Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Complete New Yorker, Ross Thomas, and Brian Hennigan

I got my copy of the Complete New Yorker today and though I have not had much time to play with it, I can still tell that it is absolutely wonderful. The first thing I looked up was a 1971 profile of Leon Edel, the biographer. I think biographers are fascinating and am more interested in biographers than biographies. I can't remember how I heard about this profile of Edel but several years ago I started to read it in the Library of Congress. When I went back to make a photocopy of it, the volume had gone missing. And it took me a few years to track it down again. I even tried to buy a copy of the magazine but couldn't find an issue for sale. I finally got a photocopy of it but lost it before I finished reading it. I found it in 30 seconds in the Complete New Yorker and now have a permanent copy of it. The second thing I looked up was a piece by Francis Steegmuller about getting robbed in Naples. I read a reference to it in, I think, Gourmet magazine, but I could never find the article. I think I had the year wrong, but I spent a ton of time trying to find it. I was researching something at the Library of Congress at the time and everytime I went, I'd look for this Steegmuller article. And would come up empty handed. The only thing I got out of this fruitless search was pages of notes about fish (the menhaden in particular). I can't remember what these notes were for. I still have them. Anyway - I found the Steegmuller story in about 90 seconds. This Complete New Yorker is a wonderful thing.

I think I have all of Ross Thomas' novels now. The Mordida Man came in the mail today. And it looks very good. I can't believe it has taken me so long to read him. Its a shame he isn't better known - his thrillers are all really good books. Many of his books are out of print but someone is reissuing them in trade paperback form with new introductions. I've been buying used paperbacks via the internet because they're cheaper. Fifteen bucks is too much for a new book in trade paperback. But I'm happy he's back in print. I finished The Eighth Dwarf the other day and started The Money Harvest today.

I'm also reading somebody named Brian Hennigan. I don't know anything about him - except that TMFTML recommended his new book The Scheme of Things. I got that from Amazon UK and it looks good. And I just got his first novel, Partick Robertson, from a used book dealer in California. I've started Patrick Roberston and am enjoying it (though The Scheme of Things looks better).

Monday, September 19, 2005

New Books

On Beauty - Zadie Smith
The People's Act of Love - James Meek
Veronica - Mary Gaitskill
Seven Lies - James Lasdun
The Seige of Krishnapur - J.G. Farrell
The Highbinders - Ross Thomas
The Eighth Dwarf - Ross Thomas
The Money Harvest - Ross Thomas
Voodoo, Ltd. - Ross Thomas
The Cold War Swap - Ross Thomas

These are all the books I picked up this weekend.

Briefly - the James Meek book looks fantastic. I wasn't crazy about the subject matter and did not buy a copy from Amazon UK when it made the Booker longlist in August - but once I read a bit of it, I knew I had to have it. Ross Thomas books are hard to find so I grab them when I can. I'll write more about him later. Lasdun seems promising, Gaitskill I bought because I always get her stuff. And the Farrell book as a nice NYRB Classics edition - much nicer than my old Penguin copy.