Archive for February, 2007

Lies, damn lies and misery memoirs

There was an interesting story in The Independent on Sunday yesterday about Forbidden Love, Norma Khouri’s memoir of fear and loathing among the lovelorn in Jordan. The book claimed that Khouri had fled Jordan with a fatwa on her head following a doomed love affair between her Muslim friend Dalia
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The hype/quality paradox

I have written a bit in my MySpace blog about the hype surrounding Dreamgirls and the fact that the hype surrounding a movie is usually in inverse proportion to its quality. The blanket coverage in gossip columns and women’s mags, the posters on every street corner and radio appearances from
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Dreamgirls Pity the poor film critic and what they have to sit through. Half way through Bill Condon’s car crash of a musical Dreamgirls I wrote in my notes: “Please, no more singing.” I was ground down by the sheer mediocrity of a score that sought to celebrate Motown’s glory
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The Vampire Wears Prada

The writers leading the new wave are all young, début authors or authors moving in the genre for the first time. Their inspirations are as likely to be Haruki Murakami and Kôji Suzuki’s The Ring as Anne Rice or James Herbert. All write well – many have a more literary style than is usual in a genre that has been in the doldrums since the early ’90s. Some could compete against the more anodyne lit lite choices on Richard & Judy. All should benefit from growing demand for horror from mainstream readers.
According to Nielsen BookScan, which compiles the nation’s book charts, sales of titles classified as horror and ghost stories almost doubled to just over £7m by value in 2006 from £3.8m in 2005. The number of copies sold increased from 566,000 in 2005 to almost one billion (892,000) over the same period. Though old school writers including Herbert, Dean Koontz and Shaun Hutson, continue to dominate, new names are emerging, though not all are classified as horror.