Monthly Archives: May 2014

‘Gone Girl’ Author Gillian Flynn To Update ‘Hamlet’ as Novel

flynnThose of you who loved the bestselling novel Gone Girl and therefore its author, Gillian Flynn, have probably — like me — been wondering what she’s going to do next. The Gone Girl movie comes out in October, and Flynn has recently penned a comic, but there’s now even more news!

According to Entertainment Weekly, Gillian Flynn is working on an updated version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It’s part of an initiative by Penguin Random House Group to retell Shakespeare’s tales by some of today’s best-known authors. Hamlet will be published for Hogarth Shakespeare.

Flynn said in a press release that of all the plays she could have done, she’s excited to re-tell Hamlet:

Hamlet has long been a fascination of mine: murder, betrayal, revenge, deceit, madness — all my favorite things,” Flynn said in a press release. “Add to that some of Shakespeare’s most intriguing, curious characters — from the titular brooding prince to rueful Ophelia — and what (slightly cheeky) writer wouldn’t be tempted to reimagine it?”

All of these Shakespearean retellings are set to be released in 2016, on the 400th anniversary of the poet’s death.

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Review: A Fool Among Fools

foolRecap: Michael Gregoretti hates most aspects of his life. He hates his job. He hates his love life, or lack thereof. He hates AIDS, which is spreading like wildfire within Manhattan’s gay community in the 1980s — of which Michael is a part. He also hates that he’s about to turn 30. But such is life, and Michael is determined to figure it all out and make the most of it.

Things start to turn around when he is promoted to a copywriter at the advertising agency where he works. Then he meets an attractive man, Craig, and goes on a couple dates with him. But as it turns out, he becomes more of a booty call to Craig than a boyfriend. And the projects he’s working on at the ad agency, along with the people he’s working under, are nothing to brag about. He wants to get another job, but his portfolio isn’t good enough, and his bosses won’t give him better projects to manage. Luckily, he has two close friends, Irene and Anthony, to commiserate with and lean on, something crucial for this fool among fools.

AnalysisA Fool Among Fools is a black comedy about a lost twenty-something guy. It’s a story filled with cringeworthy anecdotes and enough career rollercoaster downturns to make your head spin. But as sometimes happens, this black comedy was more black than it was a comedy.  With a title like A Fool Among Fools, it’s evident that even the author thinks Michael Gregoretti is a mess, but I found his mess of a life to be more pathetic than it was funny. I felt sad for him through most of the book, and I didn’t feel as though the anecdotes were humorous enough to make up for his sadness.

Not to mention, the random mention of AIDS in my recap section of this post is as random as it seems to appear in the book. It is discussed somewhat frequently in the novel, as many of Michael’s friends and acquaintances are dealing with the awful disease, and it is always discussed very seriously. But the mention of it comes and goes, too fleeting to make enough of an impact on Michael’s life to get him involved with AIDS research, awareness, or support groups, etc. It feels like the author is trying to make a point about the disease, but never quite reaches it.

Without giving away any spoilers, the borderline deus ex machina ending feels like an easy throwaway.  But the friendships between Michael and Anthony and Michael and Irene were what kept me going, and coincidentally, that’s the same thing that keeps Michael going as well.

MVP: Anthony. Anthony is easily my favorite part of the novel. He’s a good friend to Michael and gives him the swift kick in the you-know-what that Michael so often needs.

Get A Fool Among Fools on your Kindle for just $3.99.

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Neil Patrick Harris To Release “Adventure” Memoir

nph-3dHow often does a beautiful, sometimes talented, or sometimes famous-for-no-reason celebrity release a memoir? These days, pretty often. And while some are rather enjoyable to read, others fall flat when we realize these people aren’t that great, that interesting, or that talented when it comes to writing.

But Broadway and TV star Neil Patrick Harris is offering something different. NPH announced that he’s releasing an “adventure” memoir, entitled Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. It’s unclear exactly how it works, but this is how it’s explained on the book’s web site:

In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Whatever that means! The web site also says the book will include NPH’s recipes, childhood photos, and magic tricks. What more could we ask for? The book is set to be released October 14, 2014.

