The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Saturday, July 08, 2006


M. S. Smith on readers and their appetites:

Book lovers, I'm learning, are neurotic people: we buy new books even though our shelves are packed with books we haven't read; we make to-be-read lists, only to realize our reach sometimes exceeds our grasp. I picked up a copy of J. M. Coetzee's most recent novel, Slow Man, because a local bookstore had it for 30% off (though, not familiar with Coetzee, I'm not sure if it's the first of his novels I should be reading). I purchased the Penguin Classics edition of Graham Greene's The Quiet American partly because the novel's short enough to get through quickly, and the Penguin edition has a nice cover and those deckle edges that give the pages an uncut, untrimmed appearance. The publication of Jhumpa Lahiri's short story, "Once in a Lifetime," in The New Yorker (May 8, 2006) had me gunning for her Interpreter of Maladies, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning collection of stories. And I've recently become interested in magical realism and the writing of Russian novelist Mikhail Bulgakov, and so I've added his anti-Stalinist novel The Master and Margarita to my list.


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