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On The Books: Original text of Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- for FREE!

You can still read the original text of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo-epic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” as it appeared in Rolling Stone in November 1971. I wish that I could say they had the layout intact, so you could see the original Ralph Steadman drawings and dated adverts, but alas that’s not the case. The whole rambling, drug-addled, calculated chaos of a manuscript clocks in at 23,000 words. Thompson would famously keep Jann Wenner waiting for articles until the absolute last second. HST described his version of the manic push to the finish line in the intro to Rolling Stone‘s “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72″ (another classic):

“One afternoon about three days ago the Editorial Enforcement Detail from the Rolling Stone office showed up at my door, with no warning, and loaded about 40 pounds of supplies into the room: two cases of Mexican beer, four quarts of gin, a dozen grapefruits, and enough speed to alter the outcome of six Super Bowls. There was also a big Selectric typewriter, two reams of paper, a face-cord of oak firewood and three tape recorders – in case the situation got so desperate that I might finally have to resort to verbal composition.”

[Rolling Stone via Open Culture]

Vijay Seshadri won the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection 3 Sections yesterday and he answered a few questions about the meaning of his poems and his motivations for writing them. His short poems manage to be both tongue-in-cheek and poignant, so bear that in mind when he says poetry is “psychologically naked.” [NPR]

On the 25th anniversary of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie, Vanity Fair interviewed the author, his British and American publishers and a number of his peers including Stephen King, Ian McEwan, Gay Talese and Martin Amis about their memories of the time and the deadly edict’s effect on the literary community. Amis recounts a time that he supposedly got into an argument with Prince Charles at a dinner party (where else?). The Prince refused to publicly defend Rushdie who was a U.K. resident at the time. [Vanity Fair via The Guardian]

Don’t you love a good Shakespeare conspiracy theory? Well this morning, it’s whether Prospero, the exiled wizard in The Tempest, might actually be Shakespeare writing himself into the character. WHAT?? If you’re confused, this article will clear very little up for you. But it certainly is interesting to hear all the things we actually “know” about Shakespeare — “all the things” being only six things. One of the six is that in his will he left his wife Anne his second best bed. So he was a generous man. [Guardian]

For those celebrating Passover this week, The New Yorker has a thought little personal essay by Bernard Avishai on the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai and keeping a open heart during the holiday. [The New Yorker]

2014 Pulitzer Prize winners announced; Donna Tartt takes the big fiction prize

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Donna Tartt’s sprawling literary epic that centers on a mysterious little painting has taken the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, besting other lengthy titles, such as The Son by Philipp  Meyer and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis, both of which received “A” grades from EW. READ FULL STORY

On The Books: 2013's Ten Most Challenged Books

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Every year the American Library Association publishes a list of the most challenged books in the country to keep the public informed of encroaching censorship. The ALA defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.” The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. The group estimates that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. This year’s list is topped by the The Adventures of Captain Underpants series, which also held that slot in 2012. The humorous and cartoony book about two 4th grade boys and their imaginary-turned-real superhero Captain Underpants was cited for: offensive language, unsuited for age group, and violence. Fifty Shades of Grey also made the list, as did The Hunger Games. Check out the complete list. READ FULL STORY

New 'Walking Dead' book series coming from Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga -- EXCLUSIVE

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After collaborating on four novels already, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga are teaming up again for another four book Walking Dead series, the first of which is titled Descent and will be released by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press on Oct. 14. And we’ve got the exclusive first look at the cover for you right here. (Zombies in a tunnel are always a scary sight…unless Maggie Greene is around, I suppose.) READ FULL STORY

On The Books: Hillary Clinton's latest memoir for June 10

Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir will be released June 10, 2014. An ad from the publisher gives only this information about it: “Hillary Clinton shares candid reflections about key moments during her time as Secretary of State as well as her thoughts about how to navigate the challenges of the 21st century.” How to navigate the challenges of the 21st century? As with every move that Hillary Clinton makes these days, people are wondering if the subtext of this release is “vote for me in 2016.” [The Wrap]

J.K. Rowling will be guest editing BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour later this month. She’ll be discussing her literary pseudonym Robert Galbraith and “the power and myth of the shoe in popular culture.” So quite a range of ideas there… I’ve always wanted to know how Lady Rowling felt about footwear. [Guardian]

Things I learned about Chuck Palahniuk from The Guardian this morning:

1. He has an online mentorship program for writers, who are encouraged to employ his “minimal style.” I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of Chuck as being “minimal.” Definitely more of a maximal guy in my memory.

2. He’s writing a graphic novel sequel to Fight Club.

3. Chuck is now releasing an anthology of his mentee’s writing that will be entirely focused on taboo subjects – his specialty. “Transgressive fiction authors write stories some are afraid to tell. Stories with taboo subjects, unique voices, shocking images – nothing safe or dry,” says its publisher. “These stories run the gamut from horrific and fantastic to humorous and touching, but each leaves a lasting impression. Some may say even a scar.”

Rob Lowe shares audiobook excerpt and interview from 'Love Life' -- EXCLUSIVE

In the first installment of his memoir Stories I Only Tell My Friends, Rob Lowe dished about his wild teen years as part of the Brat Pack. In his more grownup second installment Love Life, he’s no less forthcoming, spilling details about his time in rehab, his roles on two sinking-ship TV shows (The Lyon’s Den and Dr. Vegas), and run-ins with Madonna, Warren Beatty, and Kate Middleton. Check out an interview with Lowe about Love Life and an audiobook excerpt below! READ FULL STORY

On The Books: New Ian McEwan novel 'The Children Act'

Ian McEwan, the award-winning author of Atonement, has announced a new novel called The Children Act to be published on September 9, 2014. McEwan has written 15 books, including Amsterdam, which won the Man Booker Prize, Solar, The Child in Time and The Comfort of Strangers. His most recent novel, Sweet Tooth, about a beautiful intelligence agent during the Cold War whose undercover persona begins to unravel as she falls for a writer, came out in 2012. No word yet on what The Children Act will be about, other than that it will be “emotionally wrenching.” This coming from the man who wrote Atonement, so prepare to be very wrenched.

