March 11, 2009



But your talent for novel-writing is paramount!

béatrice Mousli


Brady Westwater



Wonderful, Mark!

J.D. Finch


BC Silvia

Mazel tov!


Does Harry, Revised now move on to the next round? Or is it a fresh two every time?


The way it works is the first round must finish out - there are, I think, five more pairings. Then the winners of each of those round will advance to round 2, which is in about a week or so. You won't see Harry again until that round - it will face whoever wins tomorrow's pairing.

Thanks very much to all the well wishers!

Paul T.

Here's to the endearingly authentic output of a confused mind.


Mark -

We should get a betting pool together then...


How exciting! I wonder who you'll be up against next?



They will succumb to your prowess.

David Worsley

Congratulations Mark.
It's going to be fun to turn over multiple copies of Harry when the paperback comes out in a month or so.
You know with Neverland knocked out and Bolano getting beat last year, just maybe...

Matt Ellsworth

You can take Bolano. Secretly, he knows he's UNLV, you're Duke, and its the 1991 NCAA semifinals all over again.

Will Amato

Hey! Congratulations!

Chucky Winklemeyer

Mark, Bolano has got nothing on you! The first book in the 2666 box set is a masterpiece, the second is one of the worst books I have ever read, and the third is better than average, but it doesn't match the intensity found in the first book of the series.

Mark, your book is consistently good throughout.

Jim H.

Congrats. A real upset. Hey, babeee, that's why they call it 'March Madness!'

Jim H.


Bravo and well-deserved!

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."