Showing posts from July, 2010

Interview: Q and A w/Robin Spano, A fresh face for detective/crime novels.

I recently read a pre-release copy of Robin Spano’s “Dead Politician Society”, ready for sale at your favorite book retailer on September 1st. On, Spano is keeping a close eye on what her fans and detractors are saying, this led to some chit chat between us. I realized, “HEYwaitaminnit… i am askin questions here.. i wonder…” Needless to say, I asked Robin if she would be down for a an email onslaught of Q&A. To my surprise, she gladly agreed! Thanks Robin for taking the time to work with me! I appreciate your taking time out to do so :) Read on for a mixed bag of questions!

JasonB (JB)- Tell me a little about yourself. Just general likes, dislikes, bank account numbers, you know the important stuff. Robin Spano (RS) -? How about if you tell me your bank account numbers first and I?ll see if they have anything in common with mine. You should tell me your mother?s maiden name, too. And your childhood pet. I?m 35. I love to write (duh), and I love to be outside…

Dead Politician Society (Robin Spano)

Robin Spano’s “Dead Politician Society”.. How to put this.. I was happy but not surprised. Let me explain. Dead Politician Society (DPS) is an undercover detective novel. The Mayor is poisoned and dies on stage during a speech. A cryptic untraceable email from the killer is received by the Toronto star, it is signed by a rumored Utopian secret society on the local college campus. The police send in Clare under cover to see if she can fish for more details. they have no other leads. Clare really leads the novel. She is very likable. Working her first undercover job, she is prone to some understandable mistakes. Clare drinks, smokes, rides a motorbike. She juggles guys and overall does what needs to be done to get the job in the can. I really enjoyed her as a character and am glad this is geared to be a series. With detective novels, in many cases they are designed to give you all the same clues the investigators receive. If you work it a bit, you can come up with the conclusion to the book…

Our Tragic Universe (Scarlett Thomas)

Review: Our Tragic Universe, Scarlett Thomas – Forewarning, this is a positive review though I can see where it might not appear that way. It was just a very hard book to write about! – Our Tragic Universe (originally to be titled ‘Death of the Author’) is a nonstandard plot. Part time writer Meg is living in a small town England. She is living unhappily with her long term boyfriend and her dog, barely scraping by. Meg is continually trying to write her “Real Novel”, editing and paring down her words, never able to solidify where she wants to take it. In the meantime, she takes on the grunt work of the literary world, reviews of trash novels for a newspaper, and ghost writing teen fiction using formulaic methods. Meg is caught in an interesting kludge of personal issues. Her best friend is having an affair that is messy. long time friends have stopped speaking to her. Her boyfriend is spiraling into depression and taking her on a manic roller coaster as he falls. She feels trapped and un…

Gogo Monster (Taiyo Matsumoto)

Yuki is in third grade. He has no friends, other kids think he is bizarre and rarely talk to him. This is not surprising as he talks to “imaginary” beings like Superstar. Superstar is a being who lives on the third floor of his school, off limits to students due to some unspoken danger. Occasionally he (or other beings) coming down to create havoc, steal things, and generally stir up trouble. the closer that Yuki gets to the world that Superstar rules, the hard it is for him to differentiate our reality from this other one. I really enjoyed this graphic novel.? It is presented fully translated, but in? classic manga format ( read from right to left). It comes with a corrugated cardboard sleeve protecting the book itself. The art work is very European with multiple interpretations to the meanings of various panels. text is sparse throughout the story, relying on various obscure and dark story elements presented in the images.
The Graphic Novel is presented by VIZ Media, almost entirely in…

Your Republic is calling you (Young-Ha Kim)

I imagine being a sleeper agent is a lot like crashing a drunken party. You walk in the door, pretending to be invited. You eat a couple chips and drink a beer. You join conversations and chat with people, avoiding specific conversation topics but not really holding back. ultimately the consequence of your actions may be discovery and ejection from the party. Depending on the climate of the group, you could be offered to stay, or you could be painfully beat to the ground, you could simply be ignored going forward. I have trouble thinking about being a spy, let alone a sleeper agent. Coming to a country, melding myself with the culture, people, and policies but knowing full well that I did not belong. building relationships, having a family, working a job that ultimately may need to be shed like a second skin and left behind. Young-Ha Kim’s “Your Republic Is Calling You” was an incredibly fascinating read. Ki-Yong imports movies from other countries. He is moderately successful South Kor…
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