Dead Letter | Metta Victoria Fuller Victor | Crime & Mystery Fiction | Talking Book | English | 1/5

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10 New Books This Week
Ask any reading group: People disagree about books all the time. But it’s rare for a novel to be quite as polarizing, or as controversial in the wider culture, as Jeanine Cummins’s new book, “American Dirt,” has turned out to be.
Essentially a narcothriller — it’s about a Mexican woman and her son fleeing to the border to escape a murderous drug lord — the book is already a huge hit. Oprah Winfrey recently picked it for her book club, and it enters this week’s best-seller list at No. 1. But it has also been widely condemned, on political grounds by readers who say it resorts to stereotypes and exploits current events to make a fetish out of trauma, and on aesthetic grounds by readers who say it’s just badly written. (That’s where The Times’s critic Parul Sehgal landed in her review.) In the wake of the outcry, the book’s publishers announced on Wednesday that they were canceling a planned author tour.
So why are we recommending it?
For one thing, “American Dirt” is clearly the book of the moment. It has spawned a galvanizing conversation — if not the one that Cummins might have been hoping for — and anybody who wants to follow along would probably do well to read the book at the center of the discourse. For another thing, both Lauren Groff (in the Book Review) and the editor who assigned it to her were genuinely impressed by the book’s propulsive momentum and topical concerns. You might be, too — or you might hate it! Either way, you’ll have something to talk about at your next book group.
If you’d rather fight about nonfiction, we can help with that too. This week we recommend a book about Donald Trump’s presidency, a study of economic conditions in some of the world’s most troubled environments, the history of a racist coup in Reconstruction-era North Carolina and a look back at the speculative and largely fraudulent Florida land boom of the 1920s, along with a cultural critic’s take on the enduring appeal of minimalism. In fiction, we offer a collection of Zora Neale Hurston’s short stories, a novel about body image among the girls at a British boarding school, and a debut novel about a Chinese physicist who immigrates to America intent on hiding her past. Finally, poetry: The venerable Robert Hass returns with his first new collection in almost a decade. http://bit.ly/KindleUnlimitedUK http://bit.ly/Written_by_Stephen_King
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AbeBooks: http://bit.ly/2XVV160 This video takes care of me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6kwkHr_D4Q
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Dead Letter | Metta Victoria Fuller Victor | Crime & Mystery Fiction | Audiobook full unabridged | English | 1/5
Content of the video and Sections beginning time (clickable) – Chapters of the audiobook: please see First comments under this video.
Published in 1866, “The Dead Letter: An American Romance” written by Metta Victoria Fuller Victor under the pseudonym, Seeley Regester, is credited by historians of popular literature to be the first full-length American crime fiction novel. The writing is melodramatic in places and includes opinions typical of the time period, but is an enjoyable, early example of the genre. The novel begins with Richard Redfield, a clerk in the “Dead Letter Office,” opening an unclaimed letter. Upon reading the contents, he is convinced that the message relates to the events of a night two years prior when another young man was brutally murdered. (summary by J. M. Smallheer)

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AFolio says:

Dead Letter | Metta Victoria Fuller Victor | Crime & Mystery Fiction | Talking Book | English | 1/5
1: [00:00:00] – Part I: The Letter
2: [00:03:59] – Events of a Night
3: [00:23:33] – The Figure Beneath the Trees
4: [00:43:29] – Moreland Villa
5: [01:07:53] – Mr. Burton, the Detective, part 1
6: [01:29:27] – Mr. Burton, the Detective, part 2

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