Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bullet Points: Protests-Free Edition

• American political thriller writer Vince Flynn passed away in 2013 at the painfully young age of 47. “At the time,” explains Shotsmag Confidential, “he was only two chapters into his next Mitch Rapp book, The Survivor.” The blog notes that fellow author Kyle Mills has recently “stepped in to complete the story of the famous undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent. The Vince Flynn Estate has signed a three-book deal with Mills and Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books to complete The Survivor and deliver two new books in the series.”

• Readers who are sorry to discover Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason bringing his Detective Erlendur series to an apparent close in Strange Shores (due out from Minotaur in late August) should take heart from this short piece in Crime Fiction Lover, which explains that Erlendur won’t be gone for very long. Indridason’s Reykjavik Nights--scheduled for release this month in the UK, with a U.S. edition set for publication in April 2015--is “the first of three planned books which cover Erlendur’s early years as a detective.”

• Janet Rudolph reports that a memorial service will be held in Victoria, British Columbia, on Sunday, September 14, to celebrate the life of Lou Allin. The author of the Belle Palmer and Holly Martin mysteries died in mid-July. She was 69.

• As someone who purchased and valued several versions of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide over the decades, I am sorry to hear that the next edition will be its last.

• Well, that’s something, anyway ... Although I’ve never resided in any of The Economist’s 10 most livable cities, I have at least visited most of them--including both Melbourne and Perth, Australia, which figured prominently in my honeymoon itinerary years ago.

• Not being someone who uses an e-book reader, this news from The Christian Science Monitor seems pretty abstract to me. But others might find it more surprising. A new study reveals that people “who read a novel on paper remember more about the story than a person who used an e-reader to peruse the same text.”
The Guardian reports that lead researcher Anne Mangen of Stavanger University in Norway said at a recent conference in Italy that she and those she worked with presented 50 people with a short story by writer Elizabeth George. Of those 50 readers, 25 received a paper copy and 25 used a Kindle e-reader and then all were then asked questions about the story’s setting, characters, and other details.

“The Kindle readers performed significantly worse on the plot reconstruction measure, i.e. when they were asked to place 14 events in the correct order,” Mangen said, according to the Guardian.

Why would Kindle readers be worse at putting steps of the story in order? Mangen suggested that it’s the process of reading a physical book. “When you read on paper you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right," she said. "You have the tactile sense of progress, in addition to the visual. … Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text.”
Don Quixote--private eye?

• In the wake of Lauren Bacall’s death earlier this month, at age 89, The Bogie Film Blog recaps the onscreen roles she played opposite Humphrey Bogart, including in To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and the whistle-perfect Key Largo.

• Margot Kinberg looks at the ways in which crime and mystery fiction have portrayed the turbulent, change-propelling era of the 1960s.

• Check out this interesting article in The Huffington Post by Åsa Larsson, the Swedish crime writer, about women as fictional victims.

• Oh, great. Republicans are already planning more costly federal government shutdowns, should they win a majority of seats in the U.S. Senate this coming November.

• This comes from Deadline Hollywood: “Keanu Reeves is making a foray into television with Rain, an hour-long series from Slingshot Global Media based on the best-selling book series by Barry Eisler. The Matrix star will topline the globe-trotting action drama and will executive produce alongside Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, his directors in the upcoming feature John Wick, as well as Eisler and Slingshot Global Media, which will distribute the show. Rain marks Reeves’ first major TV series acting and producing gig.”

Every Alfred Hitchcock film cameo--finally compiled.

• Not an unreasonable question to ask:Why can’t any recent Sherlock Holmes adaptation get Irene Adler right?” That said, however, I did enjoy Lara Pulver’s sometimes under-dressed portrayal of Adler in Season 2 of BBC-TV’s Sherlock.

• Jake Hinkson concludes his excellent six-part series for Criminal Element about “film noir’s landmark year,” 1944, with an assessment of William Castle’s When Strangers Marry, starring Dean Jagger and Kim Hunter. He wrote previously about Double Indemnity, Laura, Murder My Sweet, Phantom Lady, and The Woman in the Window.

• Kelli Stanley does a dream-casting of her new Miranda Corbie mystery, City of Ghosts (Minotaur), for the blog My Movie, the Book. I must confess, I had to look up her choice to play the magnetic Ms. Corbie. Michelle ... who?

• By the way, if you missed seeing the column, City of Ghosts was among my half-dozen selections--in Kirkus Reviews--of crime novels worth reading this summer.

• A few recent author interviews worth reading: Ben Winters (in As the Plot Thins); Giles Blunt (in Crime Watch); and James Lee Burke and Dana King (in Omnimystery News).

• And get ready for NoirCon 2014! That annual Philadelphia event devoted to “examining some of the darkest--most nourish--aspects of life” (or at least of fiction) will kick into gear come Wednesday, October 29, and conclude on Sunday, November 2. You can find the schedule of events here. Registration costs $250.


Kelly Robinson said...

That Kindle study has been wildly exaggerated. The subjects were tested on several points, and on all but one (putting events in sequence), paper book readers scored the same as Kindle readers. People who write provocative headlines have made it sound like some kind of trouncing.

It should also be mentioned that all but two of the subjects had never used an e-reader before! How much of their recall was compromised by the novelty of the device?

michael said...

The over reaction to the e-book versus print makes me wonder if this is what it was like when the hardcover bias publishing houses and bookstores freaked out when Penguin introduced the paperback. You can buy it anywhere! Its the end of the speciality bookstore! Its the end of publishing as we know it!

When will the print fans relax? The last sale figures I saw had e-books making up 35% of book sales. Who has the other 65%? It isn't audio.

I prefer the e-book and continue to get rid of my print books, but who cares? The more formats available the better for the reading public.

Heck, even Amazon knows the print book is not going anywhere (they also know neither is the e-book).