Coming Next Week; THE PALE KING

The Pale King, the novel that the late David Foster Wallace left unfinished at the time of his 2008 suicide, has an April 15th pub date (not coincidentally, it is set in an Internal Revenue Service processing center). But as we’ve covered, Amazon and have been selling it since its March 22 release date, infuriating indies who had not received it. Libraries are in the same position, with copies still on order and mounting holds.

Meanwhile, major reviewers have also jumped the pub date, from Time‘s Lev Grossman to the New York Times‘ Michiko Kakutani, as well as Sam Anderson in the New York Times magazine and reviewers at GQ and Esquire.)

The critical verdict? Some of it is great, some of it isn’t, but it’s definitely worth a read, and that’s saying a lot for a novel that’s about boredom.

The Pale King
David Foster Wallace
Retail Price: $27.99
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company – (2011-04-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0316074233 / 9780316074230
  • Large print from Little, Brown: $29.99; ISBN 9780316177931
  • Compact Disc from Hachette Audio: $34.98; ISBN 9781609419752
  • Playaway: $109.99; ISBN 9781611138818

More Notable Fiction

Midnight and the Meaning of Love by Sister Souljah (Atria Books) is the latest from the author of the street lit classic The Coldest Winter Ever, about Midnight, a young African American fighter and devout Muslim.

One Was A Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur). tThe followup to her debut In the Bleak Midwinter, sparked enthusiastic responses from librarians in our March GalleyChat. Writing about the bonanza of mysteries coming this April on her blog, Lesa’s Critiques, GalleyChatter Lesa Holstine said:

Is there any April mystery release that has been awaited longer than Julia Spencer-Fleming’s One Was a Soldier? Fans of the series have been waiting to see what happens with police chief Russ Van Alstyne and Episcopalian priest Clare Fergusson. Now, Clare has returned from her tour of duty in Iraq. . . with problems that Russ doesn’t know about, and he’s impatient to marry.

Usual Suspects

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts (Putnam) is a standalone from the bestselling author that celebrates the smokejumpers of Missoula, Montana. Booklist calls it “a riveting, five alarm tale of romantic suspense.”

Save Me by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s) is a standalone about a mother’s split-second decision about which child to save in a lunchroom explosion, and its consequences. Kirkus says Scottoline “shifts gears at every curve with the cool efficiency of a NASCAR driver [and] expertly fuels her target audience’s dearest fantasty: “every mom is an action hero.”


The Long Goodbye: A Memoir by Meghan O’Rourke (Riverhead) is based on the nine-part series by the Slate writer, about nursing her mother through her death from cancer, and her grief in the aftermath. O magazine made it one of “18 picks for April.”

The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Livesby Katie Couric (Random House) may not be an utter shoe-in for longevity on the bestseller list, but it will probably be helped by the will-she-won’t-she quit-as-news-anchor headlines that are currently surrounding Couric.


The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown). You can be forgiven if you thought this was already published. This guide to the books was first announced back in 2008, but ended up being delayed. To add to the confusion, there are also the three Twilight Saga Official Illustrated Movie Companions by Mark Cotta Vaz. The movie version of Breaking Dawn, Part 1, is coming in this November, followed by part 2 next year (and, as night follows day, there will surely be accompanying movie companions for each).

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