Wed 2 May 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Can’t remember where the link came from (big place, bboing? Bookslut?, but A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is a great comic. Anything New Orleans from Katrina (and the ongoing huge government failure) is car-crash addictive reading. This comic has many angles and is worth following. Nice web set up, too, for easy reading.

Gasoline prices are back up near $3. Wonder if truck sales will plummet again? Where’s the damn hybrid van? Haven’t explored it yet but World Without Oil looks interesting.

(Yes, someone sent something that continues to crash the email, therefore: blogging. Dum de dum.)

Jeff VanderMeer explains that Liz Hand is actually a saint. This may have come as a surprise to Liz, but not to the citizens (subjects? artifices?) of Smagardine.

Smagardine history has some parallels to that of Hav and readers of one country’s news might be interested in Jan Morris’s update (from last year) of her notes from that country simply titled Hav. Morris’s novel (which has a beautiful image on the cover) is quite simply wonderful. It has a slow-building complexity that draws the reader in and insists on the truths underlying the fictions. There are characters we recognize from our own travels (and our own towns), relationships touched on (like nerves), and always there is a growing tension that the writer can never quite get a hold of.

Alt TextThe second part of the novel (the new section), “Hav of the Myrmidons,” is a fantastic addition that changes everything we were told. Where Hav before was part of the past, the Great Game, Le Carre and Greene novels, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s autobiography, Hav has now moved into the present. It is clean, simple, unknowable. What is obvious is the money and the beliefs behind it of the unnamed—but known—financiers. Morris tracks down some of her acquaintances and sources from her previous visit and some of them are happier than others. Post-revolution (here: the Intervention), we would be the same.

And: The Buffalo News bookclub, perhaps getting ready for the upcoming movie, is reading The Jane Austen Book Club:

As always, the books selected by The News can be found at branches of the public library. Talking Leaves, Barnes & Noble and the Book Corner in Niagara Falls offer special displays and discounts. Free bookmarks that match each month’s selection are offered in stores and at library branches.
Also, we want to hear your thoughts — on Fowler’s book, yes, but also on Jane Austen, and on ideas for future Book Club choices. Send an e-mail to [email protected], or write to Buffalo News Book Club, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14203.

Found this (posted during the Interfictions giveaway) quite striking—thanks Yileen.



InterHipsterFictionBookClub

Tue 1 May 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

The Interfictions giveaway yesterday was phenomenally fast and the copies will go out (to the UK, USA, Malaysia, and the Netherlands!) soonest.

In the meantime there’s a review of the book by Marie Mundaca up at the Hipster Book Club.



John Crowley

Tue 1 May 2007 - Filed under: Authors | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

John CrowleyJohn Crowley was born in the appropriately liminal town of Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942, his father then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after college to make movies, and did find work in documentary films, an occupation he still pursues. He published his first novel (The Deep) in 1975, and his 14th volume of fiction (Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land) in 2005. Since 1993 he has taught creative writing at Yale University. In 1992 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He finds it more gratifying that almost all his work is still in print.

Photo credit: Zoe Crowley
Download for print.

Reviews

Crowley, Endless Things


Endless Things
John Crowley

“This long-awaited fantasy novel brings an end to the critically acclaimed Aegypt quartet that takes ‘the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books – and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility….gracefully written, beautifully characterized, moving, and thought-provoking…. [Graham Sleight]'”
Locus Notable Books

“A beautiful palimpsest as complex, mysterious and unreliable as human memory.”
Seattle Times

Endless Things is the fourth and last installment in a vast, intricate series of novels collectively entitled “Aegypt.” The series (which is really one long novel) began in 1987 with the publication of Aegypt (soon to be reissued as The Solitudes) and was followed by Love & Sleep(1994) and Daemonomania (2000). It was clear from the start that Crowley was on to something special, and the appearance of this final volume confirms that impression. In its entirety, “Aegypt” stands as one of the most distinctive accomplishments of recent decades. It is a work of great erudition and deep humanity that is as beautifully composed as any novel in my experience.”
Washington Post Book World

“With Endless Things and the completion of the Ægypt cycle, Crowley has constructed one of the finest, most welcoming tales contemporary fiction has to offer us.”
Book Forum

“The miracle of Endless Things is that it takes these pieces — and the rest of the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books — and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility.”
Locus

