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Lean on Pete is half the length of Freedom but twice the novel…Should we be wringing our hands for Roth and DeLillo? Could anyone seriously claim that Freedom is better or even within a mile of Underworld? Hardly.” Battersby on why Franzen is the perfect illustration of the triumph of hype over literary merit. * Don DeLillo: “Novels will become user-generated. An individual will design his own novel, with him as main character.” (via @ballardian) * “He’d lost his magic.” First sentences from the novels of Philip Roth. * The American Psycho idea, Ben Myers on the serious novel as musical. * 10 L.A. literary hotspots. * W.G. Sebald, writing in pictures. * Paul Collins on on Barbara Newhall Follett, much-lauded child author who disappeared without a trace in 1939. * Flann O’Brien‘s Sexton Blake stories. * Jon Savage takes a tour through Captain Beefheart’s back catalogue. * 12 most unintentionally disturbing Xmas ads. * Space-age Xmas 1973. * 10 alternative Xmas tales. * Xmas cameos in literary fiction. * George Orwell‘s recipe for Xmas pudding. * Flann O’Brien‘s guide to recognising Xmas bores (via @slovobooks) * Merry Xmas everyone!

First posted: Saturday, December 25th, 2010.

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