Joe Murphy on Richard McCann
Hope all is well during this quickly-warming summer. I've been keeping cool in the evenings by re-watching the brilliant Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy miniseries with Alec Guinness in (for me) his greatest role as George Smiley. I think it may be the single most faithful adapation of a literary work I've ever seen, down to almost the last details. It's a fascinating story of a hunt for a Kim Philby-style mole at the highest levels of British intelligence. Smiley's quest to find the mole is fraught with betrayals both personal and professional, and John Le Carré's seamless vision of the secret world transfers perfectly to the screen, thanks to pitch-perfect performances by Guinness, Ian Richardson, and a host of other great British actors. The plot veers from the Byzantine to the merely labyrinthine, yet it all hangs together beautifully and handsomely rewards close attention. It's truly indispensible viewing.
And as for summer reading: Our Random Summer buy-two-get-one-free sale is now well underway at all our stores. All paperbacks from Vintage, Anchor, and Broadway qualify for this sale, and it's an amazingly impressive list they have, truly an embarassment of riches of the best contemporary and classic authors and works.
Just to mention a recent favorite, newly available in paperback from Vintage: Richard McCann's Mother of Sorrows, a heartbreaking evocation of postwar surburban life (local suburban life as it happens; McCann is a native of the DC region and teaches at American University). The narrator's accounts of his beloved, highly unpredictable mother and his reckless, doomed brother, as well as many friends, lovers, and aquaintances, make for highly personal, powerfully affecting reading. It's a really unique work, and well worth checking out, especially as part of our current sale. (Richard McCann will be reading from Mother of Sorrows on Thursday July 13, 7pm at our Dupont Circle store.)
Drop in soon and plunder our tables! There's plenty of treasure to be found (and very little hunting required)!
See you in the stores,
Head Book Buyer