Monday, September 26, 2011

What is Jason Webster reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Jason Webster, author of Or the Bull Kills You.

His entry begins:
I’m attending the Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland at the end of September and have been asked to talk briefly about a ‘lost classic’. So I’ve been flicking through a wonderful book that has been sitting on my shelves for some years now - What’s What! Published in 1902, it was meant to be something of an accompaniment to Who’s Who? But where the latter gave the names of the great and the good of the land, What’s What! was more an encyclopaedia, or an attempt to define what an Edwardian gentleman was supposed to know, and even think. ‘A guide for to-day for life as it is and things as they are.’

There are entries on everything from ‘Cataracts: Treatment of’ to ‘Comparison of English, German, French and Italian as singing languages’, ‘Devil-Worship in France’, ‘Hats, Prices of,’ and ‘The American Civil Service: its “sweet reasonableness”.’

Perhaps you’re suffering from consumption? Well, the authors have a list of...[read on]
Among the early praise for Or the Bull Kills You:
"The Spanish city of Valencia looks dazzling in Jason Webster's first novel. Even as the violence escalates and the symbolism thickens, the estimable Inspector Camara remains open-minded, if a bit cynical, about the grand follies of his beautiful city."
--The New York Times

"Webster...makes his scenes easy to visualize, uses believable dialog, and plays out the investigation in an assured manner. The author’s marvelously structured mystery not only reveals the complex politics behind bullfighting but also introduces us to colorful, tragic, and empathetic characters. The city of Valencia is a character as well, so strong is the sense of place...With its rapid pace and wonderfully flawed detective, this vibrant novel has tremendous appeal."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"[A] remarkable first novel, a baffling mystery...Webster makes the bullfighting integral to the plot rather than a mere backdrop, effortlessly conveying the role of the sport in Spanish society. The well-rounded lead--cynical, willing to bend the rules, emotionally wounded--should be more than capable of sustaining a long series."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Learn more about the book and author at Jason Webster's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Or the Bull Kills You.

The Page 69 Test: Or the Bull Kills You.

Writers Read: Jason Webster.

--Marshal Zeringue