Philip Roth will be awarded the first annual Yaddo Medal from the Yaddo artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, NY. Founded in 1900 by financier Spencer Trask (a man who supported Edison when he was inventing the lightbulb), the colony hosts around 200 artists a year who would like to spend 2-6 weeks on their 400-acre ranch. Roth himself has resided at the colony seven times since 1964. I appreciate Yaddo going out on a limb and awarding their first medal to such an unsung hero like Phil Roth. [New York Times]

Kurt Vonnegut was quite the sketch artist. You may have seen some of his drawings in his books, or recognize his self-portrait scribble that doubled as his signature. But don’t miss the slideshow of his work that the New Yorker put together. Vonnegut felt that drawing was the window through which he could jump out of when his writing became too much to bear. “My own means of making a living is essentially clerical, and hence tedious and constipating.… The making of pictures is to writing what laughing gas is to the Asian influenza.”

Tin House has a deep Q&A with playwright Craig Lucas, whose play Ode to Joy is as the Cherry Lane Theater until April 19th. Lucas is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a two time Tony-nominee, who wrote Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless, and The Light in the Piazza. In describing the theme of the new play, he wrote: “Joy, motherfuckers. Joy.” The man truly has a way with words. We should all buy tickets. [Tin House]

Parul Sehgal has an essay on “What Muriel Spark Saw” in the New Yorker. A Scottish novelist who was a contemporary of Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, Spark’s novels are being rereleased in America. One of her famous quotes is “I aim to startle as well as please,” a motto to live by. Sehgal writes: “She loved lightning. It wasn’t her favorite weapon—fire was, or knives. But lightning has a brutal, beautiful efficiency, and she used it to good effect, once frying alive a pair of lovers.” So I’m buying everything she ever wrote.

Join NPR for National Poetry Month and help write their collaborative Twitter poem. See their website for details! [NPR]

 

On The Books: Stephen King's 'Carrie,' 'The Stand' and more to be reissued!

Six of Stephen King’s early novels are going to get a fancy, limited edition reissue from Cemetery Dance Publications. The collection will include some of his best works: Carrie, ’Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand and Pet Sematary. The books will be oversize editions on heavy paper, with newly commissioned artwork for the dust jackets, new introductions by Mr. King, and other features. Ahhhh!! But they will only be printing very few and they will not be cheap, so start saving now. The fisrt installment will be Carrie: The Deluxe Special Edition, which is due in August. an essay by Tabitha King about the book’s exploration of adolescent terror and sexuality, six paintings (as well as a dust jacket) by the fantasy illustrator Tomislav Tikulin, and a reproduction of the telegram sent by Doubleday to Mr. King saying that the company would publish the book. You can buy at 3 price points, ranging from the artist-signed copies that are already sold out, to ones with a special dust jacket for $225 to the most affordable version in a slipcase for $80. [New York Times]

Rabble-rouser and British bad boy of the art world, Damien Hirst has finally confirmed that Penguin will be publishing his autobiography. This promises to be a wild ride and he’s sworn to write with “utter candor” about his early exploits. It will cover his childhood and his college years in London, including “his Turner prize win in 1995 for Mother and Child, Divided, one of his many works fixated on death. The piece consists of four glass tanks, containing the two halves of a cow and calf preserved in formaldehyde, and would be followed by his famous shark in formaldehyde known as Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. The shark is one of my favorite pieces of modern art. Terrifying to behold. I hope the title of his book is something equally overstated: “The Physical Impossibility of the Infinite in the Mind of an Artist…and Also Death.” [Guardian]

The Bailey’s Prize for Women in Fiction has revealed it’s shortlist. The predictable choices were: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah, Jhumpa Lahiri - The Lowland, Donna Tartt - The Goldfinch. Less obvious choices: Eimear McBride - A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing, Audrey Magee - The Undertaking, Hannah Kent - Burial Rites. Helen Fraser, the Chair of the judges said, “We feel you could give any one of these books to a friend with the absolute confidence that they would be gripped and absorbed and that maybe their view of the world would be changed once they had read it.” The winner of the prestigious honor and the £30,000 reward will be announced on June 4th.

Did you remember that Paddington Bear was Peruvian? Well he was, and the author Michael Bond is releasing a new Paddington book, Love From Paddington, where the duffel-coat-wearing bear writes letters to his Aunt Lucy in Lima, reminiscing about his first days in England. A Bear Called Paddington has been in print continuously since it’s publication in 1958, and Bond has written a number of sequels since then. There’s even a Paddington movie coming out in November with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.  [Guardian]

Archie Comics to kill off Archie, sort of

They say no one really appreciates you until after you’re gone. Now Archie Andrews, the hero of the long-running Archie comics series, will be able to discover that first-hand: An upcoming issue of the comic will flash-forward to the future and show how Archie meets his death.

Wait, what? READ FULL STORY

Tina Fey and Jason Bateman to headline 'This Is Where I Leave You' BookCon panel -- EXCLUSIVE

Reasons to get excited about this spring’s first annual BookCon, which is sort of like Comic-Con, but for, uh, actual books:

1. Panel headliners include Amy Poehler, Martin Short, R.L. Stine, Stan Lee, and Cassandra Clare.

2. EW can exclusively announce that Tina Fey and Jason Bateman will also headline a panel, which will serve as BookCon’s kickoff celebration.

3. Tina Fey!!!

READ FULL STORY

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