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He said mostly nice things -- but is that enough?

He said mostly nice things -- but is that enough?

 

The staff here at davidliss.com is still trying to find a picture of the late Karl Malden reading his advance copy of The Devil’s Company (on sale July 7th!)  In the meantime, here is another nice review, this time from Booklist.

Liss’ third Benjamin Weaver novel finds the eighteenth-century British “thief-taker” (a kind of detective specializing in recovering stolen goods) on the wrong end of an elaborate scam. A secretive businessman, Mr. Cobb, has bought the debts of Weaver’s uncle and two friends and threatens to throw them all into debtors’ prison if Weaver doesn’t do his bidding: gather information that could be used against London’s formidable East India Company. Reluctantly, Weaver is on the case, but his real agenda is to save his friends and use whatever information he uncovers against Cobb and his henchmen. As in the previous Weaver adventures, A Conspiracy of Paper (2000), about Exchange Alley, center of the eighteenth-century British stock trading, and A Spectacle of Corruption (2004), about the world of bare-knuckle politics, Liss probes another insular community, silk traders, whose tentacles extend deep into every fabric of British economic and social life. His portrait of the East India Company could stand as a treatise on the birth of today’s megacorporation: rife with historical detail and philosophical rumination on the proper relationship between business and government, it offers context on issues that continue to fuel debate on both sides of the Atlantic, but it does so not with pontificating economists but with a cast of robust Dickensian characters who wear their individuality on their silky sleeves…. For every English major who flunked economics, Liss is here to complete our education in a way we can understand.— Bill Ott

I’ve taken the liberty of redacting the reviewer’s one negative comment.  You don’t need to know about it.  But in light of my recent comments on Alice Hoffman Tweeting her detractors into oblivion (see my June 29th post), I am willing to supply reviewer Bill Ott’s email address to anyone who wants to tell him off for daring to speak ill, however slightly, of anything I’ve done.  Just email us, and one of the friendly staffers here at davidliss.com will get right back to you. 

These are, after all, dangerous times to be disrespecting a writer in print.  You got Alice Hoffman’s freak out, which has already turned her name into a verb and an adverb (e.g., “I’ll Hoffman you” and “You have responded to my review most Hoffmanfully”).  Now there’s the story of Caleb Crain’s New York Times review of Alain de Botton’s Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.  Crain (full disclosure time – I went to grad school with him and think him an all around swell guy) wrote a pretty harsh review, and then de Botton blasted back rather Hoffmanfully on Crain’s blog.  “I will hate you till the day I die,” the angry writer Hoffmans, “and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make.”  For even yet still more on this unfolding story, check out this article on Bookseller.com.  In the meantime, with The Devil’s Company to be on the shelves soon (July 7th!), I say reviewers, be careful.

I found this on the internet.  I didn't even have to look very hard.

I found this on the internet. I didn't even have to look very hard.

Also, here’s a picture of a cat I don’t know sitting on a Kindle that is not mine.  If Amazon would send me a free Kindle (I’d like the DX, please), I would also let my cat use it.  Unless they don’t want me to.

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