2 September 2011 2 Comments

Corrupt online reviews

Eleanor Roosevelt said that no one can make you feel bad, except yourself. I live by that rule. Particularly when it comes to reviews. And double-particularly when it comes to online reviews. A recent Cornell University study found that 85 percent of amazon.com’s “top reviewers” had received free gifts from vendors. And 78 percent had […]

9 September 2010 2 Comments

Overturning detective fiction: everyone’s guilty in my novels

The “Golden Age” of the detective story was the 1920s and 1930s. It was a turbulent period. In Britain, the General Strike. In the U.S., the Depression. Civil war in Spain, and in Germany the rise of the Nazis. Red scares everywhere, fascists too. But the detective story was a solace to those who lived […]

17 June 2010 1 Comment

Cheers for Hitler, and Brits go home

The company you keep can put the culture around you in a new light, let you see it as you haven’t before. That’s true when I travel to different countries and discover that readers in Germany have a particular take on my Palestinian crime novels which differs from the way they look to Americans, for […]

20 May 2010 0 Comments

Jimmy Carter, apartheid, hemorrhoids and Matt Beynon Rees

I often receive emails from book stores, amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and online literary sites telling me how much I’d like the novels of Matt Beynon Rees. I’m delighted to see these emails, which are based on my other purchases and interests, as only I can truly know just how much the novels of Matt […]

8 April 2010 0 Comments

Bibi’s Bedtime Book: The Secret Diary of Prime Minister Netanyahu

No Palestinian state this week. Don’t really know why not. At this point I’d be happy to sign off on anything at all, just to get it off my hands. I’ve told the Americans that, but they seem convinced I’m some kind of hardliner—they think I’m bluffing when I say “Barry, where do I sign?” […]

25 March 2010 0 Comments

Back to Israel: Recall what’s foreign

When you live in a foreign place, it can become home. You forget how foreign it is. Then you go to another foreign country, only to discover that it doesn’t seem so foreign. And you realize that the place you live actually IS extremely foreign. That’s what happened to me during the last week, when […]

25 March 2010 0 Comments

Following Gunter Grass into the hot seat

This weekend I was in Leipzig, Germany, for one of the country’s biggest book fairs. While there I was interviewed for German tv in front of a big audience of festivalgoers, many of whom were mysteriously dressed as Japenese cartoon characters… In fact, the Blue Sofa is right at the entrance to the book fair […]

16 March 2010 0 Comments

In Nablus, the price is right

I was tucking into a slice of qanafi at my favorite vendor in the Nablus casbah yesterday when a gang of Palestinian reporters and officials intruded on my guilty pleasure. This was at Aqsa Sweets, which readers of THE SAMARITAN’S SECRET will know as the place favored by the hero of my Palestinian crime novels […]

14 February 2010 0 Comments

The Daily Beast and The New York Times

My new Palestinian crime novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN is one of five “This Week’s Hot Reads” on The Daily Beast, which also happens to be the hot read of the web these days. The Beast writes of the book and its Brooklyn setting: “Rees paints a meticulous portrait of the post-9/11 community of Little Palestine […]

8 February 2010 0 Comments

‘The Fourth Assassin’ takes Page 69 Test

The Campaign for the American Reader blog empire’s flagship is the Page 69 Test. The premise is this: open any book to page 69; if it grabs you, that’s a better indication of whether you’ll enjoy the book than simply reading the opening page. Try it on a book you like (and one you don’t), […]