Ben Nadler believes that “a writer owes a reader a good story,” and with his excellent new novel The Sea Beach Line, that’s exactly what the Brooklyn-based author delivers. A hypnotic hybrid of literary crime fiction and Jewish folklore, The Sea Beach Line tells the gripping coming-of-age story of Izzy Edel, a young man adrift after being expelled from Oberlin for hallucinogenic drug use. Given renewed purpose after receiving a mysterious postcard from his estranged father Alojzy, Izzy travels to New York City where he must navigate Alojzy’s world of street vendors, gangsters, and members of a religious sect as he searches for his missing dad. Filled with sharp insights on loyalty, self-reliance, and the complicated bonds of family, The Sea Beach Line was described in Library Journal’s starred review as “a mesmerizing narrative that will speak to any readers who have tried to make sense of their parents’ lives or the secrets that people keep.” This Monday, April 25th at 7 pm, you can hear Nadler read from The Sea Beach Line when he visits Bookends & Beginnings as part of an EPL-sponsored event also featuring author Abby Geni. In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via email about literary traditions, his novel’s origins, the history of Hasidic tales, collective memory, and a few of his favorite books and poems.
A new anthology of crime fiction will include a short story written by a 17-year-old Stieg Larsson. The anthology titled A Darker Shade of Sweden to be published February 2014 will feature stories from 20 Swedish writers, including Henning Mankell, Asa Larsson, Maj Sjowall, Per Wahloo , and Sara Stridsberg. Mr Larsson’s companion Eva Gabrielsson will also have a story in the collection. According to the publisher the anthology “promises to sate the desire to read about the darker side of Sweden.” Mr. Larsson’s Milennium trilogy which began with TheGirl With the Dragon Tattoo is one of the most successful series ever published. Read the entire article here.
Our latest Book Trailer of the Week is for Dennis Lehane’s new historical crime epic Live by Night. A follow-up of sorts to 2008’s masterful The Given Day, the novel revisits the Coughlin family in Prohibition-era Boston as youngest brother Joe defies his police officer father to climb the ladder of organized crime. As his rum running empire grows from Tampa all the way to Batista’s Cuba, however, a Vito Corleone-like Joe struggles to protect his family from his violent chosen path. Described by Booklist as “an utterly magnetic novel on every level,” Live by Night is Mystic River-author Lehane at his best. Don’t miss it.
If you’re a connoisseur of fine Scandinavian crime fiction, 2011 has given you plenty more to enjoy. Back in March, for instance, genre forefather Henning Mankell wrapped up his wildly-popular Kurt Wallander series with The Troubled Man, and a mere two months later rising star Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman finally hit U.S. shores. Now with Hollywood’s take on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hitting theaters in just a few short days, crime fiction lovers are likely giddy with their good fortune. But what if you’re not a fan? What if you’ve yet to acquire that particular taste for dark Nordic mysteries? Well worry not, gentle reader, for there’s more than one dish cooking in Scandinavia’s literary kitchen. Truth be told, the Scandinavian lit scene is a veritable smorgasbord of top-notch sci-fi, satire, historical and literary fiction, horror, and more. So don’t delay in sampling Scandinavia’s full fiction menu. The following list will get you started, but there is still plenty more to discover.
Our final Book Trailer of the Week for 2010 is this chilling award winner for Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s haunting mystery The Snowman. Billed as the perfect crime fiction fix for Stieg Larsson fans, The Snowman is the fifth heartstopping read in a bestselling series favorably compared to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books. So check it out, or if you prefer, climb aboard on the ground floor with The Redbreast, the series opener voted by Norwegian book clubs as the best crime novel ever. Either way, though, beware… this snowman is nothing like Frosty.
(Hint: Select “Search All Libraries” to locate The Snowman.)