Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

Tag: beethoven

After several years in a will-they/wont-they purgatory, the digital revolution in publishing has finally become more a matter of when than if, where “when” seems to be 2010. Apple’s launch of the iPad–which featured five of the big six corporate publishers as partners and only ignored the sixth because someone within the company had outed the device the day before official launch–got the ball rolling and demonstrated that ebooks were not just a novel trend but rather new media for novels and all sorts of other forms of storytelling. In late August, Amazon’s third-generation Kindle, with its improved screen and form factor and its lower price, effectively killed the counterargument. The only thing left to really argue about is price.

But really, that’s fodder enough.

Since Apple got all those publishers on board and got its iBookstore rolling (or did it? Has anyone heard anything about the iBookstore? All I hear about are the devices–Kindles, nooks, iPads. Not so much about the stores), there’s been a debate about what’s a “good” price for ebooks. One common idea discussed when the iPad launched was the so-called “agency model,” which basically meant that publishers got to set their own price. Tech Eye mentions that this is in opposition to allowing, say, the vendor to decide the price. In other words, it’s the difference between, say, Harper setting the price of its books and Amazon doing so.

Publishers, of course, want high prices. This was why $10 ebooks were so common during the beginning of last year. Right after the iPad? Seems like publishers–corporate and otherwise–got a little high off the power of the partnership and suddenly decided that the right price for ebooks was between ten and fifteen bucks. The New York Times discussed the phenomenon.

To really get into the discussion, though, we have to consider factors regarding price. There are myriad.

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Over here, I made a plea for Chinese Democracy, the first new Guns ‘N Roses CD since the two Use Your Illusion records (bypassing The Spaghetti Incident?, a covers CD).

Apparently, the Rock Gods heard my plea, and Rolling Stone has a review of Chinese Democracy, which will be out in a couple of weeks. David Fricke uses “Was It Worth the Wait” to lead but never really gets around to his own question, so I will:


Chinese Democracy is an epic, sprawling CD that epitomizes for albums what some dude once said about novels; that they’re long fiction with flaws. Chinese Democracy (from what I’ve heard) isn’t flawless, but what great art is?

And yes, I’ll call it art. It’s a term I usually eschew, because most of the time I think it’s pretentious at best and absurd at worst, but I think it’s excellent for what it is. It’s not Beethoven’s 9th, but it is, approximately, Rose’s 5th, and it is absolutely excellent for what it is. It’s loud and blunt and rocking with little restraint, and that’s very much why it’s magic.

via Chinese Democracy : Guns N’ Roses : Review : Rolling Stone