Where She Stops, Nobody Knows!

  • Video game developer Vivendi Universal, in search of a Tom Clancy-style name, has signed a deal to develop games based on Ludlum’s thrillers. Ludlum’s death in 2001 will no doubt ensure creative flexibility (or what’s known in the field as “pillaging in front of a gravestone”).
  • When you run out of television remakes to film, there’s always cheesy 1970s science fiction. The Cell director Tarsem Singh is on tap to remake Westworld. The Governator was originally on board to play the android played by Yul Brynner, but he’s a bit busy. A pity, given that he seems to play machines, whether cinematic or political, quite well.
  • Jim Crace’s The Devil’s Larder has been turned into theatre. Dominic Cavendish says there’s not much to chew on.
  • Christopher Sorrentino’s Trance gets a review in the Mercury News. Sorrentino is accused of being “more impressed with his own voice than the humanity of his characters.”
  • I report this only because Mr. Esposito tortured me by showing me his seven volume Rising Up set the other night. As noted last week by Bookdwarf, this weekend’s NYTBR featured an appearance by the Vollster. He takes on the new Nietzsche bio at length.
  • Newsday chronicles some of the ways that publishers are trying to generate new interest in titles. Many publishers are distributing the first two chapters of a novel. But one teacher by the name of Jackie Spitz remarks, “I only took it because I felt sorry for the people handing it out.” Our heart is all a-trembling over Ms. Spitz’s noble munificence. In fact, as I write these words, I am sobbing into an issue of FHM that I found in my next door neighbor’s trash, watching my tears stream down some beautiful lady bent into an unfortunate position that resembles modular furniture. But I’m also wondering why niche markets and such projects as Vidlit and the LBC aren’t mentioned in the article. When will publishers realize that randomly giving chapters away to ad hoc educators isn’t nearly as effective as targeting people who actually read?
  • Time asks Bret Easton Ellis how “true” Lunar Park is. Apparently, Jay McInerery wasn’t thrilled by his “cameo appearance” as a cokehead buddy.
  • A new book of criticism studying Irvine Welsh’s work is out. But the International Herald Tribune asks if Welsh deserves to be compared with other authors.
  • Is the great rock’n’roll novel at death’s door?
  • The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana: an anti-Proust novel?
  • The Boston Globe examines literary hoaxing.
  • Riverhead editor Sean McDonald talks with Mr. Sarvas.
  • And E.L. Doctorow takes Bush to task, suggesting that Bush does not know what grieving is.


  1. Vivendi? New game? Ludlum thrillers? That is the most surreal juxtaposition of ideas I’ve heard all day. (checks watch)
    Having witnessed from the inside the demise of a wildly popular suite of games / companies (Berkeley Systems/Flipside etc) under Vivendi’s direction, I’m keeping my expectations, um, even lower than they would have been.

    also: at first I read The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana as The Mysterious Flame of Queen Latifa. I think I have to write that, now.

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