Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 40
March 9 - March 16, 1998

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Keeping Up Appearances
A behind the scenes look at in-store author appearances. [2]
Jay Hardwig

In Person
Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall doesn't flinch from telling it like it is. [3]
Claiborne Smith

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Best Seller
Dominick Dunne's "Another City, Not My Own" wanted to be a great trash novel -- but didn't make it. [4]
Jonathan Veitch

Bombshell Blonde
A review of Jen Banbury's "Like a Hole in the Head." [5]
Sam Jemielity

Waxing Eloquent
Gore Vidal's "The Smithsonian Institution" asks: if you could change history, what would you change? [6]
Thom Powers

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J.C. Herz's Multi-track Mind
Might as well face it, you're addicted to video games. [7]
Martin Wagner

Lizard Lit 101
The big lizard finally gets his due in David Kalat's "A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series." [8]
Devin D. O'Leary

Rock-and-Roll Heaven
Prolific pop guru Lester Bangs rides again, despite the fact that the legendary critic and writer for the likes of "Rolling Stone" and "Creem" is still dead. [9]
Gregory McNamee

Pillaging the Amazon
Filmmaker Geoffrey O'Connor takes a well-deserved jaundiced view of Amazonia gold fever. [10]
Gregory McName


eople just love a big-ego'd, talkative, know-it-all author. Authors might swear, they might wear ratty clothes, they might take on unpopular causes, but that's OK; they're eccentrics. You never know what they might do next! One minute they're drunk and attempting to fondle someone, the next they're standing up shouting complaints at an imaginary tormentor. Or, they may turn out to be the sweetest people you've ever met, putting all their demons on the page while leading a pussycat existence in the real world. Crazy writers.

But like the extras and stand-ins without whom movie stars would not be possible, the author's world has many unsung heros. They are the marketers, publicists and behind-the-scenes organizers who make jacket copy sparkle, book displays inviting and author signings free of chaos. These patient, adaptable folks receive a well-deserved focus in an article about booksignings. Without them, book promotions -- and resultingly increased sales -- would not be possible. After all, not every author appearance turns out like this one did.

Nor are all intereviews with writers smooth sailing. Fortunately, in this case the interview couldn't have gone better. The subject: J.C. Herz, whose book "Joystick Nation" inspired a whole generation of reviewers to wax nostalgic about their early video-game experiences. (I'll provide one of my own: I was absolutely enthralled with the Atari 2600 game "Adventure.") Herz demonstrates a firm grip (pun intended) on the videogame culture that has so invaded the space (pun intended) of our realities.

Videogames aside, there's plenty more book writing where those articles came from. Included are reviews of new works from Gore Vidal , Jen Banbury, Dominick Dunne, and even a critical history of Godzilla . Who, by the way, will not be doing a booksigning anytime soon. Sorry, little Miyoshi.

Mini Reviews
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Speed Reader
"Sleeping With Random Beasts" by Karin Goodwin; "Virtual Unrealities" by Alfred Bester; "Dizzy Z" by Matthew Holland; "Selected Short Stories" by Alice Munro. [11]
Stephen Ausherman, Nick Brown, Noah Masterson and Jessica English

Now What?
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. [12]

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