Book Heaven

Where the world of books and life intersect

Location: South Amboy, New Jersey

I am deeply involved in trying to solve the discrepancy between being interested in zen and trying to acquire all the things I've been accumulating

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ellroy Reads!

As a devoted fan of James Ellroy I've attended a couple of his book signings. I believe that it was at a signing at Tower Books in 1992 (for White Jazz) that Ellroy was asked (no doubt by an aspiring writer) who were the authors that he read. I'm pretty sure that Ellroy answered that he didn't read but I think he meant that he didn't read crime fiction while he was in the process of working on a book.

Of course we've seen blurbs from Ellroy on other writers' books so we know that Ellroy is, as you would expect, a reader. What really surprised me though is a blurb of his that I found on a rather unlikely book. The book is Sleeping With Schubert ("a novel about genius, passion and hair") by Bonnie Marson: a lawyer's life gets thrown into an upheaval when her body and mind become inhabited by the restless spirit of the Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Here's what Ellroy had to say of this most unlikely object of his reading: "A startling first novel, daringly original and richly evocative in its theme of creative redemption. A must-read, pure and simple. Bonnie Marson brilliantly soars."

My favorite blurb at the moment is Alice Sebold's front cover plug for Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club:

If I could eat this novel, I would.

Second place goes to the Daily Mail's blurb for Andrew Eames' The 8:55 to Baghdad, a novel about Agatha Christie's little known journeys to Iraq, circa 1928:

This is one of those lucky books which is based on a cracking idea, an idea so cracking that it almost qualifies as a brainwave."

Nobody says it quite like the British.


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