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Friday, September 12, 2008

The One Book Left Behind

posted by on September 12 at 11:39 AM


Something like 25 books found new homes at last night’s Slog Happy, and hopefully we’ll be running commenter reviews of those books very soon. Unfortunately, there was one book that nobody wanted to read. Sitting on the bench at 9:20, all alone amidst the empty beer bottles and melted ice, was Babylon Rolling, by Amanda Boyden. It’s a novel about people in New Orleans.

Here’s what Toronto’s Globe and Mail had to say about Babylon Rolling:

“Few contemporary novels are, at their root, as compelling about the relationship between a city and the people who live there. Boyden’s Babylon Rolling is a love letter, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes beautiful, between New Orleans and five people who live on one of its streets.”

I know that Sherman Alexie loved the book, too. He was walking around Book Expo America this year with an armload of advance copies, handing them out to everyone with a gushing recommendation.

So why didn’t anyone take home the free copy of Babylon Rolling? Speaking for myself, I’ve got kind of a bad case of New Orleans fatigue in my fiction. I’ve read so many bad books and seen so many bad movies about New Orleans since Katrina that I’m naturally fearful of any new ones. (I can’t read enough non-fiction about New Orleans, though. The newest issue of the Oxford American is all about New Orleans and it’s amazing.) I shall consign Babylon Rolling to the Island of Misfit Books, where it will play with remaindered Anne Geddes books and Atkins Diet Carb Counters.

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The cover is yucky! Put it in a book jacket and see what happens - just as a test.

Posted by Cat in Chicago | September 12, 2008 11:46 AM

I've got McCain fatigue. Can we send him to the isle of misfit politicians?

Posted by Chris from N.O. | September 12, 2008 11:51 AM

You should read Ned Sublette's The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver To Congo Square. Fucking genius. Is there a more complex story in history than slavery? Did you know slaves in the Spanish zone could and did own slaves themselves?

Posted by Fnarf | September 12, 2008 11:51 AM

Oh my god, the new Oxford American is out? Paul, you just made my shitty, shitty day.

Posted by Sweeney Agonistes | September 12, 2008 12:14 PM

Exactly. The cover.

Posted by Carollani | September 12, 2008 12:18 PM

You know, I tried to drum up the energy to say I'd take it but I just can't. I'm sorry poor little book, but maybe someday Santa will come and rescue you from the Island of Misfit Books and deliver you to someone who will love and appreciate you.

Posted by PopTart | September 12, 2008 1:06 PM

If you want to mail it to me, I will give it a good home:

Kristin Bell
PO Box 822735
Vancouver, WA 98682

If you want, I could write a review too! Let me know! :) I heart books! :)

Posted by Kristin Bell | September 14, 2008 7:36 AM

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