Sunday night quick book links

  • As I write this I am watching the Australian movies made from Shane Maloney’s books about Murray Whelan. You may remember that those books were some of the big successes from my first Australian trip, and that I even mentioned the movies when I wrote that stuff up. Well, my usual online sources didn’t make the movies available, but just recently both of them were released for North America in a single package. I’m enjoying them. Melbourne in the film certainly looks more noir than my experience of it.
  • The 25th anniversary edition1 of Little, Big is getting closer and closer to real. In the June 6th update you can see a PDF preview of the layout and art placement for the first chapter. When the book finally is finished, it’s going to look lovely, and reward my patient waiting.
  • Are you allowed to call it an “elitist’s” summer reading list if it has King, Barker, and Simenon on it? Don’t they kind of have the common touch? On the other hand, it’s nice to see Murakami, old school Gibson, and Lukyanekov on these lists. That’s the same Murakami that so captivated me earlier this year–I bet he enjoys it.
  • As much as I did enjoy that book though, I did not feel compelled to get a tattoo inspired by it. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever liked a book that much. (That’s a much cooler tat than most, though.)
  • The National Library of Ireland has put up a marvellous 2 site dedicated to Billy “Buts” Yeats3. Lots of good stuff in there for the fans. (Link via Jonathan Carroll, who thinks Yeats doesn’t know how to read his poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”.)
  • Recently ex-Haligonian Hope Larson has her new book, Chiggers, out next week. Her site has undergone a redesign to support the new book. The “Making Of” section is particularly cool. You can see an excerpt at New York Magazine.
  • Hope’s husband, indie comics golden boy (and former HGPA member), Bryan Lee O’Malley had an interesting rant on the TokyoPop Manga Pilot contract. Great fun to read. An even better read on the same subject though, comes from Toronto comics retailer–and former O’Malley roommate–Christopher Butcher. And, actually, he hits it again later.
  • While we’re talking comics, I should mention that I’m quite looking forward to the new Necronomicon series. But then I’m a Lovecraft junkie, and I’ve been enjoying the Fall of Cthulhu series–especially the “masked mute” issue.
  • Still on Lovecraft, did you see the “if I could bring an author back to life” piece at The Independent? Most of the picks were pretty safe, but it was nice to see old H. P. get a mention, even if the pastiche was a bit dire. (If you want to check that, see selected stories, free online.)
  • There’s been quite a bit of James Bond stuff this year, playing off the “Fleming would be 100 years old this year” angle. It’s nice to see the focus on the novels, rather than the movies, for a change, though. (This is probably a good spot to plug that Fleming/Chandler interview again, too.)
  • We could also talk a bit about James Bond’s female counterpart, Modesty Blaise. Or at least about her creator, since Kristy Valenti is writing a multi-part appreciation of his career. The first and second parts are out now. I’ve read a handful of the novels, and seen two dire movies4, but I think I enjoy the comic strips the most–Titan has been reprinting them as collections, which make for good reads.
  • I’ve gone on about the problems with adapting good novels to film before, but I haven’t actually played the “what would be unfilmable” game much. That Murakami novel discussed above leaps to mind, so it’s nice to see him get a look in (albeit with a different novel) on the list. Other favourites that leap to mind (besides Wolfe and Crowley, the ones already mentioned in past grumping) include Valis, Mindplayers, and The Collector Collector5–but I hear at least one of those is actually being made (and has been an opera). What do I know–I would have said Sabriel was unfilmable, but… You got any picks?
  1. Would it be snarky to mention that we’re into the 27th anniversary year now?(back)
  2. except for it’s reliance on flash.(back)
  3. Yes, Will, that is a reference to Cats Laughing.(back)
  4. I did once read a quite good script treatment for I, Lucifer, but it never actually got made.(back)
  5. …or really any Fischer.(back)

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