Archive for the ‘Editor’s Picks’ Category

Top Baseball Books of 2013

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Class A: baseball in the middle of everywhereby Lucas Mann.  “An unforgettable chronicle of a year of minor-league baseball in a small Iowa town that follows not only the travails of the players of the Clinton LumberKings but also the lives of their dedicated fans and of the town itself.

Award-winning essayist Lucas Mann delivers a powerful debut in his telling of the story of the 2010 season of the Clinton LumberKings. Along the Mississippi River, in a Depression-era stadium, young prospects from all over the world compete for a chance to move up through the baseball ranks to the major leagues. Their coaches, some of whom have spent nearly half a century in the game, watch from the dugout. In the bleachers, local fans call out from the same seats they’ve occupied year after year. And in the distance, smoke rises from the largest remaining factory in a town that once had more millionaires per capita than any other in America.

Mann turns his eye on the players, the coaches, the fans, the radio announcer, the town, and finally on himself, a young man raised on baseball, driven to know what still draws him to the stadium. His voice is as fresh and funny as it is poignant, illuminating both the small triumphs and the harsh realities of minor-league ball. Part sports story, part cultural exploration, part memoir, Class A is a moving and unique study of why we play, why we watch, and why we remember.” (Random House, Inc.)

Color Blind: the forgotten team that broke baseball’s color lineby Tom Dunkel. “During the Great Depression, out in drought stricken North Dakota, one of the most improbable teams in the history of baseball was put together by one of the sport’s most unlikely champions. In Bismarck, a decade before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues, car dealer Neil Churchill signed the best players he could find, regardless of race, and fielded an integrated squad that took on all comers in spectacular fashion. Color Blind, from award-winning journalist Tom Dunkel, tells this remarkable, largely forgotten story.

When baseball swept America in the years after the Civil War, independent, semi-pro, and municipal leagues sprouted up everywhere. Color Blind immerses the reader in the wild and wonderful world of independent baseball, with its tough competition and its novelty – from all-brother teams and a prison team (who only played home games, naturally) to one from a religious commune that sported Old Testament beards. Dunkel traces the rise of the Bismarck squad, and follows them through their ups and downs, focusing on the 1935 season, and the first National Semi-Pro Tournament in Wichita, Kansas. This is an entertaining, must-read book for anyone interested in the history of baseball.” (Perseus Publishing)

Heart of a Tiger: growing up with my grandfather, Ty Cobb by Herschel Cobb. “The previously untold legacy of Ty Cobb Ty Cobb is a baseball immortal, considered by many the greatest player who ever lived. In an age when the game was young and tough, he cultivated a reputation as the fiercest competitor of them all. Yet after he retired, he realized that the very qualities that helped him reach the pinnacle of his profession also undermined his relationship with his own children. He was deeply depressed when two of his sons died at a very young age. Cobb never had the chance to bridge the emotional distance between them. Herschel Cobb grew up in a chaotic, destructive household. His father was cruel and abusive, and his mother was an adulterous alcoholic. After his father died, when Herschel was eight, he began to spend a portion of each summer with his grandfather. Along with his sister and brother, Herschel visited Ty Cobb at his home in Atherton, California, or at his cabin at Lake Tahoe. These days were filled with adventures, memorable incidents, and discoveries as “Granddaddy” warmed to having his “three redheads” with him. Heart of a Tiger is Herschel Cobb’s moving account of how a retired sports star seized a second chance at having a close family, with his grandchildren the lucky recipients of his change of heart. He provided wisdom, laughter, and a consistent affection that left an indelible mark. He proved the enormous power of a grandparent to provide stability, love, and guidance. As he developed this new, wholly different legacy, in turn he would finally come to peace with himself.” (Perseus Publishing)

Mr. Wrigley’s Ball Club: Chicago & the Cubs during the jazz ageby Roberts Ehrgott. “Chicago in the Roaring Twenties was a city of immigrants, mobsters, and flappers with one shared passion: the Chicago Cubs. It all began with the decision of the chewing-gum tycoon William Wrigley to build the world’s greatest ball club in the nation’s Second City. In this Jazz Age center, the maverick Wrigley exploited the revolutionary technology of broadcasting and attracted eager throngs of women to his renovated ballpark.

