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Author Arthur Salm

Book Critic Turns Novelist

Above: "Anyway*: *A Story About Me with 138 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations, and 1 Plate of Spaghetti" by Arthur Salm

Aired 4/30/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUEST:

Arthur Salm, author of "Anyway: A Story About Me with 138 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations, and 1 Plate of Spaghetti,"

Transcript

Arthur Salm was the book review editor and columnist, as well as feature and arts writer, for the San Diego Union-Tribun for twenty years. But now he finds himself on the other side as his first book, a middle grader novel called Anyway: A Story About Me with 138 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations, and 1 Plate of Spaghetti. It comes under the scrutiny of book reviewers.

From Publishers Weekly:

Is self-invention truly possible? Twelve-year-old Max gives it a go in Salm’s sweetly comic debut novel. Everyone knows Max as a good kid who flies under the radar and tries to avoid the class bully. But when

he’s forced to take a summer vacation at a family camp with his parents, Max trots out an edgy new persona he’s sure will impress the other camp kids—especially a beautiful girl. As cool, bold “Mad Max,” he dons a headband and shades while mastering hanging out at the pool. Soon he’s leading his cohorts in an unfortunate prank and getting caught up in behavior that makes him wonder if “Mad Max” is who he really wants to be. In Max, Salm has created a likable every kid who’s shy and caring, but who also possesses flashes of petulance,

goofiness, self-doubt, and—yes—questionable decision making that make him very real. The 138 footnotes, set in a font that resembles hand-lettering, are smoothly integrated into the story and contribute to its easygoing, memoir-like pace.

His book, which focuses on a 12-year-old boy who undergoes a kind of transformation at summer camp, debuts tomorrow. Salm will be signing books Wednesday at 7:30pm at Warwick's Books.

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