Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mankell ready for stardom in the US?

Knopf is giving "The Man from Beijing" an amazing balls-to-the-wall two page advertisement in this morning's New York Times Book Review (in fact, pages two and three -- better than prime territory).

Here's hoping it works.

8 comments:

Generic said...

Somehow, though I can't my finger on quite how, the hope expressed here seems to contradict the sentiment behind recent posts about Martin, Jordon and etc. On the one hand you're advocating an audience-spurning, market-be-damned stance (genre writers copping the attitudes of arrogant artists) and in the other tip-toeng right up to the edge of suggesting that huge sales are needed to validate Mankell's excellence. The similarity is a "false match," as they say in the film world, but perhaps suggestive.

Generic said...

And wait -- isn't a huge box office take enough all by itself to cast doubt on the excellence of a film? By the same "logic." you'll have to stop reading Mankell when he makes it onto the bestseller list.

Tulkinghorn said...

Missing the point on steriods....

I am very happy when a writer of excellence makes the best seller list. No reason to assume that I think such a thing is necessary or that it provides "validation" (horrible word) for the writer involved

Thirty years ago, you couldn't get a good cup of coffee outside New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

Now it's everywhere... and I completely approve.

Tulkinghorn said...

And it makes me doubly happy when the publishers of an excellent writer wake up and realize that his or her time has come -- Random House has not only taken Mankell out of the trade paperback original ghetto and into the hardcover big time but has shown that it's willing to spend the bucks necessary to keep him there.

Generic said...

I agree he deserves it, though the policy may drive me yet again to order a pb from the UK.

And we are allowing for the possibility that the TV series helped raise his profile?

The suggestion that you are by inclination suspicious of things that are too popular (or "populist") is not far-fetched. Chapter and verse could be cited from earlier posts. Don't make me go scholastic on your ass.

Tulkinghorn said...

When a writer who has integrity becomes popular -- J.K Rowling, say, or Ian Rankin or Terry Pratchett or Cormac McCarthy-- there is good reason to cheer.

However, popularity itself is no reason to like anything and is, in fact, reason to doubt that I'll like it.

I've worked for mass media companies all my life and know the difference between a hack and somebody who does good work who finds a large audience.

Tulkinghorn said...

The UK pb thing won't work any more, BTW. His books are coming out at the same time in the two markets.

Generic said...

Gotta wait for the Black Lizard, then, to keep the set uniform.