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Richard Schickel’s review in the LA Times provides some nice pull-quotes.

paints a better picture of Tom than F. Scott Fitzgerald did…. a straightforward adventure yarn, “Banana Republican” offers the pleasures of an exotic setting, inventive plotting and a metaphor that captures the waste and fatuity of our more recent global misadventures — not too bad for a slender and unpretentiously written little novel.

I think “not too bad” and “unpretentiously written” are exactly the kinds of things I would like to believe about my work.

Also, my distinguished former colleague Tom Holloway long ago traced the origin of the term “banana republic” to O. Henry’s Cabbages and Kings. Whether this is authoritative depends on what connotation you’re putting on the term “banana republic,” I suppose.

I suppose I shouldn’t feel too bad that Joe Queenan, who has “made a career out of being extremely unpleasant about people in print,” has been unpleasant about me, or at least my book, in print in the NYTBR this week. Jack Rakove tells me about his father receiving a pan in the Times and having the owner of Kroch’s and Brentano’s say, “Milt, did they spell your name right? If they did, then nothing else matters.”
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In keeping with the theme of the blog, would Tom Buchanan want a Germany-Netherlands final or a Spain-Netherlands final?

Town and Country is glamorous. You can tell because the August issue has Julianne Moore on the cover. And on p. 52 under “Arts & Culture – Summer reads” there is a picture of this handsome book.
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Some discussion of Banana Republican in the St. Petersburg Times.

Perhaps you were wondering, “What music best exemplifies the Banana Republican experience?” Perhaps you weren’t, but now that I’ve suggested it, you’re curious. You can find me trying to answer this question here.

We learn today that one can download a free sample of Banana Republican to one’s iPad from the iBook store. The sample ends with the phrase, “… compromised by the distraction of my trousers being down around my ankles.”

Questions from the Chronicle, answered here.

A reader kindly points me to the essay “False Documents,” by the great E.L. Doctorow. It is of course through Doctorow that many readers now know of Sherman’s march or the Rosenberg trial; which is to say that Doctorow’s gripping narrative of these events has in those readers’ imaginations a place that is somewhat surer than the pure recitation of known historical facts. This is of course just as Doctorow would want it.
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In response to some of your inquiries, let me say here a little of what I say in the foreword to the new book, in the hope this will clear up some confusion. As you’ll read quite clearly there, I do not believe the “Buchanan File,” as the publisher is calling it, could possibly be legitimate. Indeed I am completely sure it is a fiction. So all the effort I have put in to providing a reasonably clear historical context for the book’s narrative should in no way be seen as an effort to authenticate that narrative, but rather, simply, to make the reader aware that the author of this obviously untrue narrative has nevertheless for some reason woven into it real, and significant, historical episodes.
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… is a line I like from page 69 of this new book, a package of which just arrived on my doorstep. Pretty soon, gentle readers, you will be able to buy one of your own.
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This is officially an award-winning blog

HNN, Best group blog: "Witty and insightful, the Edge of the American West puts the group in group blog, with frequent contributions from an irreverent band.... Always entertaining, often enlightening, the blog features snazzy visuals—graphs, photos, videos—and zippy writing...."