Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Chris, you have two Balls!, right… one hard and one soft? Is the first still missing? I ask because I'm curious whether that's Buffalo depicted on the spine and back of the dust jacket.

Maybe it's Dallas. Isn't that Patrick Duffy? And Victoria Principal?

Wherever it is, it's not nearly as lovely as Ottawa in January. Flowers bloom on Parliament Hill.

That Buffalo News blurb is a bit of a spoiler. Anyway, they liked the book - but can you really trust a newspaper that can't recall when it suffered its worst winter?

The blurb pulled from the "Toronto Globe and Mail [sic]" intrigues, if only because its reviewers weren't at all kind to Rohmer's previous novels. After a little digging I found that the words come - kinda - from a 15 September 1979 piece by H.J. Kirchhoff:
To say, then, that Rohmer characters are incredible - however true - is beside the point. Nor does it matter that his dialogue is wooden and his plots are silly. He simply skips all the literary folderol, the trappings of good books that don't sell, and gets right to the point: hey, people! This could happen, right now, and to you.

He really does know what he writes about - in this case energy, and how our dependence on it could backfire catastrophically - and he has a bit of an axe to grind. 
While on the subject of axe grinding, I came across this when hunting down the source: Rohmer sued Southam Inc., Larry Zolf, Robert McConnell, Mark Harrison, Geoff Stevenson and Joan Fraser for libel over Zolf's Gazette review of Balls! 

Don't know whether he was successful, but it's something to keep in mind.

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