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Tag: Fiction (71-80 of 304)

'Elimination Night': 'American Idol' parody's 6 craziest moments

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Elimination Night is a fictionalized account of one young producer’s experiences working at Project Icon — a behemoth singing competition that bears more than a passing resemblance to American Idol. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will only say that the book’s scribe has “intimate firsthand knowledge of the behind-the-scenes workings of a top TV talent show.”)

In the book, one judge issues a 78-page rider that demands a 4,000 square foot “dressing compound,” a $1 billion body insurance policy (“breasts/buttocks to be valued at one hundred million dollars each”), and that the show’s crew never make eye contact with her. Another has to undergo a “sanity check” — which he barely passes — before signing on to join Icon‘s panel. The innocent, apple-cheeked, country-singing winner of the fictional reality show is actually a promiscuous, closeted Don Juan who enjoyed encounters with “hotel workers, judges’ assistants, his fellow contestants, [and] even a couple of passing construction workers” during filming.

And those aren’t even the juiciest moments from the story! Check out the book’s craziest plot points below.

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Dan Brown's new novel 'Inferno' coming this spring

Antiquity meets modern-day mystery once again in Dan Brown’s upcoming novel Inferno. Doubleday announced this morning that the Da Vinci Code and Lost Symbol author’s next novel, coming May 14, will feature Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon’s return. The action will take place in Italy, and at the heart of the mystery will stand the literary classic Dante’s Inferno.

“Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn’t until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante’s work on the modern world,” said Brown in a press release. “With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm… a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways.”

Inferno will get a first printing of four million copies in the U.S. and Canada.

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ sees respectable sales figures during first week
Read the Book! 26 Disappointing Movie Adaptations

'Swamplandia!' author Karen Russell interviews 'Age of Miracles' author Karen Thompson Walker -- EXCLUSIVE

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In addition to having the same first name, Karen Thompson Walker and Karen Russell are both authors of inventive novels that became significant commercial and critical successes. Karen Thompson Walker wrote the apocalyptic summer hit The Age of Miracles, which was included in several “Best of” lists for 2012, and Russell’s 2011 novel Swamplandia! was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The two literary Karens got together for a chat about The Age of Miracles. Their interview will appear in the paperback edition of Miracles, out Jan. 15, but you can get an exclusive sneak peak at it below!

Russell’s latest collection of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, will be released Feb. 12.

Follow @EWStephanLee on Twitter.

Read more:
See the new paperback cover of ‘The Age of Miracles’ by Karen Thompson Walker — EXCLUSIVE
Amazon picks its top 10 books of 2012 so far
Book ‘em: Summer 2012’s Hot Reads

If you find Dennis Lehane's lost dog, he'll name a character after you in his new book

The bad news: Novelist/screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s beloved dog has gone missing.

The good news: If you find her, the author of Mystic River and Shutter Island will name a character after you in his next book. There’s no guarantee that character will be sane and/or safe from a grisly death, though.

Lehane posted his unusual offer on Facebook Tuesday, explaining that the pooch — a black-and-tan beagle who answers to the name ‘Tessa’ — had jumped the fence at his Brookline, Mass. home 24 hours previously. “She’s smart, fast, and immeasurably sweet,” the Edgar Award winner wrote. “She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She’s micro-chipped, but her tags were off when she was let out into the yard.

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'Seating Arrangements' author Maggie Shipstead on WASPs and exploding whales

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You know who’s cool? Maggie Shipstead, whose debut Seating Arrangements (EW grade: A–) won the Dylan Thomas Award for best novel by an author under 30. In the novel, two preppy families gather on a tony island off the New England coast for a wedding, which gets all that blue blood pumping when several members of the party have epic meltdowns, and the festivities become explosive — literally. Read on for insights on combustive cetaceans and the nomenclature and study of WASPs from one of the most promising breakout authors of 2012. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Gillian Flynn on 'Gone Girl' twists -- 'It's fine with me if people don't like the ending'

Gillian Flynn, a former EW critic and current Entertainer of the Year, has had a dream 2012. Not only has her third novel Gone Girl been a giant critical and commercial success, it’s become part of the zeitgeist, stirring heated conversation. You can’t look at Gone Girl‘s Amazon page without reading endless rants about THAT ending. READ FULL STORY

Goodreads users select best books of 2012 -- FIRST LOOK

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The annual Goodreads Choice Awards are basically the People’s Choice Awards of books. Users of the literary social network voted on their favorite books of the year in 20 categories, and this year, there were some surprises — J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy as best novel? — and some slam dunks (Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for Best Mystery, John Green for Best Young Adult, and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild for Best Memoir). Once again, Veronica Roth proved that she’s pretty much unbeatable when it comes to reader-voted prizes, winning the Best Goodreads Author award for the first time and the Best Young Adult Fantasy award for the second time with Insurgent, sequel to Divergent.

The closest race occurred in Best Historical Fiction, with M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans narrowly beating out Man Booker-winner Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel most likely benefited from a large and devoted fanbase, as Casual Vacancy only became a finalist due to write-in votes — its Goodreads user rating of 3.32 stars wasn’t originally high enough to qualify it — yet it won the biggest honor.

Susan Cain’s Nonfiction win for her best-seller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking made me smile — partly because I could picture a bunch of Goodreads bookworms really relating to it, and also because introverts, a sizable but often ignored and misunderstood demographic, have had a big year in 2012 with the publication of Quiet, Sophia Dembling’s The Introvert’s Way, and a buzzed-about feature in The Atlantic.

