Prufrock's Page

Friday, February 09, 2007


"I really don't know whether we'll be printing the [New York] Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care, either."

- Arthur Sulzberger, owner, chairman and publisher of "the most respected newspaper in the world".

The Great Russian Novel In English

"It is a remarkable achievement, a version of the great Russian novel done in miniature, with echoes throughout of its mighty predecessors....In fewer than 250 taut but wonderfully allusive, powerful pages Amis has painted an impressively broad canvas, and achieved a telling depth of perspective. The first-person voice here possesses an authority that is new in Amis's work. It is as if in all of his books he has been preparing for this one."

- John Banville has many words of praise for Martin Amis' House of Meetings

The Lion In WInter

In the CJR, Meghan O'Rourke offers a worshipful -- and very interesting -- profile of critic John Leonard: "[He] is...with the exception of Susan Sontag, the best American literary critic to come of age in the 1960s, when the destabilizing forces of rock ’n’ roll and popular culture ransacked Axel’s Castle, that modernist symbol of aesthetic detachment, and began throwing parties in the inner keep. "

PS. Can't seem to get that pesky link to work, so here it is in full:'Rourke.asp

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Da Costa Award, Sorry, The Costa Award

Debut novelist Stef Penney has won the first-ever Costa book award (why does that sound so much less imposing than "the Whitbread"?) with a murder saga set in the snowy wastes of 19th-century Canada, The Tenderness of Wolves.

Christopher And His Kind

"In Hitchens’s bizarre world, the world’s largest pluralist democracy, home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world, would make common cause with the likes of Amis and Steyn whose prescriptions for saving civilization include systematic discrimination against Muslims, collective punishment, deportation and strategic 'culling'."

- Mukul Kesavan takes issue with Christopher Hitchens' views on resisting "Islamo-fascism".

The Last Chapter

People in cities the world over are finding their favourite small bookstores disappearing or struggling to stay afloat. (Anyone remember Lotus?). In the LA Times, David Streitfeld explains why: "Even in an entertainment-saturated age, people still buy books. But the casual reader has many other places to get bestsellers and topical books, from warehouse stores to the mall. Meanwhile, book nuts — the ones who simply must buy several volumes a week — are lured online. Few businesses can survive that lose customers from both ends of the spectrum."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pamuk Leaving Istanbul?

From the Turkish Daily News: "Sabah columnist Fatih Altaylı [has] announced the news that Orhan Pamuk drew $400,000 from his bank account and left for/escaped to America."

Another Overpriced Book

One's credit card statements are full of references to bookshops. But here's consolation: at least one doesn't have to spend $20.7 million.

Background Noise

Saul Bellow's works contain imperfections. So what, says Sam Tanenhaus: "Bellow’s books illuminate themselves. And all commentary is only so much background noise."

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Very Moving Book Fair

The Maidan? Salt Lake? Park Circus? Someone please tell us where the beloved Kolkata Book Fair is being held.

Say It Ain't So

"You get balder, bulkier and blinder as the years go by. You find yourself starring in a very cynical, low-budget horror film in which they save the worst for last."

- Martin Amis reads in Manhattan