I have been rather busy with sundry things so I thought I would throw out some links that might be of interest to everyone:
– Here is an interesting question: are Michael Crichton’s “right wing” politics ruining his novels? Bryan Curtis at Slate seems to think so. Curtis calls Crichton a “a political pamphleteer, a right-wing noodge.”
– Here is a fascinating James Wood review of The Line of Beauty By Alan Hollinghurst. Woods is obviously so far beyond my league that it doesn’t bear thinking about. I do think, however, that perhaps he gets a little carried away. Could someone please translate this for me:
Hollinghurst’s prose is a genuine achievement–lavish, poised, sinuously alert. His sentences are rich but not languid. He is an aesthete who finally avoids aestheticism, partly because, in a characteristic Jamesian swerve, he is morally suspicious of an aestheticism whose charms he also swayingly registers. His writing is most Jamesian, perhaps, in its constant air of poised intelligence, the sense we have that Hollinghurst, while recording the sensuous delights of the world that he is describing, is intent on placing and carefully measuring the claims of that world.
This is where being a history rather than a English major hurts. I have some Henry James on the bookshelf but it always seems to get superseded by something else that catches my interest.
– The Boldtype year end issue is out. It includes some interesting reviews. There is the ever popular The Plot Against America, You Remind Me of Me, by Dan Chaon, and the intriguingly titled Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn (judging by the title I thought perhaps the author grew up in Central Indiana). So check it out if that sounds interesting.
– The indefatigable Robert Birnbaum has another interview up, this time with Francisco Goldman.
– In case you missed it when it was posted here, National Review Online posted (in slightly different form) my review of The 100-Yard War yesterday.