybe it was never so hot in the first place, and you put it back on the shelf. So Diviners turns out to be another book I’ll never read, another victim of the wait-a-year-for-the-paperback buzz-kill effect. Yet another reason why two-tier book pricing has got to go.

Thirteen Moons, though, is the rare book I would buy in hardcover.

6 Responses

  1. Old Buzz-KillRemember buying
    Old Buzz-Kill

    Remember buying albums, and the only good song was the hit heard on the radio?

    In an imperfect world, it’s unrealistic to expect every book by an author to be as good as that favorite that got you interested in them. Most definitely, Diviners is better than lots of novels out there now.

  2. Twice Told TalesI loved Cold
    Twice Told Tales

    I loved Cold Mountain so much that I read it twice – something I’ve only done with Kerouac, Hemingway, Steinbeck and Vonnegut. (What a mix, huh?)

    I also plan on snapping up the hardcover of 13 Moons. Though I’m with you Levi, I wish they would release hard and soft simultaneously. I bought only 2 hardcovers in the last 2 years: Eragon by Christopher Paolini and Lemony Snicket #1. Both were purchased not for me, but for my kids, so that I could read to them.

    13 Moons will be the last hardcover a purchase for quite a while.

  3. And that is why I think short
    And that is why I think short stories should make a come-back.

  4. good interview!What we need,
    good interview!

    What we need, is another “October Earth” to spark the renewed interest of our members/readers again!

    Or did you already have something mind?

    Oh c’mon, I bet you’ve got something cookin in the back room Levi, spill the beans!

  5. Isn’t the present lack of
    Isn’t the present lack of venues, viz., fewer magazines, i.e., mainstream media reluctance to buy short stories, the real reason for lack of short story popularity? In the last Pushcart Prize introduction, the writer stated that the demise of the small press predicted in ’76 was as much a false prophecy then as it is now.

    The short story is much more difficult for any writer because one has to sustain the intensity of a novel within 20 pages, which is the epitome of a timeless short story. From what’s on the bookshelves of my favorite used bookstore, there seems no lack of talent alive but as noted here before, the NY Times bestseller lists rarely has short story anthologies. Possibly the publishers don’t believe they sell which goes back to that chicken-and-egg paradigm: good books don’t get published because publishers only want profits but if they gave the public something else, mainstream readers would be educated and started buying up scads of short story anthologies.

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