Monday, 9 July 2012

News: An Aureate Appraisal, Plus Some Other Stuff

Rehman Rashid reviews Zaid Ibrahim's Ampun Tuanku, published by ZI Publications, of course. The book examines the role of the rulers in Malaysia's democracy. But good lord, RR's florid flourishes...

It is a plangent call in the present circumstances; a cri de coeur to stanch the haemorrhage of public trust in the institutions of state. The Executive is harried and beleaguered; the Legislature a moshpit of implacable enmities; the Judiciary disdained and mistrusted. The genie of public opprobrium is out of the bottle, and there’s no stuffing it back in.

Ampun Tuanku the book, lapidarily limned?

Speaking of which...

There was another story about how a New York Times reviewer (not that one) "killed" Patrick Somerville's novel, This Bright River. Incidentally, the same reviewer was kinder to his first novel, The Cradle. It seems she got a couple of characters mixed up and ended up revealing a possible spoiler, i.e. the identity of the unnamed narrator.

NYT has issued a corrected version of the review, but what's interesting about this saga was the e-mail exchanges between a NYT editor and one of Somerville's fictional characters which led to the correction.

At least said character was a person. Imagine if it were a ghost, or an animal... not that it matters.

In other news:

  • Ooh, will an e-book market in Japan be kindled? And if t will, who will win it - B&N's こぼ or Amazon's きんでる? Well, I'd like to think it's natural for something called Kobo (こぼ) to enter the land of the cellphone novel.
  • A 9-year legal battle over scathing restaurant review leaves a bitter taste for Aussie food writers. Unfortunately, it looks like the reviewer's fault. But if everybody said only nice things about good restaurants and kept their mouths shut over bad ones, will the pool of writing be as lively and colourful?
  • How an abandoned Wal-Mart became a library. Better than most abandoned buildings that get turned into parking lots.
  • Guidebook for Japanese tourists visiting Scotland advises, among other things, "don't call the Scots English."
  • Calabash, a Jamaican lit fest. Sounds cooler than Ubud....
  • I CAN HAZ E-BUK? YES U CAN. Katz Tales and Boris out in e-book format.
  • Textbook crisis in Ghana, thanks to cheap imports and dodgy regulations.
  • The difference between rights and copyright.
  • Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code is Oxfam's most-donated book for four consecutive years. Not sure if that's a good thing.

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