Today in books and publishing: A possible sighting of the new Dave Eggers novel, to mark the release of his 63rd book, Vulture ranks the work of Stephen King, and Christopher Hitchens came up empty at this year's Orwell prize.
There's chatter -- thanks to the image on the back of a Dutch publisher's catalogue -- that a new Dave Eggers novel may be on the way. The title, poorly-translated from Dutch to English is A Hologram for the King. At The Millions, C. Max Magee already ran the book description through Google Translate, which reveals the text will "follow an American in Saudi Arabia where he tries to sell holographic technology to King Abdullah." So far, nobody at McSweeney's has responded to confirm of deny the accuracy of the stray Dutch text. [The Millions]
Ooh, this is fun: a comprehensive ranking (in slideshow format) of Stephen King's best 62 books, in order of preference. We think about this question at least several times a week, but right now, our top five in descending order is: The Shining, The Dead Zone, Duma Key, The Eyes of the Dragon, and Christine. (We decided to be sporting and not include short story collections or On Writing, because that would win every time.) At Vulture, Gilbert Cruz operated without any such handicaps, but still managed to overrate IT (No. 3) and Lisey's Story (No. 10), while underrating Gerald's Game (No. 54) and Needful Things (No. 48). The Tommyknockers (No. 61) and Under the Dome (No. 12) were both properly slated. Since Cruz included King's short story collections, we feel we're entitled to offer up what our own list of King's ten best short works would look like. ranking King short stories, the op-10 would be:
10. "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away"
9. "Graduation Afternoon"
8. "Survivor Type"
7. "The Man in the Black Suit"
6. "Grey Matter"
5. "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe"
3. "The Ten O'Clock People"
2. "Quitters, Inc."
1. "The Last Rung on the Ladder"
In a mild upset, Christopher Hitchens was not posthumously awarded the Orwell prize for his final essay collection, Arguably. The Orwell prize is given every year to a title that comes closest to living up to Orwell's declaration that authors should "make political writing into an art." Hitchens was one of 18 authors on the long-list for the award, but judges ultimately chose to short-list only six titles: The Beautiful and the Damned by Siddhartha Deb, The Opium War by Julia Lovell, Dead Men Risen by Toby Harnden, Unfair Trade by Conor Woodman, Dark Market by Misha Glenny, and Hood Rat by Gavin Knight. The winner will be announced May 23. [The Guardian]
Here we go again: Germany is once again poised to print copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf. Nobody has been allowed to print copies since 1945, the end of World War II, when the copyright reverted to the Bavarian Finance Ministry, which has kept the text under wraps for nearly seven decades. Bavaria's decision to publish now might have something to do with the fact the 1945 copyright expires in 2015, meaning anyone can do whatever they want to the book once it's in the public domain. And Germans are finally going to have unfettered access to the book, Bavaria is going to make sure nobody wanders in blindly. The book will be published in 2015 before the copyright expires and contain "commentaries on the text debunking Hitler's argument" in the hope readers "will not be seduced by the Nazi leader's propaganda," reports Der Spiegel. [Page Views]