Mr. Wrigley’s Ball Club transports us to this heady era of baseball history and introduces the team at its crazy heart—an amalgam of rakes, pranksters, schemers, and choirboys who take center stage in memorable successes and disasters. Readers take front-row seats to meet one Hall of Famer after another—Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Joe McCarthy, Lewis “Hack” Wilson, Gabby Hartnett. The cast of characters also includes their colorful if less-sung teammates and the Cubs’ nemesis, Babe Ruth, who terminates the ambitions of Mr. Wrigley’s ball club with one emphatic swing.” (Univ of Nebraska Press)

The Victory Season: the end of World War II and the birth of baseball’s golden ageby Robert Weintraub. “In 1945 Major League Baseball had become a ghost of itself. Parks were half empty, the balls were made with fake rubber, and mediocre replacements roamed the fields, as hundreds of players, including the game’s biggest stars, were serving abroad, devoted to unconditional Allied victory in World War II.

But by the spring of 1946, the country was ready to heal. The war was finally over, and as America’s fathers and brothers were coming home, so too were the sport’s greats. Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio returned with bats blazing, making the season a true classic that ended in a thrilling seven-game World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. America also witnessed the beginning of a new era in baseball-it was a year of attendance records, the first year Yankee Stadium held night games, the last year the Green Monster wasn’t green, and, most significant, Jackie Robinson’s first year playing in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ system.

The Victory Season brings to vivid life these years of baseball and war, including the littleknown “World Series” that servicemen played in a captured Hitler Youth stadium in the fall of 1945. Robert Weintraub’s extensive research and vibrant storytelling enliven the legendary season that embodies what we now think of as the game’s golden era.” (Grand Central Pub)

Editor

Tribute to Gabriel García Márquez

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Blackstone Audio posted this tribute to Gabriel García Márquez, who passed away Thursday, April 17:

“Gabriel García Márquez, renowned Colombian writer, passed away Thursday in his home in Mexico City at the age of 87. Long considered to be one of the world’s greatest living authors, the loss of his presence as a literary voice and cultural commentator will be greatly felt.

While most well known for modern classics, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera , García Márquez’s work as an author, journalist, and pioneer of the Latin American boom included a large number of novels and short stories. He has been called the most influential Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes of Don Quixote fame, and is widely credited with helping to develop the literary genre of magical realism. 

Known affectionately as “Gabo” by his many fans, García Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia in 1927 — the town which later became the setting for his 1967 hit, One Hundred Years of Solitude . The same title catapulted him to literary stardom upon its publication, earning international acclaim and millions of readers. He followed up with the also critically acclaimed Love in the Time of Cholera in 1985, after winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. His other works include The Autumn of the Patriarch, No One Writes to the Colonel, Love in the Time of Cholera, Living to Tell the Tale, and Memories of My Melancholy Whores, in addition to numerous projects in screenwriting, editing, and journalism. Many of his writings were also adapted for TV and feature films.”

One Hundred Years of Solitude was an Oprah’s Book Club pick in 2004 and Love in the Time of Cholera  in 2007.

Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog.

Editor

Top Genre Fiction You May Have Missed

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews.

This modern spy novel pits two covert operatives against each other in an intricate cat-and-mouse game. As Dominika and Nathaniel ply their tradecraft, they navigate the moral ambiguities of a post–Cold War world, where no one is as they seem and betrayal is business as usual.

 

Read-alikes: Alan Furst’s Night Soldiers, John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and Charlie Huston’s Skinner.

The Outcasts by Kathleen Kent.

Love, morality and greed collide in this Reconstruction-era western. A whore without a heart of gold, Lucinda escapes from a Fort Worth brothel to begin a new life—and a new con. She and her lover are bound to cross paths with Texas Ranger Nate, who is chasing stone-cold killer McGill. Both Nate and Lucinda are unforgettable characters, driven by the need to survive.

Read-alikes: Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, Charles Portis’ True Grit, and 3:10 from Yuma (film, Lionsgate, 2007)

Last Days by Adam Nevill.

Deep in debt, documentary filmmaker Kyle Freeman reluctantly accepts the financial backing of an enigmatic self-help guru to make a movie about infamous cult the Temple of the Last Days. Unique, atmospheric, and deeply disturbing, Nevill’s novel delivers a visceral horror experience that will haunt readers long after they put the book down.

Read-alikes: Ramsey Campbell’s The Grin of the Dark, Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, and Paranormal Activity (film, Paramount Pictures, 2009)

Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell.

