It's new! It's happening! It's ... well, it's more authors talking about books.

Daniel Menaker's Titlepage show debuted Monday, and this attempt by the former fiction editor at The New Yorker to create a low-cost web alternative to the near-zero of book shows on network or cable TV is pretty much as I feared -- a kind of droney cocktail party that ran out of liquor 30 minutes ago but everyone's still stuck there. The Charlie Rose Show with more people squatting at the table.

Mmmm, boy. That's exciting. Sure, it's well-meaning and not hopeless and I even like Richard Price (see my Lush Life review). But Titlepage seems to provide more evidence for why TV producers think just about any living author is bad ratings ju-ju. Hold up a book on camera (or have him mention his good friend, that more famous author) and it'll drive the entire cosmos to switch to another channel. This is the web for sweet gravy's sake. Can't we be a little more inventive? Doesn't anyone here know how to play this game?


I'm going back to watching Stephen Colbert interview Henry Louis Gates.

March 5, 2008 2:15 PM |



Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



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