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New Web Site for Books At Least a Year Old

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 9.32.23 PMIf you’re anything like me, it take you a while to get around to reading the books you’ve added to your “To Read” list. Usually I’m a few years behind on the big bestsellers. It’s not that I don’t want to read them; it’s just that I’m backed up with reading other things, and before I know it, I’m reading books two years after they made the bestseller list.

Well if you’re like me, there’s a new web site that’s perfect for us! According to The New York Times, publisher Simon & Schuster has created a web site called offtheshelf.com. Those who run the site review book that are at least a year old — books that you may not have gotten around to reading, books that you may have simply overlooked, or classics that you read years ago and forgot about. This is the explanation on from the web site:

Off the Shelf is a site and newsletter created by passionate editors, authors, and others inside the book business to help you discover—or rediscover—great books. Whether they’re bestsellers you never got a chance to read or classics you remember falling for when you first read them, the books we write about have made an indelible impression on us as readers and have become friends we revisit often. We hope that shining a new light on these wonderful books will help you discover a passion for them too. 

Sounds awesome! What do you guys think? Stupid or brilliant?

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Stories To Be Re-Released with Original Profanity, Sexual, Racial Content

It’s been roughly 90 years since F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the stories that were published in the Saturday Evening Post and later published in a collection entitled Taps at Reveille. But those stories will now be re-released in a newly edited version.

According to The Raw Story, the Taps of Reveille is being re-released including what editors believe are the versions of the stories F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote initially. The versions of the short stories were edited severely when they were published for the Saturday Evening Post in the 1920s and 1930s to exclude curses, racial slurs, religious slurs, and sexual content. At the time, Fitzgerald was criticized for not being more realistic about that era. But as it turns out, he was realistic about it; those sections were simply edited out, as Scott Kaufman explains.

Absent from the versions published in the Post were overt references to sexual acts or situations, statements of profanity, remarks betraying racism or antisemitism, as well as most mentions of drunkenness and all references to drug use. For example, in the story “Two Wrongs,” the despicable protagonist, Bill, describes a person as a “dirty little kyke,” a slur against Jewish people. Despite the fact that uttering the phrase made an unpleasant man more unlikable, [Fitzgerald’s literary agent Harold Ober] cut the remark before sending the story to the Post.

It’s unclear when the new edition of the collection of stories will be released.

 

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New Adult ‘Princess Diaries’ Book Coming Soon

If you’re a woman in your mid-to-late 20’s, and you like to read, you’ve probably read the entire Princess Diaries series when you were in your teens. The YA series was hugely popular about 10 years ago — so popular it lead to a few movies (which, by the way, put a then-unknown Anne Hathaway on the map). If you miss those books — and don’t worry, I do too — you’re in luck.

According to Entertainment WeeklyPrincess Diaries author Meg Cabot is working on a new installment in the  series, but this one will be specifically geared toward adults. Much like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, which had a final novel aimed at adults, Sisterhood EverlastingPrincess‘s new novel will tell the story of an older Princess Mia Thermopolis, as Erin Strecker explains.

In Royal Wedding, Princess Diaries XI, Princess Mia’s planned nuptials to longtime love Michael Moscovitz are in jeopardy when the paparazzi uncover a startling secret: Mia has a long lost younger sister. Now a scheming politico is using the royal scandal to force Mia’s father from the throne, leaving Genovia without a monarch . . . unless Mia can prove to everyone — especially herself — that she’s finally fit to rule,” Cabot explained on her site.

That little half-sister will also have her own spin-off series, entitled From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. That series and the new adult Diaries book are both expected to be released in the summer of 2015.

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New ‘Lestat’ Novel Coming from Anne Rice

It’s been a while since author Anne Rice has released any novels based on her best-known character, the vampire Lestat. But that’s about to change.

According to The New York Times, Rice announced on her Facebook page that another Lestat novel, entitled Prince Lestat, is set to be released in October. She told readers that she finished writing the novel a while ago.

The first Lestat novel was Interview with the Vampire, which was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in 1994. It was the first in a series of vampire novels.

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