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Matt Beynon Rees's Blog

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Mar.06.2010
National Public Radio foreign correspondent Eric Weiner used to have a list of seven ways for journalists to grow old gracefully. His premise, which is self-evident to anyone who’s been a reporter, was that daily news was an undignified thing to be doing in your 40s. I can’t remember the whole of...
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Mar.04.2010
I have a lot of good reasons for staying in the Middle East as long as I have. While the main thing keeping me here 14 years and counting may truly be inertia, I also enjoy being an outsider, researching my Palestinian crime novels on site, visiting the Palestinian towns whose atmosphere of...
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Mar.02.2010
Top crime fiction blog Gumshoe Review rates my new Palestinian crime novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN very highly: "Rees does an excellent job of showing the pressures on the young Palestinians and describing the microcosm of one immigrant community within the U.S. The mystery also contains plenty of...
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Feb.28.2010
The first line of a great novel tends also to have a lot of punch -- to "grab" you. My favorite has for a long time been "The Sun Also Rises." Its first couple of sentences manage to tell you a great deal about one of the main characters, but even more about the narrator: "...
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Feb.27.2010
New Yorkers have "seen it all" -- that's their attitude to life. It's not surprising, given the madhouse that is the Big Apple. But I've now officially done something that'll shock them. In The New York Times Book Review's crime fiction roundup by Marilyn Stasio, my new novel THE FOURTH...
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Feb.26.2010
How the son of a Hamas founder ended up an Israeli agent, as told by the "Green Prince" himself. (I posted this on GlobalPost)RAMALLAH, West Bank — Parents often lament that their kids don’t follow them into their chosen professions. They ought to think themselves lucky. They could be...
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Feb.24.2010
The dead man's mother raged and cried as she told me how she’d discovered her son’s body, in the cabbage patch outside her home. She’d lowered herself onto her knees, she said, touched his blood and wiped her fingers on her face and called out that God is most great. As the winter wind came cold...
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Feb.23.2010
One of the great pleasures of life as a writer is being paired with fascinating novelists when you speak at book fairs. (It's also an occasional rough ride when you find yourself stuck with a bum who can't write, but I'm being nice here so I won't go into any of those.) The most delightful fellow I...
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Feb.22.2010
The Independent has a regular feature in which it asks authors to write about a book which changed their lives somehow. Last week the London newspaper asked me to write the piece. Here it is: In early 1999, King Hussein fell sick on his return from treatment for cancer in the US. I was the Middle...
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Feb.21.2010
Was Israeli intelligence really behind the video showing an Abbas aide soliciting sex? (I posted this on Global Post.)Afficionadoes of the oeuvre of Jamaican reggae singer Shaggy will already be familiar with the strategy of a Palestinian official caught with his pants down — more precisely, with...
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Feb.18.2010
You’d think there was something wrong with spying. People pay good money to watch Daniel Craig dispose of villains in the bloodiest fashion. They nod in approval when M pushes 007’s perfect false passport across the desk. Yet everyone’s peeved about what in all likelihood is a Mossad hit against a...
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Feb.18.2010
Syd and son Evan
Some authors exude the pleasure of reading and writing (and, believe me, when you meet them, you’d be surprised how many just don’t.) J. Sydney Jones is such a man, with a breadth of writing experience in different genres that’s deeply impressive and carries with it an obvious love of his craft....
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Feb.15.2010
Tony Shalhoub
On the My Book, The Movie blog, I was asked to muse about who I'd choose to play Omar Yussef in the movies. Well, musing I can do -- it's about as solid as the actual movie business itself, so why not. Here's what I wrote: I didn’t need to think of an actor. Not until I’d finished my book. Then the...
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Feb.14.2010
My new Palestinian crime novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN is one of five "This Week's Hot Reads" on The Daily Beast, which also happens to be the hot read of the web these days. The Beast writes of the book and its Brooklyn setting: "Rees paints a meticulous portrait of the post-9/11...
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Feb.13.2010
Crime writer Simon Beckett wrote a few days ago in The Guardian that he’d had no idea he was the best-selling British novelist in Europe until statistics were announced last month. Not a surprise, really, because in Britain no one has a clue who he is. The Sheffield author of a detective series...
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