Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is Matthew Gallaway reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Matthew Gallaway, author of The Metropolis Case.

His entry begins:
I just finished (for the second time, because it's a favorite of mine) the first volume of The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil. Written in the 1930s, the novel takes a somewhat satirical look at Vienna in the years leading up to the first world war, when a committee is assembled under the leadership of striving aristocratic idealist (the wife of a mid-level diplomat) to celebrate the 75th year in power of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. As you might expect from the title, there's a detached, frank quality to the prose and observations that generally makes it feel as much like a philosophical treatise as a literary drama (I mean this in a good way); it's less likely that you will be "swept away" by the unfolding story here and more likely that you will find moments of enlightenment and beauty in Musil's discussion of his characters' psychologies and their relation to the society in which they live, particularly in his understated but often-breathtaking use of simple but poetic metaphor, e.g., "irrationalism...haunts our era like a night bird lost in the dawn." I...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Metropolis Case:
"It’s to the credit of Matthew Gallaway’s enchanting, often funny first novel that it doesn’t require a corresponding degree of obsession from readers, but may leave them similarly transported: the book is so well written — there’s hardly a lazy sentence here — and filled with such memorable lead and supporting players that it quickly absorbs you into its worlds.... The relationship between art and life is a hoary theme, yet Mr. Gallaway breathes new life into it. And at a time when some of the old antagonism between fine arts and popular culture has melted away, this fresh rendering of a familiar motif could just as easily speak to an electronica D.J. or a hip-hopper. It makes you wonder what Mr. Gallaway, who manages to inhabit so many different worlds, real and otherwise, convincingly in fewer than 400 pages, will pull off next."
Scott Timberg, New York Times

"The Metropolis Case is a terrifically engaging and elegantly panoramic novel that is sure to appeal to fans of majestic fiction such as Kostova's The Historian."
—Katharine Weber, author of True Confections and Triangle

“Even for a reader unacquainted with opera, The Metropolis Case enthralls. Theatrical history, training at Julliard, opening night at the Metropolitan—this is an engaging and unusual subject matter. The Metropolis Case is an intriguing debut from a fresh, unique voice.”
Read an excerpt from The Metropolis Case, and learn more about the book and author at Matthew Gallaway's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Metropolis Case.

My Book, The Movie: The Metropolis Case.

Writers Read: Matthew Gallaway.

--Marshal Zeringue