London, 1854: The Artist of Death ritualistically re-creates the sensational Ratcliffe murders inspired by the writings of the notorious opium addict Thomas De Quincey. In this fast-paced mystery, filled with colorful characters and authentic period detail, Scotland Yard detectives, along with De Quincey and his daughter, must find the Artist of Death before he executes another macabre masterpiece.

Read-alikes: Stephen Gallagher’s The Bedlam Detective, P. D. James and T. A. Critchley’s The Maul and the Pear Tree: The Ratcliffe Highway Murders, 1811, and Alan Moore’s From Hell.

Me before You by Jojo Moyes.

Unemployed 26-year-old Louisa takes the only job she can find: as a “care assistant” to 35-year-old quadriplegic Will. When Louisa discovers the depth of Will’s unhappiness, she embarks on a mission to convince him that life is worth living and, in the process, begins to think about her own future. This bittersweet, quirky novel recounts an unlikely friendship while grappling with complex issues in a realistic and sensitive manner.

Read-alikes: Jonathan Evison’s The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, Elizabeth Berg’s Talk before Sleep, and Michelle Wildgen’s You’re Not You.

Editor

The Confidence Code on The View

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Today, April 14, on the View: Claire Shipman, co-author of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance–What Women Should Know (Find this book in our catalog). She will also appear on Good Morning America.

Here’s what it says in our catalog: “Confidence. We want it. We need it. But it can be maddeningly enigmatic and out of reach. The authors of the New York Times bestseller Womenomics deconstruct this essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality and offer a blueprint for bringing more of it into our lives.

Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few—or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?

In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world’s leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.

Ultimately, they argue, while confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That’s the good news. You won’t discover it by thinking positive thoughts or by telling yourself (or your children) that you are perfect as you are. You also won’t find it by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it. But it does require a choice: less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.

Inspiring, insightful, and persuasive, The Confidence Code shows that by acting on our best instincts and by daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of a life on confidence.” (HarperCollins)

Editor

Historical Fiction for Book Clubs

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog.

The Shadow Queen: A Novel By Sandra Gulland

“From the author of the beloved Josephine B. series, comes a spellbinding historical novel about a young woman who rises to become the confidante to the most powerful, provocative, and dangerous woman in the 17th-century French Court: the mistress of the charismatic Sun King.”

 

Click for a Discussion Guide.

The Lost Sisterhood: A Novel by Anne Fortier

“From the author of bestseller Juliet comes a mesmerizing novel about a young scholar who risks her reputation—and her life—on a thrilling journey to prove that the legendary warrior women known as the Amazons actually existed.

Oxford lecturer Diana Morgan is an expert on Greek mythology. Her obsession with the Amazons started in childhood when her eccentric grandmother claimed to be one herself—before vanishing without a trace. Diana’s colleagues shake their heads at her Amazon fixation. But then a mysterious, well-financed foundation makes Diana an offer she cannot refuse. 

Traveling to North Africa, Diana teams up with Nick Barran, an enigmatic Middle Eastern guide, and begins deciphering an unusual inscription on the wall of a recently unearthed temple. There she discovers the name of the first Amazon queen, Myrina, who crossed the Mediterranean in a heroic attempt to liberate her kidnapped sisters from Greek pirates, only to become embroiled in the most famous conflict of the ancient world—the Trojan War. Taking their cue from the inscription, Diana and Nick set out to find the fabled treasure that Myrina and her Amazon sisters salvaged from the embattled city of Troy so long ago. Diana doesn’t know the nature of the treasure, but she does know that someone is shadowing her, and that Nick has a sinister agenda of his own. With danger lurking at every turn, and unsure of whom to trust, Diana finds herself on a daring and dangerous quest for truth that will forever change her world. 

Sweeping from England to North Africa to Greece and the ruins of ancient Troy, and navigating between present and past, The Lost Sisterhood is a breathtaking, passionate adventure of two women on parallel journeys, separated by time, who must fight to keep the lives and legacy of the Amazons from being lost forever.” (Random House)

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Editor

Reading Group Suggestions – Quirky Titles

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. 

“The boldly imagined story of an impoverished boy’s journey to corporate tycoon. Named a Best or Notable Book of 2013 by The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Vogue, The Observer (London), The Sunday Times (London), Financial Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, Kansas City Star, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Book Page, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews.”

