Doug Merrill

Writer, editor, translator, project manager, reformed bookseller. Currently based in Berlin, following stints in Moscow, Tbilisi, Munich, Washington, Warsaw, Budapest and Atlanta. Also blogs at A Fistful of Euros, though less frequently than here these days.

Most commented posts

  1. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison — 7 comments
  2. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin — 6 comments
  3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton — 5 comments
  4. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire — 5 comments
  5. Mort by Terry Pratchett — 5 comments

Author's posts

Feb 12 2007

Five Germanys I Have Known by Fritz Stern

Fritz Stern was born in what was then Breslau, Germany, grandson of Jews who converted to Christianity, son and grandson of physicians and researchers, at a time when medicine was truly becoming a science and Germany was leading the way. His godfather and namesake was Fritz Haber, who discovered how to fix atmospheric nitrogen, won …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/12/five-germanys-i-have-known-by-fritz-stern/

Feb 11 2007

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

What percentage of the top 10,000 titles in any online media store (Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, or any other) will rent or sell at least once a quarter? That’s the question posed by Robbie Vann-Adibe, the CEO of Ecast, a digital jukebox company, a question that launches Wired’s editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, on his exploration of more …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/11/the-long-tail-by-chris-anderson/

Feb 11 2007

The Orientalist by Tom Reiss

Ali and Nino, the closest thing that modern Azerbaijan has to a national novel, was first published in German in 1937, sold in various translations, hit US bestseller lists in the early 1970s and bears the name Kurban Said as its author. But the question of the author’s identity had never been resolved. All anyone …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/11/the-orientalist-by-tom-reiss/

Feb 07 2007

Premature Evaluation: Albion’s Seed

Why is America the way that it is? Wrong question, the author of Albion’s Seed would say. America isn’t any one way, and hasn’t been since the very beginning of European, particularly English, colonization. David Hackett Fischer puts the core of his argument straight into his subtitle: Four British Folkways in America. He identifies four …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/07/premature-evaluation-albions-seed/

Feb 06 2007

Taking Stock of 2006: Books

Best books I read in 2006? In fiction, it would have to be most of the second half of the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. I read six in 2006 and the last two in early January 2007, and it’s a terrific body of work. Its acclaim and success need little boost from this blog, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2007/02/06/taking-stock-of-2006-books/

Nov 28 2006

Stephen Maturin, Drug Fiend

From The Commodore, pp. 187-88 Yet [Maturin] had some faults [as a physician], and one was a habit of dosing himself, generally from a spirit of inquiry, as in his period of inhaling large quantities of the nitrous oxide and of the vapour of hemp, to say nothing of tobacco, bhang in all its charming …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/11/28/stephen-maturin-drug-fiend/

Oct 23 2006

Under the Frog

Novermber 1955: Tired of trying to crack the problem of the informer, Gyuri settled down to think about being a streetsweeper while he gazed out of the window at the countryside that went past quite lazily despite the train’s billing as an express. The streetsweeper was a sort of cerebral chewing gum that Gyuri popped …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/10/23/under-the-frog/

Oct 13 2006

A Pocketful of Pamuk

The definitive(ish) review I’ve been meaning to write for months will obviously have to wait now that Orhan Pamuk has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Here are the AFOE talking points on Pamuk: Snow is the one book to read if you only have time to read one. Ka, the protagonist, is a Turkish …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/10/13/a-pocketful-of-pamuk/

Sep 26 2006

Ringworld by Larry Niven

I hadn’t read Ringworld in at least a decade, and probably closer to two, when I picked it up again a couple of weeks back. Originally published in 1970, the book has held up terrifically. Not for Niven, one of those far-future societies that’s a replication of the author’s own era. The use of “men” …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/09/26/ringworld-by-larry-niven/

Sep 26 2006

Premature Evaluation: Khrushchev by William Taubman

Wish an 876-page biography could be longer? Not often, but definitely with this one. I don’t know the literature well enough to say for sure, but it sure feels like a definitive take on an important figure of 20th century history. William Taubman combines the virtues of journalist and scholar in his biography of Nikita …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/09/26/premature-evaluation-khrushchev-by-william-taubman/