Matt Rees's Blog – December 2010 Archive (9)

Into costume: My book promo Pt. 1

My new book MOZART’S LAST ARIA will be out in the UK in May. Naturally this means a revamp for my website (coming soon) and a new promo video (coming about the same time) to be posted to Youtube. You know, all the stuff writers actually get into the business of writing in order to do. That, and cashing the massive cheques, of course. Oh, and the groupies who throw their panties at you at book-store readings. And the drugs.
Anyhow, that’s enough digression, even for a blog post.…

Added by Matt Rees on December 30, 2010 at 8:02pm — 3 Comments

Bethlehem upbeat for Christmas

For the first time in years, the people of Bethlehem have something more to celebrate at Christmas than the recollection of an important birth in their town 2,000 years ago.
After the city’s economy was devastated by the Palestinian intifada over the last decade, Bethlehem’s economic recovery has picked up pace in the last year with gross domestic product rising by 9 percent. This Christmas the city’s streets are packed with tourists and pilgrims, and if the holy family were to…

Added by Matt Rees on December 25, 2010 at 7:44pm — No Comments

Review: N.Ireland's new violence in Stuart Neville's thriller sequel

Our understanding of distant places is so often based purely on their politics – particularly if they have some perceived impact on our own. Journalists tend to focus on that politics, because they can interview leaders and quote ordinary people talking about what those leaders are doing. Let’s say that journalism’s problem is that its aim for objectivity guides it toward the…

Added by Matt Rees on December 24, 2010 at 9:26pm — No Comments

Extreme weather boosts creativity

Samuel Johnson wrote that “When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.” The good doctor wrote that in 1758, long before the conversation of Englishmen was informed by the hyperbolic outrage of London’s present tabloids. Just lately it seems he might amend his phrasing to “their only talk.”
The British are in a weather frenzy. Snow has shut down Heathrow Airport essentially for five days. Other airports are stuttering, trains are barely operating, roads…

Added by Matt Rees on December 23, 2010 at 10:06pm — 1 Comment

'Go **** yourself," and plotting a novel

Raymond Chandler once described an activity (not important what) as being “as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.” I have happened upon a dark corporate art still more wasteful and, being a writer, I see how it’s related to the plotting of a novel.

I’ve had a couple of mild run-ins with corporate complaints departments of…


Added by Matt Rees on December 17, 2010 at 1:30am — 2 Comments

Review: the new oil curse

Seizing Power: The Grab for Global Oil Wealth by Robert Slater (Bloomberg Press, $29.95)

Just when Goldman Sachs had you convinced that Wall Street would be the instrument of global doom, this excellent primer on the future of oil arrives to demonstrate that the specter of diminishing crude reserves could be just as lethal. And not just to the world…


Added by Matt Rees on December 16, 2010 at 3:40am — No Comments

New West Bank road to peace?

ST. GEORGE’S MONASTERY, West Bank — Gathered in the chapel of this outpost in the Judean Desert last week, the Orthodox priests chanted “Lord, have mercy” in Greek, in a service of blessing for a new road that makes the venerable building accessible to the growing number of tourists willing to dare a visit to the troubled Holy Land.

As far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned, the priests may as well have been speaking, well, Greek. Because the road was built by Israel over land the…


Added by Matt Rees on December 14, 2010 at 2:15am — No Comments

Ikea and the Crime Writer

There are many theories as to why Scandinavian crime writers prosper in the bestseller lists. But I know why it is. Ikea.

I just bought a new set of Ikea shelves for my office. I’ll get into exactly how that has altered the configuration of my workspace, but at this point let me just note that it makes my writing room seem a thousand times more orderly, less cluttered. As any feng shui expert would tell you, a disorganized room will yield fractured thoughts and…

Added by Matt Rees on December 9, 2010 at 7:06pm — 2 Comments

Wikileaks: The Butler Did It

If I wrote a crime novel filled with the kind of twaddle that passes for breathtaking revelation in this week’s blanket Wikileaks coverage, it’d be panned.

Surprise, surprise. The Saudis want America to do a number on Iran, without taking responsibility for it themselves (and meanwhile Saudis are the big funders of al-Qaeda). Sarkozy shouts at his staff. Ghaddafi probably has sex with his blonde “nurse.” Diplomats sometimes say nice things in public about an…

Added by Matt Rees on December 2, 2010 at 4:39pm — No Comments

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