“His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the world’s pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation – and exceeds it. The astonishing and riveting tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over “rising Asia.” It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and re-crossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.” (Penguin Putnam) 

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.

“From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club comes the story of an American family—ordinary in every way—who raises a chimpanzee.”

“Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.” (Baker & Taylor)

“I thought this was a gripping, big-hearted book . . . through the tender voice of her protagonist, Fowler has a lot to say about family, memory, language, science, and indeed the question of what constitutes a human being.” (Khaled Hosseini)

No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Anne-Marie Casey.

“Forced to give up her posh life and move to a tiny Manhattan apartment when her husband loses his job, Lucy unexpectedly falls in love with her new home and forges close friendships with three women who are also struggling with the disparities between the ambitions of their youth and middle age.”

 

Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog for more details. Editor

Lacrosse in the Media

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Tomorrow morning, Wednesday April 9, Morning Joe will feature William D. Cohan, author of The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities (Find this book in our catalog).

What it says in our catalog: “Bestselling author William D. Cohan, whose reporting and writing have been hailed as “gripping” (the New York Times), “authoritative” (the Washington Post), and “seductively engrossing” (Chicago Tribune), presents a stunning new account of the Duke lacrosse team scandal that reveals the pressures faced by America’s elite colleges and universities and pulls back the curtain, in a riveting narrative, on the larger issues of sexual misconduct, underage drinking, and bad-boy behavior—all too prevalent on campuses across the country.

Despite being front-page news nationwide, the true story of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team rape case has never been told in its entirety and is more complex than all the reportage to date would indicate. The Price of Silence is the definitive, magisterial account of what happens when the most combustible forces in American culture— unbridled ambition, intellectual elitism, athletic prowess, aggressive sexual behavior, racial bias, and absolute prosecutorial authority—collide and then explode on a powerful university campus, in the justice system, and in the media.

What transpired at Duke followed upon the university’s unprecedented and determined effort to compete directly with the Ivy League for the best students and with its Division I rivals for supremacy in selected sports—most famously men’s basketball, where Duke has become a perennial powerhouse and the winner of four national championships. As Cohan brilliantly shows, the pursuit of excellence in such diverse realms put extraordinary strains on the campus culture and—warned some longtime Duke observers—warped the university’s academic ethos. Duke became known for its “work hard, play hard” dynamic, and specifically for its wild off-campus parties, where it seemed almost anything could happen—and often did.

Cohan’s reconstruction of the scandal’s events—the night in question, the local police investigation, Duke’s actions, the lacrosse players’ defense tactics, the furious campus politics—is meticulous and complete. Readers who think they know the story are in for more than one surprise, for at the heart of it are individuals whose lives were changed forever. As the scandal developed, different actors fought to control the narrative. At stake were not just the futures of the accused players, the reputation of the woman claiming she was raped, and the career of the local prosecutor, but also the venerable and carefully nurtured name of Duke University itself—the Duke brand, exceedingly valuable when competing for elite students, world-class athletes, talented professors, and the financial support of its nationally prominent, deep-pocketed alumni. The battle for power involved the Duke administration, led by its president, Richard Brodhead, a blazing academic star hired away from Yale; the Duke board of trustees, which included several titans of Wall Street; the faculty, comprising a number of outspoken critics of the lacrosse players; the athletes’ parents, many of whom were well connected in Washington and New York and able—and willing—to hire expensive counsel to defend their sons; and, ultimately, the justice system of North Carolina, which took over the controversial case and rendered its judgment.

The price of resolving the scandal proved extraordinarily high, both in terms of unexpected human suffering and the stratospheric costs of settling legal claims. The Price of Silence is a story unlike any other, yet sheds light on what is really happening on campuses around the country as colleges and universities compete urgently with one another, and confirms William Cohan’s preeminent reputation as one of the most lively and insightful journalists working today.” (Simon and Schuster)

Editor

Recent Top Women’s Fiction

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Booklist of March 15, 2014 showcased the top 10 women’s fiction from the last 12 months (reviewed in Booklist between March 15, 2013, and March 1, 2014). Click on a highlighted title to go straight to our catalog.

The Apple Orchard. By Susan Wiggs.

“Art specialist Tess has a successful professional life but is lacking in the family department. When she’s named heir to one-half of an estate and discovers the other half goes to the sister she never knew she had, her life gets turned upside-down.”

