August 30, 2006



Can't wait to get that advance review on the new Banville. I am only now three quarters through The Sea, and loving it.

tod goldberg

The Horned Man was a most unusual book -- I alternately loved and hated it for the very reasons you mention. But Lasdun clearly has a ton of talent. What you need to do with all you free time is pick up Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone. You can read it in 2 hours, but it's better if you let it take a couple days. Searing stuff.


I didn't care so much for The Horned Man, but I loved Seven Lies. It's my favorite of the Booker longlist that I've read so far.

I'm eager to read both the Prose and the Mendelson books.


Re your comment on Francine Prose's book: Permissions for such a book must already have cost an arm and a leg, and to include longer excerpts would have been extremely costly. Publishing houses charge for use of text from their books based on how long the selection is, among other things. Besides, with longer excerpts, the book would have been quite long! Hopefully she inspires some readers to go out and buy the sources of some of the excerpts!

David Worsley

I really liked both Lasdun's novels, but your caveats are valid. Horned Man was a bit muddier than Seven Lies, but he writes beautiful sentences. I'll read everything he writes.
And wow, how good is Winter's Bone!
I need to get the earlier stuff, now.
Nice one, Mark.


Winter's Bone is here in one of the piles somewhere. I'll pull it out today. And I did mean to mention that of two Lasdun titles, I did think Seven Lies was the better one.

And Alex, you make a fine point. Thanks.

Shannon Burke

Dumas is the master of the action novel. If you look at someone like Robert Louis Stevenson, or even Walter Scott, the interest lags in the second half--telegraphed scenes leading to a predictable conclusion. That doesn't happen with the best Dumas. I think it's a question of having the perfect balance of action and character. You've read The Count of Monte Cristo, right? I mean, Three Musketeers is good, but the Count of Monte Cristo is the best action/ suspense novel of all time, or, at least, the best that I know of.

Also, can't wait to read the Banville. I just finished The Untouchable on your reccomendation and was blown away.

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