“Crowley’s prose, on a sentence-by-sentence level, has never been stronger or lovelier. His epigrams and observations on the core nature of existence continue to be wise and, well, piercing, at once novel and, with a moment’s reflection, undeniably primal. This is a book that conveys the uncanniness of the mundane, and the mundanity of the uncanny. Readers who have followed Pierce’s travails for two decades will find that the ending of his story resonates as brightly as the Aeolian harp that is the book’s final image.”
— Paul Di Filippo, Sci Fi Weekly

Endless Things is the perfect ending to a true master work which offers a densely detailed exploration of the connections between story and history, the fictions which inspire our imagination and the desires which inspire our visions of the future. At its heart, however,Endless Things is a love story about books and readers, and such is a treasure trove for any reader who wishes to delve into the timeless mysteries of books and stories.”
Green Man Review

“Solemnity is out of order in a review of a book that ends with a mountain-top pastorale accompanied by heavenly music from an Aeolian harp played by no human hand.”
John Reilly

“Crowley’s eloquent and captivating conclusion to his Ægypt tetralogy finds scholar Pierce Moffet still searching for the mythical Ægypt, an alternate reality of magic and marvels that have been encoded in our own world’s myths, legends and superstitions. Pierce first intuited the realm’s existence from the work of cult novelist Fellowes Kraft. Using Kraft’s unfinished final novel as his Baedeker, Pierce travels to Europe, where he spies tantalizing traces of Ægypt’s mysteries in the Gnostic teachings of the Rosicrucians, the mysticism of John Dee, the progressive thoughts of heretical priest Giordano Bruno and the “chemical wedding” of two 17th-century monarchs in Prague. Like Pierce’s travels, the final destination for this modern fantasy epic is almost incidental to its telling. With astonishing dexterity, Crowley (Lord Byron’s Novel) parallels multiple story lines spread across centuries and unobtrusively deploys recurring symbols and motifs to convey a sense of organic wholeness. Even as Pierce’s quest ends on a fulfilling personal note, this marvelous tale comes full circle to reinforce its timeless themes of transformation, re-creation and immortality.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Ægypt sequence:

“A dizzying experience, achieved with unerring security of technique.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A master of language, plot, and characterization.”
—Harold Bloom

“The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
—James Hynes, Boston Review

“The writing here is intricate and thoughtful, allusive and ironic. . . . Ægypt bears many resemblances, incidental and substantive, to Thomas Pynchon’s wonderful 1966 novel The Crying of Lot 49.
USA Today

“An original moralist of the same giddy heights occupied by Thomas Mann and Robertson Davies.”
San Francisco Chronicle



Reviews of John Crowley’s Endless Things

Tue 1 May 2007 - Filed under: Authors | Leave a Comment| Posted by: intern

Crowley, Endless ThingsEndless Things
John Crowley

Reviews

“This long-awaited fantasy novel brings an end to the critically acclaimed Aegypt quartet that takes ‘the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books – and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility….gracefully written, beautifully characterized, moving, and thought-provoking.'”
Locus Notable Books

“A beautiful palimpsest as complex, mysterious and unreliable as human memory.”
Seattle Times

Endless Things is the fourth and last installment in a vast, intricate series of novels collectively entitled “Aegypt.” The series (which is really one long novel) began in 1987 with the publication of Aegypt (soon to be reissued as The Solitudes) and was followed by Love & Sleep (1994) and Daemonomania (2000). It was clear from the start that Crowley was on to something special, and the appearance of this final volume confirms that impression. In its entirety, “Aegypt” stands as one of the most distinctive accomplishments of recent decades. It is a work of great erudition and deep humanity that is as beautifully composed as any novel in my experience.”
Washington Post Book World

“With Endless Things and the completion of the Ægypt cycle, Crowley has constructed one of the finest, most welcoming tales contemporary fiction has to offer us.”
Book Forum

“The miracle of Endless Things is that it takes these pieces — and the rest of the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books — and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility.”
Locus

“Crowley’s prose, on a sentence-by-sentence level, has never been stronger or lovelier. His epigrams and observations on the core nature of existence continue to be wise and, well, piercing, at once novel and, with a moment’s reflection, undeniably primal. This is a book that conveys the uncanniness of the mundane, and the mundanity of the uncanny. Readers who have followed Pierce’s travails for two decades will find that the ending of his story resonates as brightly as the Aeolian harp that is the book’s final image.”
— Paul Di Filippo, Sci Fi Weekly

