The New York Times Book Review‘s Web site excerpts the first chapter of Charles Bock‘s Beautiful Children.
Financial Times profiles James Wood. The critic was no fan of D.C., which was home to his long-time outlet, the New Republic, before he recently jumped to the New Yorker:
“It’s a dead place,” says Wood. “Unless you are going to conquer it like something out of a Balzac novel, or climb the political world, it’s dead, totally dead.”
The article also includes some of Wood’s more pointed assessments, like his take on Tom Wolfe‘s A Man in Full:
Unfortunately, Wolfe’s characters only feel one emotion at a time; their inner lives are like jingles for the self. As Picasso had his Blue Period, so Wolfe’s characters have their Angry Period, or their Horny Period, or their Sad Period. But they never have them at the same time, and so the potential flexibility of the stream of consciousness, precisely its lifelike randomness, is nullified.
Theodora Keogh’s stepdaughter notes in the comments of my brief item on Keogh’s death that the Charlotte Observer piece I pointed to wasn’t an obit. True enough: What I linked to was an appreciation. The Observer‘s obituary was published on Jan. 8. Clearly, I’m not the Keogh expert. Brooks Peters, however, very much seems to be.