Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Salon: Serpent's Tail Classics and a Competition.

Yesterday Serpent's Tail kindly sent me a selection of their 'classics' which are to be published on the 6th of May. Each of them look interesting in their own, quite different, way.

Serpent's Tail, says the accompanying press release, is 'committed to voices neglected by the mainstream since 1986' which seems to me to be a valiant concept. Sometimes I find the mainstream to be a bland place full of people being too careful, and so wary of insulting anyone they forget to say anything at all. I suppose I like my books to affect or at least educate as well as entertain me and it looks like this selection of books will do just that.

Two are crime novels: Walter Mosley's debut, Devil in a Blue Dress brought an African American voice to crime fiction when it was published in 1990; and Shoe Dog is by the author who has won fame for writing the acclaimed TV series The Wire. I'm looking forward to reading both of these.

It is Fernando's Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet which intrigues me the most, however. Apart from having a gorgeous cover (this picture really doesn't do it justice - the head is heavily patterned in silver) I really like the description: ' an icon of modernism' and an 'existential hero'. I think this will go to the top of my reading pile.

As for the last one, Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin, well I've read it and I think it is a stunning book, and perhaps the most deserving winner of the Orange prize I've read (and I've read most of them) and so I'm offerig it as a prize in a little competition: tell me, in less than 200 words, which example of cutting edge fiction affected you the most and why. The deadline is 11.00am next Sunday (GMT).

I shan't publish any entries until after that date.


Blogger SueG said...

Great books. Must admit, I did become addicted to The Wire, but had no idea he wrote a novel. Plus he has a new tv show out about New Orleans. I must get his book.

Sun Apr 25, 12:13:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Must admit I've never seen the Wire, Sue - I haven't watched much tv at all recently except for a little satire - but have heard lots about it. There's just not enough time to do everything, is there?

Sun Apr 25, 01:39:00 pm  
Blogger aliholli said...

"KEVIN!!!" Yes an amazing book. I thought about it for days after... I read it on holiday in France, not ideal beach holiday reading but I couldn't put it down.

Wed Apr 28, 11:43:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Heh, heh - yes I've read a lot of books like that on the beach. Everyone's having a fun time - and I'm reading about some mass-murdering psychopath in a slum of some seedy part of Denmark.

Wed Apr 28, 11:51:00 pm  

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