Endless Things is the perfect ending to a true master work which offers a densely detailed exploration of the connections between story and history, the fictions which inspire our imagination and the desires which inspire our visions of the future. At its heart, however, Endless Things is a love story about books and readers, and such is a treasure trove for any reader who wishes to delve into the timeless mysteries of books and stories.”
Green Man Review

“Solemnity is out of order in a review of a book that ends with a mountain-top pastorale accompanied by heavenly music from an Aeolian harp played by no human hand.”
John Reilly

“Crowley’s eloquent and captivating conclusion to his Ægypt tetralogy finds scholar Pierce Moffet still searching for the mythical Ægypt, an alternate reality of magic and marvels that have been encoded in our own world’s myths, legends and superstitions. Pierce first intuited the realm’s existence from the work of cult novelist Fellowes Kraft. Using Kraft’s unfinished final novel as his Baedeker, Pierce travels to Europe, where he spies tantalizing traces of Ægypt’s mysteries in the Gnostic teachings of the Rosicrucians, the mysticism of John Dee, the progressive thoughts of heretical priest Giordano Bruno and the “chemical wedding” of two 17th-century monarchs in Prague. Like Pierce’s travels, the final destination for this modern fantasy epic is almost incidental to its telling. With astonishing dexterity, Crowley (Lord Byron’s Novel) parallels multiple story lines spread across centuries and unobtrusively deploys recurring symbols and motifs to convey a sense of organic wholeness. Even as Pierce’s quest ends on a fulfilling personal note, this marvelous tale comes full circle to reinforce its timeless themes of transformation, re-creation and immortality.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Ægypt sequence:

“A dizzying experience, achieved with unerring security of technique.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A master of language, plot, and characterization.”
—Harold Bloom

“The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
—James Hynes, Boston Review

“The writing here is intricate and thoughtful, allusive and ironic. . . . Ægypt bears many resemblances, incidental and substantive, to Thomas Pynchon’s wonderful 1966 novel The Crying of Lot 49.
USA Today

“An original moralist of the same giddy heights occupied by Thomas Mann and Robertson Davies.”
San Francisco Chronicle



Endless Things

Tue 1 May 2007 - Filed under: Books | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Endless Things is the fourth novel—and much-anticipated conclusion—of John Crowley’s astonishing and lauded Aegypt sequence: a dense, lyrical meditation on history, alchemy, and memory. Spanning three centuries, and weaving together the stories of Renaissance magician John Dee, philosopher Giordano Bruno, and present-day itinerant historian and writer Pierce Moffett, the Aegypt sequence is as richly significant as Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet or Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time. Crowley, a master prose stylist, explores transformations physical, magical, alchemical, and personal in this epic, distinctly American novel where the past, present, and future reflect each other.

Aegypt is The Solitudes (previously titled Aegypt), Love & Sleep, Daemonomania, and Endless Things.

Best of the Year lists:

“It is a work of great erudition and deep humanity that is as beautifully composed as any novel in my experience.”
Washington Post Book World

“An unpredictable, free-flowing, sui generis novel.”
LA Times Favorite SciFi Books of 2007

Locus Award finalist

Reviews of Endless Things:

“With Endless Things and the completion of the Ægypt cycle, Crowley has constructed one of the finest, most welcoming tales contemporary fiction has to offer us.”
Book Forum

“Crowley’s peculiar kind of fantasy: a conscious substitute for the magic in which you don’t quite believe any more.”
London Review of Books

More

Review of the Aegypt sequence:

“With Little, Big, Crowley established himself as America’s greatest living writer of fantasy. Aegypt confirms that he is one of our finest living writers, period.”
— Michael Dirda in The American Scholar.

“This year, while millions of Harry Potter fans celebrated and mourned the end of their favorite series, a much smaller but no less devoted group of readers marked another literary milestone: the publication of the last book in John Crowley’s Aegypt Cycle.”
Matt Ruff

“A dizzying experience, achieved with unerring security of technique.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A master of language, plot, and characterization.”
—Harold Bloom

“The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
—James Hynes

“The writing here is intricate and thoughtful, allusive and ironic. . . . Ægypt bears many resemblances, incidental and substantive, to Thomas Pynchon’s wonderful 1966 novel The Crying of Lot 49.
USA Today

“An original moralist of the same giddy heights occupied by Thomas Mann and Robertson Davies.”
San Francisco Chronicle

On the web:

Credits

  • Cover images © Rosamond Purcell from Bookworm by Rosamond Purcell, published by The Quantuck Lane Press.
    Download cover for print.


« Later Entries in