 

The Bookstore. By Deborah Meyler.

“Between studying art history at Columbia University on a prestigious scholarship and a two-week fling with a magnetic, wealthy man, 23-year-old Esme Garland from England is happily settling into life in Manhattan when she discovers she’s pregnant. This character-driven novel is witty and poetic.”

 

A Fall of Marigolds. By Susan Meissner.

“The heartbreaks of two women, separated by decades, come together in the history of a scarf that holds special meaning to each woman. Christian fiction author Meissner’s first mainstream women’s fiction novel hits all of the right emotional notes without overdoing the two tragedies.”

 

Golden State. By Michelle Richmond.

“Estranged sisters Julie and Heather are brought together as Heather goes into labor and Julie, a doctor, rushes to her side to assist. But the sisters are separated by forces beyond their control, as their city, San Francisco, is in chaos, shut down by political protests. Perfect for fans of issue-driven women’s fiction.”

 

Ladies’ Night. By Mary Kay Andrews.

“Grace, an interior-design blogger, discovers her husband is cheating on her. She begins therapy with a group of other “marital misfits,” and the women soon start meeting at Grace’s mother’s bar, where they plot revenge but eventually learn to move on.”

 

Sweet Salt Air. By Barbara Delinsky.

“Two girlhood friends who’ve been estranged for the past 10 years reunite to collaborate on a cookbook, both of them harboring secrets. Never fear; Delinsky knows when a happy ending is in order.”

 

Time Flies. By Claire Cook.

“In this delightful beach read, two best friends reunite for their high-school reunion and overcome their fears. The banter is a lot of fun, and the characters’ realization of what is important is certain to make readers yearn for reconnections of their own.”

 

Who Asked You?By Terry McMillan.

“Told from the perspectives of several of the characters, this novel offers an array of personalities and everyday life challenges within a story of close friends, family, and neighbors as they grow and change over many years.”

 

The Whole Golden World. By Kristina Riggle.

“Dinah’s world is about to fall apart—her teenage daughter has been caught half-naked in her teacher’s car. Rain, the teacher’s wife, is watching her life fall apart instead of rejoicing in the news that she’s finally pregnant. Fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this story.”

 

Annotations Booklist March 15, 2014 – editor

Cannibals and Colonialism

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Savage Harvest: a tale of cannibals, colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s tragic quest for primitive art by Carl Hoffman has been getting a lot of media exposure.  It looks both fascinating and horrifying, and should appeal to fans of armchair travel,  true-life mysteries and stories of America’s financial aristocracy. (Find this book in our catalog).

“The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story.

Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he’d been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the story, and Michael’s death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told—until now.

Retracing Rockefeller’s steps, award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he uncovered never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak publically after fifty years.

In Savage Harvest he finally solves this decades-old mystery and illuminates a culture transformed by years of colonial rule, whose people continue to be shaped by ancient customs and lore. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit, and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America’s richest and most powerful scions.” (HarperCollins)

Editor

True Crime – “a brazen serial imposter”

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Blood Will Out: the true story of a murder, a mystery, and a masquerade by Walter Kirn (Find in our catalog).

“In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn–then a young novelist struggling with fatherhood and a dissolving marriage–set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from an animal shelter in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who, one day, would be shockingly unmasked as a brazen serial impostor and brutal double-murderer.”

“In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer. Kirn’s one-of-a-kind story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovers the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronts hard truths about himself. Why, as a writer of fiction, was he susceptible to the deception of a sinister fantasist whose crimes, Kirn learns, were based on books and movies? What are the hidden psychological links between the artist and the con man? To answer these and other questions, Kirn attends his old friend’s murder trial and uses it as an occasion to reflect on both their tangled personal relationship and the surprising literary sources of Rockefeller’s evil. This investigation of the past climaxes in a tense jailhouse reunion with a man whom Kirn realizes he barely knew—a predatory, sophisticated genius whose life, in some respects, parallels his own and who may have intended to take another victim during his years as a fugitive from justice: Kirn himself. Combining confessional memoir, true crime reporting, and cultural speculation, Blood Will Out is a Dreiser-esque tale of self-invention, upward mobility, and intellectual arrogance. It exposes the layers of longing and corruption, ambition and self-delusion beneath the Great American con.” – (WW Norton)

Editor