Friday, October 13, 2006

The Weird, Wonderful World of...

MTAnderson, originally uploaded by ubs_blogger.

The following reaction to the National Book Award nominations was written by Betsy, one of the professional booksellers in our Children's department.

We here in the Children’s Department harbor lots of literary crushes. I sometimes feel like an ice cream shop in that I have a different crush for every day of the month. But a mainstay through it all is M. T. Anderson.

Oh, M. T. Anderson.

He can pick any genre, any topic, and write an exemplary yet oh-so-singular book within it. Like Feed: no one can do self-absorbed, computer and culture-addicted teen satire so well.

Or M. T. Anderson’s Thrilling Tales, Whales on Stilts and The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen: he invents teen sleuths only to have their washed up selves star in the campiest, wackiest mysteries imaginable. Pretty impressive for a writer who is actually “seven monkeys, six typewriters, and a Speak & Spell.”

And not to forget about his picture books! He fills a hole we never knew was there with Strange Mr. Satie, a biography of Erik Satie, the experimental composer (illustrated by local illustrator Petra Mathers, by the way).

Ooh, and of course his newest, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, for which he deservedly just got nominated for the National Book Award. I liked going into the story not knowing a thing about it, so will pass on the ignorance to you. Know only that it’s great and heart-wrenching and…so many things that it will make you crush on M.T.’s writing—for the first time or all over again.

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