David Kirkpatrick

October 23, 2010

Book recommendation — “And Another Thing …” by Eoin Colfer

This is book six of three — Douglas Adams originally conceived The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as a trilogy, and then promptly went on to write two more books. Before his death he expressed a desire to write a sixth book in the series since he felt Mostly Harmless, the fifth book, ended on a fairly bleak note (no spoilers here, but I agree, although there’s nothing wrong with bleakness sometimes).

Sadly Adams died before writing the sixth book. A couple of years ago Eoin Colfer was commissioned to write the sixth book, And Another Thing… , with Adams’ widow, Jane Belson.

I reread the series this year and approached the sixth book with trepidation. I’m very wary about a new author taking up someone’s milieu in any context other than a homage. A new book in the actual series? Rarely works — see: Herbert, Brian. After finishing the novel, I have to say it’s a great read. It’s fun and it’s a worthy addition to the Hitchhiker world. If you’ve shared some of my reservations about this novel, I say give it an honest shot, and if you’ve never read any of the six, then get yourself a copy of book one — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — and start reading.

August 24, 2010

Summer reading — Andrew Vachss

Filed under: Arts, Media — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:52 pm

After three books this past week I’m once again reminded why Andrew Vachss is one of my favorite authors. Now that list is very long and varied, but Vachss is pretty high on my list for brilliant writing, great characters, deft plotting and just fun reading. If you’ve never read anything of his I recommend starting with the beginning of the Burke series, “Flood.” If you’re familiar with his work, but haven’t checked out anything outside the Burke books go for “Two Trains Running.”

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January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger, RIP

Filed under: Arts, et.al. — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:24 pm

Given Salinger’s minuscule literary output his reputation has probably been overstated for years, but what he did give to the world was great, great writing.

He sought, and found, anonymity for the balance of his life.

From the link:

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

Also:

Mr. Salinger’s literary reputation rests on a slender but enormously influential body of published work: the novel “ The Catcher in the Rye,” the collection “ Nine Stories” and two compilations, each with two long stories about the fictional Glass family: “ Franny and Zooey” and “ Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.”

October 2, 2009

“Naked Lunch” turns 50 this year

Filed under: Arts, Media — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:55 pm

And here’s a good breakdown of the William S. Burroughs classic. If you’ve never read the book, do it. It’s not easily accessible, particularly if you’re not accustomed to experimental fiction, but it’s worth the effort.

You can skip the terrible film adaptation by Cronenberg.

(Hat tip: 3quarksdaily)

Hit this link for a copy of Naked Lunch: The Restored Text from Amazon.

August 3, 2008

RIP — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Filed under: Arts, et.al. — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:50 pm

One of the Russian giants of literature has passed on.

Godspeed Aleksandr.

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