Monday, 4 March 2013

News: Everything's A Critic, Etc

Jon Methven's novel This Is Your Captain Speaking was 'reviewed' on Amazon by one of its characters, a "Passenger 12B": "Far be it for me to point out that I almost died on that plane. There I was, pinned to the fuselage's ceiling, wondering if I would ever see my kids again. Then we all discovered it was a ruse, and there was much rejoicing. Then we discovered Mr. Methven, who dreamed up our hellish descent and was writing a crap novel about it."

Everybody and everything, it seems can now be a critic. Will some of Nigella or Jamie's dishes start telling their authors what they really think of all that double cream or those "knobs o' butter"? Or will Hanuman in various adaptations of the Ramayana comment on their spoken 21st century lines? "Verily, honoured scribe, I do not speaketh so."

The mind boggles at the possibilities.


  • Nook suffers an over 20 per cent drop in business, not long after Barnes & Noble's founder, chairman and largest stockholder, Leonard Riggio, announced his intent to buy the company's retail business, but not the digital end of B&N.
  • Do you really own the e-books you download or 'buy'?
  • 'Trusted friends', word of mouth and book clubs ranked top three book discovery tools. Goodreads appears to be growing as a go-to for book recommendation. Amazon reviews? Not so much.
  • Homer's Iliad was written around the eighth century BC, according to geneticists.
  • Jonah Lehrer's other book, How We Decide, is being yanked from the shelves by publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who also plans to refund customers who bought copies. Apparently, they found a boo-boo in that book.
  • Your new Oxford English Dictionary entry of the week: "friend zone".
  • Is it not chilling that some people don't know what 1M'sia book vouchers are for? Apart from, say, something to sell for money?
  • The complete works of Shakespeare, now in Punjabi.
  • Buying your way into the best-sellers' list? Probably not a good idea.
  • International Herald Tribune to be renamed International New York Times. And how is the Times NOT international already?


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