Jul 30, 2010

DOGHEAD by Morten Ramsland

Winner of the book of the year in Denmark.

taken from macmillan.com 

Doghead is a highly imaginative, exuberant saga that follows three generations of a wildly dysfunctional Norwegian family. When Asger, the narrator, visits his dying grandma, he learns that contrary to popular belief, Grandpa was not a war hero. Instead, his nickname was “Crackpot,” and both before and after he escaped from a Nazi concentration camp, he was, to put it bluntly, a cheat and a liar. From there the real family history unfolds, and like all great stories, it is a tale that will stay with the reader forever.

Jul 7, 2010

Fresh details surface about fourth book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series

from the guardian.uk

A friend of Stieg Larsson's has revealed new details about the fourth book in the late Swedish author's bestselling Millennium series, which he said is set in a remote area of northern Canada in September.

John-Henri Holmberg told the Associated Press that he was sent an email by Larsson about the book shortly before the novelist's death in November 2004. "The plot is set 120 kilometres north of Sachs Harbour, at Banks Island in the month of September ... According to the synopsis it should be 440 pages," wrote Larsson in the email, which Holmberg showed the news agency.

"Did you know that 134 people live in Sachs Harbour, whose only contact with the world is a postal plane twice a week when the weather permits?" continued the author. "But there are 48,000 musk-ox and 80 different types of wild flowers that bloom during two weeks in early July, as well as an estimated 1,500 polar bears."


Jul 5, 2010

Why Lee Siegel is wrong to declare the novel dead

by Robert McCrum, taken from the guardian.co.uk

Every few years, some columnist in Britain or America pops up to declare the novel dead, or at the very least in the ICU.

From memory, the last time anyone in the UK got any traction from flogging this elderly nag was in 2001 when Andrew Marr told readers of the Observer that the novel was deader than a dozen doornails. Sure enough, the ensuing debate ran on for days.

Now, this seasonal ritual has been revived by the US critic Lee Siegel, writing in the New York Observer. Contemporary fiction, says Siegel, has become "a museum piece genre". The real creative energy today lies with non-fiction.

Siegel and his editors will have been delighted at the ink generated by this unexceptional opinion. In the US, from the LA Times to the Huffington Post, everyone has weighed in. The last time this topic was so comprehensively ventilated was in 2003, when Harold Bloom denounced Stephen King as unworthy of a National Book Foundation award.