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Sante Cites Stinker

To the Editor:
I was startled to read Caitlin McDonnell alleging that I praised Russell Banks’s The Reserve in the Times Book Review. I did no such thing. I thought the book was the worst kind of guest-room pap, presumably written under duress if not actual torture by a writer who has done much, much better—and said as much. I normally wouldn’t care so much about being misrepresented, but I sure don’t want to be responsible for any readers subjecting themselves to that stinker.
Luc Sante, Accord

Chronogram Book Editor Nina Shengold responds:
Dear Luc,
As the editor who deleted Caitlin McDonnell’s pull quote from your New York Times review and replaced it with “praised,” I’m prepared to take it on the chin. When I read your review, I had the impression that you’d found The Reserve an overheated but nonetheless enjoyable romp by an author who’d earned the right to a Hollywood paycheck. On rereading it, with the unambiguous “stinker” now lodged in my ear, I realize that your summation of it as “a ripping yarn” was not intended as praise. Apologies for my irony-deficient editing.

Safety First
To the Editor:
I enjoyed your article on Bike Month [“Easy Like Monday Morning,” 5/08], thanks for getting the word out. Your readers should know that there are safe cycling rides on the last Friday of every month in Kingston. The more local cyclists who get involved, the better!
Bill Baird, Ulster

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