Fall Fiction Roundup

Fall is when publishers roll out the big guns and take aim at the holiday gift market, so let’s see what’s on the New Arrivals table in the front of the store..

The two hits in the literary fiction parade so far are Freedom, J. Franzen’s follow-up to The Corrections, and Emma Donoghue’s Room, a highly original take on the child-raised-in-captivity plot. Both get raves from numerous critics. And in the ‘you won’t find this on the front table at B&N’ category, we’re also featuring Steven Moore’s history of the novel: The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600. (Ok, I dig being able to effortlessly use 3 colons in one sentence. But about this trend of double-coloned subtitles…where does it stop, is what I want to know.)

I hesitated to put Rick Moody’s Four Fingers of Death on the lit fiction list because a) I’m not done with it yet; more than that though, b) it’s just getting really goofy. He did some heavy ¬†lifting, lit-wise, in the first half of the book,¬†introducing a playfully unreliable Meta-Narrator and spinning the gossamer word webs around a semi-plausible tale of interplanetary travel. Go Rick! Second half is supposed to be at least partly a sci-fi/B movie parody, so I should cut him some slack if at times he seems to be phoning it in. Right? ehh, I dunno. Nor am I actually at all clear on what does or does not constitute Literary Fiction. More fiction rounded up and a full review of the Moody in a few days.

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