See the entire list of winners below: READ FULL STORY

'Hunger Games' author Suzanne Collins' next book: 'Year of the Jungle'

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No, Suzanne Collins’ next book is not going to revisit Panem and Katniss Everdeen, but like The Hunger Games, it will focus on a young girl dealing with the harsh realities of war. Scholastic announced today that it will release Year of the Jungle, an autobiographical picture book, on Sept. 10, 2013. Illustrated by James Proimos, the book centers on Suzy, who must cope with her father’s absence as he serves in Vietnam. She counts down the days until her father’s return, and when he finally comes back, Suzy finds that the war has changed him but he loves her all the same. In a press release, Collins explained the inspiration behind Year of the Jungle: READ FULL STORY

Bad Sex in Fiction Award: Which books beat out J.K. Rowling, 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

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Think you’ve had enough exposure to bad sex lit lately? (Ellen Degeneres, Kristen Stewart and your Facebook friends made sure you didn’t escape the abundance of Fifty Shades of Grey excerpts floating around the Interwebs this year.) Well, whether you like it or not, there’s more out there. A lot more. Award-worthy more.

But by award-worthy, I mean Razzie-esque awards. That’s right, authors are annually bestowed with the prize that recognizes gag-worthy writing about the bedroom. It’s an award that British magazine Literary Review started in 1993. On Tuesday, the magazine unveiled its 2012 shortlist for the Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Check out the list of eight finalists below:

The Yips by Nicola Barker
The Adventuress: The Irresistible Rise of Miss Cath Fox by Nicholas Coleridge
Infrared by Nancy Huston
Rare Earth by Paul Mason
Noughties by Ben Masters
The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe
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Gary Shteyngart discusses his upcoming roast, Nabokov, and his sex life

It’s been a decade since the Soviet-born author Gary Shteyngart published his debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. (Or, as he likes to call it, The Russian Debutante’s Handjob.) Since then, he’s developed a top-shelf reputation in the publishing world thanks to celebrated novels like 2006’s Absurdistan and 2010’s Super Sad True Love Story, not to mention popular essaysubiquitous book blurbs, and a highly active Twitter account.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his debut, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be hosting a roast of Shteyngart tonight, with high-profile guests like Kurt Andersen, Jay McInerney, and Sloane Crosley getting in on the action. In honor of the writer’s imminent shaming, we got the man on the phone and discussed his career, his fears, and the fate of publishing. He even offered to blurb the interview for us: “Not since Gay Talese failed to interview Frank Sinatra has there been an interview of such importance and scope. The best interview I’ve had since my co-op board.”

Read on to find out more about Shteyngart’s thoughts on sheep, American Airlines, and the person whom he’d most like to roast.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, where are you?
GARY SHTEYNGART:
I’m in the countryside above New York. Upstate, as some might say. It’s really nice here. There are trees, and sheep. A lot of sheep.

Are they your sheep?
Nah, they belong to a sheep farm. But I’d love to rent a few just to mow the lawn, because they eat a lot of grass.

But then you’d have to store them somewhere.
That’s the big problem. Where do you put them? And then how do you not eat them? They’re so tasty.

You just have to resist these urges, Gary. Moving on — your roast is coming up. Are you excited about that?
I am excited! I mean, it’s time to get roasted, I think. It’s been ten years of being a whatever, and it’ll be nice to… well, maybe not celebrate [my work], but they’ll at least allude to it.

Your dog Felix seems to be a little more nervous than you are. Are there any secrets that you or Felix fear will come out during the roast?
Oh, I think they’ll all come out. I mean, people know that I’m illiterate – that’s not a big secret. But there’s so many other dark things. The sheep, for example. My links to Petraeus. I mean, it’s all very dark.

What’s your darkest secret?
That I sometimes dance. There are pictures. Apparently my upper body doesn’t move, it’s just — I’m all legs.

So, Felix — how often does he write, and what kind of stuff usually?
You know, Felix is a very experimental writer. So he’s not exactly the kind of writer I thought he could be. But it’s all this kind of meta-universe where, you know, he can talk. It’s complicated. He went to Iowa. Which is funny, because I didn’t get into Iowa, but my dachshund did. So he’s a proud graduate. And he’s doing a Ph. D in Comp Lit at Yale now, which is annoying, because he’s always gone. He’s always traveling to New Haven. And he’s editing the canine edition of Granta.

If you could roast any writer living or dead, who would it be?
I’d like to roast Nabokov. Wouldn’t that be great? Because you know, he’d blast us, and you wouldn’t imagine he’d permit himself to be roasted. And then I would just invite the things that he feared the most in his life — like the Red Army Choir, maybe. And then I would have all the members of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute show up and serenade him. That could be great.

Did you get to pick who would be roasting you, or was it beyond your control?
Everything’s beyond my control. You think I just woke up one day and said, hey, roast me? They said, look, you have to do this, because that’s how publicity works these days. Anything that’s happening, you have to do it. I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, I’m on — just, help. Help!

When you Google “gary shteyngart,” some of the first autofill results are “gary shteyngart married” and “gary shteyngart girlfriend.” Any thoughts?
Wow! That’s really shocking. I mean, have you seen me lately? Well, I guess shaving part of my beard worked? I didn’t realize I was going to get this kind of adulation. The first book that I wrote, The Russian Debutante’s Handjob, was written just because I wanted someone to share a bed with me. And I guess with these Google results, it’s worked out. But that’s my life. That’s life as a successful contemporary author: they don’t even mention your novels. It’s all about your sex life. And your tweeting. READ FULL STORY

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