An internet scrapbook with a shuffle button. (They're the best things...!!)
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…when his novel was first published, every American city still had a newspaper with its own books page. There had been a range of critical voices and reader responses that, 10 years later, no longer existed. Literary opinion in the US has become, quite literally, “syndicated”. If Cold Mountain were published now, perhaps it would no longer have the same chance to attract readers.
(In answer to the audience question, ‘why do you think that this novel was- and is - so successful?’ Charles Frazier, speaking of Cold Mountain, had this interesting comment to make to the Guardian book club recently.)
I think a good book review is a place to meet a book on its own terms, not as an ideological vehicle or an academic plaything. Often people think of writing as primary and reading as the lesser art; in my life it’s the other way around. When I write about books I’m trying to honor reading as a creative act: as far as I’m concerned the job is not simply to describe an end product but to delineate a process, an intimate experience with a book which the general reader understands just as well as the professional critic.