Monday, July 14, 2008

The Spoken Word

Apparently, it's a banner day for publication over here where we're cooking up book reviews.

If you're the sort to curse the day Henry Ford was ever born as you sit and stew and burn four dollar-per-gallon gas - or you're simply an Ipod addict like the rest of us - you might get a few good ideas for entertainment from the new Kirkus Audiobooks Special.

For my part, I had the novel pleasure of writing the included feature review with the great expatriate humorist David Sedaris, who talked, among other subjects, about the eccentricities of life in London and Paris, the absurdities of reading out loud to hundreds of bookstore patrons, and the recording of his audiobook, about which I'll give this little unpublished tidbit.

"We were going to this studio in Soho and even when I was walking from my house in London and getting on the tube and going to Soho, I’d look around and think, 'Look at us all, going to work. A train full of people going to work.' It felt so good because I felt a part of it in a way that I normally don’t. I take the train but maybe I’m going to the movies or down to Selfridge’s but I’m not going to work usually, not in the traditional sense. I’m not going to work with everybody else. I miss that. I miss feeling a part of things. "

Elsewhere in the special you'll find me chatting with Dean Koontz about his Odd Thomas series, quizzing the smart-as-a-whip Kate Reading about occupying Stephenie Meyer's alien beings, and talking with James Patterson and his narrator Ellen Archer (the voice of Ambien!) about Sundays at Tiffany's. I also wrote the spotlight feature on Stephen King's super-creepy novella The Gingerbread Girl but horrors, the novelist was traveling and unavailable for questions, as was his superb narrator, Mare Winningham.

Elsewhere in the issue, thrillers and mysteries are well represented with entries from David Baldacci, Harlan Cohen, Janet Evanovich, and Stuart Woods. Lend an ear.

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