Monday, July 16, 2012

Closing tabs

Amazing interview with Ed Park, who is basically currently serving as the angel on my shoulder coaxing me not to stop until the novel is as good as it possibly can be!  I have a slightly insane project now for the next week, which is to rewrite the final hundred pages in the first person and see if that solves various lingering difficulties...

In loosely related news, the perpetrator of the "'Encyclopedia' Brown" books has died.  (I do not endorse the punctuation of the series title in that obituary.)

Why Pauls Toutonghi uses a wireless keyboard when he writes.  (This piece and the interview with Ed both contain a good amount of useful advice for writers.)

Miscellaneous light reading around the edges: on the plane home, James Meek's forthcoming The Heart Broke In, which I enjoyed a good deal but which made me wonder how any author can stand to write in this present day and age a novel so thoroughly indebted to George Eliot in its basic approach (same slight problem with Franzen and Eugenides!); Deborah Harkness's Shadow of Night, which I am sorry to say I found much weaker and less enjoyable to read than the first installment (that first one fell on the right side of silly, but this one does not); Eva Ibbotson's One Dog and His Boy, which I loved though it is designed for younger readers than myself and which I will send on to my young nephew in Austin (it is sorrow-inducing to think of Eva Ibbotson and Diana Wynne Jones both being dead).  Halfway through Kurt Anderson's True Believers, which I like quite a bit (teen spies!) although it strikes me as a fact-checker's nightmare - and I am still not altogether convinced that the narrator is actually female....


  1. I am alas not surprised about Shadow of Night, though I will still make an attempt. The end of the first severely lessened my confidence in her narrative capacity - though it would have been been much more pleasant to have that confidence reaffirmed.

  2. Don't give up on your novel, which is sure to be worth that last push. I'm looking forward to it tremendoiusly.

    As to the first Harkness, I was entranced with it to begin with, but the more I read on, the more trite I find it - not just phrasing, but characterisation and plot as well. I've succumbed to checking out the ending, which I often do when impatient with a writer's prose, and now I see where the development which puzzled me about the second book comes from.