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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Terrorist Redux

I've decided to repost this cover, as this book is getting a whole bunch of press.

The review in the NY Times is pretty brutal. I'll dig around to see what others are saying.

Re the cover: I liked it when I first posted it April, and I like it even more now. What do *you* think? Here's the original post:



Ripped from the headlines doesn't begin to describe Updike's latest, a by-the-numbers novelization of the last five years' news reports on the dangers of home-grown terror that packs a gut punch.

"Home-grown terror;" thus the unreadability of the figure on the cover. Just what does a terrorist look like? Remember, they used to look like this (photo via Wikipedia):

7 comments:

Fat Pants said...

It upsets me when writers try to make money this way.

Joseph said...

Foer, McInerney, now Updike, and I'm sure there's more to come.

It would be interesting to think about which historical event has provoked the most fiction. Anyone want to throw out a guess?

Danup said...

Fantastic cover, although I don't think I'll be a fan of the novel.

Martin Jenny said...

Re: Which event has provoked the most fiction.
Living in Germany I would hand out the award to WWII. Wars seem to be catalists (or results) of massive paradigm shifts and those reflect in fiction, and 9/11 was a such a shift in a nutshell. WWII took nine years and 9/11 just about ninety minutes... It gave a face to our western angst, our uncertanity in values. The interesting thing is, that these books (and movies, btw) are coming so soon after the event, WWII took so much time to find it's way into german literature (Grass, Lenz) and even today there are dozens of novels and memoirs of the time coming out as well as heated discussions about the role (and guilt) of the Wehrmacht in the eastern campaigns and such. My guess is, that 9/11 will spawn some more novels but in the end will be a literary straw fire - the problems there are more fundamental, the savagery of the attack nonwithstanding. Still, I don't think these authors are after the money, they are after issues.

Joseph said...

Martin: I couldn't agree more. There's nothing to suggest that Updike is being exploitative or merely has his eye on being sensational.

essrog said...

Sorry to go off on a slight tangent: the best literary work based on 9/11 so far is "Ex Machina", the ongoing monthly comic book by Brian K. Vaughan.

At the end of the first issue I felt my heart stop. Seriously, read this ... it's collected into 3 trade paperbacks so far

Anonymous said...

The most engrossing book on terrorism in the USA is a work of pure fact or as pure as journalism gets. THE TERROR TIMELINE by Paul Thompson(HarperCollins) chronicles the events and principals leading to 9/11 using mainstream media sources. We learn that King Abdullah, Presidents Putin and Mubarak and lesser figures like Robert Baer(ex CIA) all warned the Bush Administration of the pending attacks. Responsible members of the administration like Richard Clarke and Cofer Black were struggling to get the word out.
All should read this book!