Sunday, July 06, 2008

L.A. for better or worse

A couple lookers from the Washington Post merit attention, particularly Seth Greenland's Shining City. I've never read his stuff, but from Jonathan Yardleys review a comic novel set in L.A is a can't miss.
I'd like to have one on offer as my go-to guy for comic novels set in L.A has been on backorder for a few weeks.
Over at the NY Times, another favourite (Walter Kirn knows from funny as well) lays a beating on James Frey.

"But Frey is lazy about his lazy prose — so lazy, in fact, that some readers will be tempted to rationalize away his neglect and carelessness so as not to feel abused. When Frey presents Parker’s agent as “incredibly smart, incredibly savvy, incredibly smooth, incredibly successful and incredibly rich,” it’s possible — if one is used to being demeaned and has grown practiced in denial — to think that Frey is being bad on purpose; that he’s reproducing others’ mental impoverishment rather than exhibiting his own. It’s hard to sustain such a charitable view, though, after seeing a character depicted as “an extremely attractive woman in her early 30s,” a pair of chaise lounges as “stylish, yet comfortable” and Beverly Hills’s Rodeo Drive as “lined with the most expensive and most exclusive boutiques in the world.” These aren’t images, they’re ratings. This isn’t fiction, it’s catalog copy. And “stylish, yet comfortable” isn’t a description, it’s a Zagat’s review — but based on what? Who knows? The primary data about things and people that would allow us to apprehend Frey’s world is sorely lacking in the book. He provides captions but withholds the photos."

It's axiomatic then, that Bright Shiny Morning is the latest bauble from Indigo's "chief book lover."

Posted by David

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