Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jim Fusilli joins the agency!

Jim Fusilli, the acclaimed mystery writer, has joined the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency just as his latest, HARD, HARD CITY, has been named a finalist for the Gumshoe Award. He is also the author of TRIBECA BLUES, A WELL-KNOWN SECRET, CLOSING TIME, and the forthcoming PET SOUNDS, a book about Jim's favorite Beach Boys album. The first review of Pet Sounds is out, and it's a rave:
"Fusilli is a keen observer and eloquent writer, bringing a fresh perspective to this seminal album with wit and pathos. He starts by talking about the forces that shaped his own childhood, notably Walt Disney - from watching Walt host his weekly show on TV, and from viewing endless films and TV shows, Mr. Fusilli had a utopian vision of California imprinted on his mind. I laughed out loud when I read a description of Annette Funicello as 'an Italian sparkplug.' But this autobiographical introduction to the book works perfectly, humanizing the author to his audience, and letting us know exactly where he's coming from. And despite the slimness of the book, Fusilli doesn't simply dive into analyzing the album (he doesn't really dig in until page 41), he unfolds, in a very gentle way, the history of the Beach Boys in both a professional and a deeply intimate portrait.

Mr. Fusilli knows of what he writes as well, infusing his song-by-song examinations with his clear, intuitive understanding of what makes each song tick. He's even lightly critical of several numbers, which I frankly admire, having read several like-minded articles that place Pet Sounds on an unattainable altar. I felt as I was reading this that I at last understood how Pet Sounds came about; the shadowy psyche of Brian Wilson became a little clearer, reflected in the dark mirror of his art and here illuminated for my eyes. The songs are examined one by one, with pertinent quotes from most of the major players, from Marilyn Wilson to Brian himself, with several small facts thrown in that I hadn't recalled reading anywhere else. This book, part of a series of acclaimed books about individual albums, is published by Continuum Books, and is a fine addition to your Beach Boys library. I unreservedly recommend it."

Please join us in welcoming Jim to the agency!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The excitement was not IMPROBABLE

Already a bestseller in Italy (and set to be published in French, German, Dutch, Japanese, and Spanish), Adam Fawer's IMPROBABLE is now on sale in bookstores everywhere in the United States. His New York reading is tonight at Partners & Crime, 44 Greenwich Avenue at 7 pm. Adding to Adam's excitement is the birth of his first child, Phineas, two weeks ago, seen below, reading Daddy's book.

Divinely good reviews for GOD WANTS YOU TO ROLL

The buzz is building for John Phillips III's GOD WANTS YOU TO ROLL: The $21 Million “Miracle Cars” Scam - How Two Boys Fleeced America’s Churchgoers. Publishers Weekly dubs it "a page-turner" and Kirkus raves, calling the book, "n endlessly engaging, well-written tale of true crime, again proving that P. T. Barnum was righter than he knew." Congrats, John!

Another great review for Christine O'Hagan

Our pals at Entertainment Weekly love THE BOOK OF KEHLS, too:
"This heart-wrenching tale of a family struck by muscular dystrophy across five generations is not for the faint of heart. Operating on the belief that "what can't be cured, must be endured," O'Hagan writes bluntly about the ravaging effects of the illness that took her son, brother, two uncles, and two nephews. We witness the various coping mechanisms employed by her non-stricken family members: her father's drinking as well as her own initial denial, subsequent crying jags, anger at a callous doctor, and eventual readjustment to normal living. What shines through is O'Hagan's clear-eyed honesty, mordant humor, and most of all, love of God and family that provided her emotional strength." GRADE: B+ (Bob Cannon)