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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

“Waiting On” Wednesday: A Novel Bookstore

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication “can't-wait-to-read” selection is:

A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse, Alison Anderson (Translator)

note: this is the same translator who did The Elegance of the Hedgehog
(also no plot description from the publisher listed yet)

Kirkus Reviews 2010 July #2

When French author Cossé (A Corner of the Veil, 1999, etc.) pairs unlikely business partners in the opening of a unique Parisian bookstore, The Good Novel, that will sell only the best fiction, their venture succeeds and draws vehement criticism—and worse.

The selection process at The Good Novel, owned and backed by the lovely Aldo-Valbella Francesca and run by Ivan Georg, is rigorous. Members of a secret committee of writers and bibliophiles compile novels that they consider superior to the usual bestseller-list folderol. Their bookstore is a success. But almost immediately detractors publish diatribes accusing The Good Novel's proprietors and denizens of snobbery. Worse, someone is pasting these attacks up around town. When attempts are made against the lives of several members of the selection committee, Ivan and Francesca turn to the law in the person of a publishing-industry veteran turned cop, Gonzague Heffner, to determine how it is that seemingly coordinated thugs have learned the meticulously concealed identities of committee members. Is there a centralized plot by publishing interests to overthrow the upstart store, or are these the isolated jabs of irate inferior writers who take issue with the store's exclusive policies? As the investigation unfolds, rival bookstores open, initially strong sales falter, and it becomes clear that the attacks are a reaction to the very concept of quality in literature. This mystery is however incidental to larger themes of what superlative work in the literary sphere constitutes. Not without its surprises, the book doesn't quite live up to the high literary standards that its characters apply. While the central mystery stalls and dissipates without satisfactory resolution, the central conceit—what place is there for great and often difficult literature in a mercenary world—is manifest in the plight of the store and the disruptive influence it has on critics and booksellers the world over. The book's real strength is its romances—of both the bookish and human varieties. In attention to matters of the heart the story is redeemed, delivering a touché where its original thrust misses the mark.

A literary idyll preselected for bookworms and bibliophiles.
Publishing by Europa Editions on 8/31/2010.

6 comments:

Lori said...

I hope that you get your book soon and that it is everything you hope it to be. Here is what I am Waiting on Wednesday for.

Stacy at A Novel Source said...

this sounds like such a great read for anyone who loves books as much as us bloggers! I can't wait to read your review!

booksploring said...

As a booklover this really appeals :-) Great pick!

Alayne said...

Love the cover, can't wait for a synopsis! My WOW is at The Crowded Leaf.

Violet said...

Interesting premise. I'm a sucker for bookish and human romances, so I'm glad to hear that those elements are strong in A Novel Bookstore.

- Violet @ The Eager Readers

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

what a cute cover!! hard for a booklover to resist!!