Tuesday, April 3, 2007

International Affairs

Hell, there's all kinds of things going on today. The week awakens. Here's all the news from the International Affairs Desk here at the Bang...

First of all, the new issue of Bookslut has gone live. My column for this month, "International Man of Mystery," focuses on international writers and crime novels set in more exotic locales. It includes short takes on Ian Rankin's new Rebus novel as well as hot new reads set in Japan, Italy, Cuba and Berlin. It's cheaper than a passport, I tell you, and not nearly as likely to find you in a compromising position on the metro, facing the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité .

Elsewhere in the issue, you can find my Interview with Tim Willocks, a gifted British crime novelists who has branched out into the warfare of ages past with The Religion. I can't say enough good things about Tim's writing. And that's without even bringing up that he once dated Madonna and was somewhat unfairly nominated for this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award. To his credit, Tim praised the Bad Sex prize as “a much better guide to a good read than those purveyors of powerful sleeping drugs, the Booker, the Pulitzer, the Goncourt et. al.” Definitely the literary hero for May.

In other booksluttishness, my colleagues take on Christopher Buckley's Boomsday, the depths of Mila Kundera, and the imagery of Iraq. Interviews abound, including talks with Gillian Flynn, Kevin Sessums, and Hendricks Hertzberg. In columns, the ever-gifted Colleen Mondor takes on "Stories for Boys," including a new young adult title from Robert B. Parker. Jeff Vandemeer rocks out on Top Shelf. And Adrienne Martini takes on the Hugos.

When you can tear yourself away all of our literary nonsense, more news from the wires...

Bill Marx talks with Jonathan Raban about his post 9-11 exercise in well-earned paranoia, Surveillance.

Walter Mosley talks hot sex at the Los Angeles Times. Funny that Killing Johnny Fry has sold 8,000 copies. Somebody's digging some dirty books out there. At least you can get that book from the public library. Try laying your hands on a copy of Shortbus and see how far you get.

The Raw Shark Texts is annotated. And Steven Hall flogs the book.

I can't seem to get into The Wire. Despite a plethora of fine crime writers working on it, I haven't joined cult around the show, although I expect I'll catch up eventually. What I'm eagerly awaiting is the last breaths of The Sopranos, debuting in April. Need to catch up? Try the entire first six season of the series - in seven minutes.

At The Rap Sheet, J. Kingston Pierce runs down the most anticipated books of 2007, including a new Arkady Renko title, Stalin's Ghost, by Martin Cruz Smith that I hadn't even heard of yet.

Ian Rankin tells The Scotsman that the last Rebus book is done. What's next?

"Poorly written documents cost the government $100 million." Now I know plenty of people who would happily deliver equally bad writing at half that price.

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