Vampires galore

Esquire declares Cronin's The Passage & Arcade Fire the Best of 2010

Esquire declares Cronin's The Passage & Arcade Fire the Best of 2010

Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire and ....
News_Justin Cronin
Justin Cronin's The Passage are bedfellows in Esquire's Best of 2010. Photo by Gary Fountain
News_Just Cronin_The Passage_book cover_book
The Passage received plenty of love from Esquire, getting its own pull-out extended blurb in the mag's Best of 2010.
Arcade Fire
News_Justin Cronin
News_Just Cronin_The Passage_book cover_book

Esquire magazine has pin-pointed the 102 "Best" happenings of the past year, and among those spotlighted are Rice University English professor and now celebrity novelist, Justin Cronin, and his vampire publication The Passage.

When it hit bookshelves in June, The Passage attracted the attention of Publisher's Weekly, Salon.com, NPR and the New York Times — but it had already received the validation of Hollywood, as the vampire movie series is already in the works, with Ridley Scott as director.

Writes the Esquire compendium's author, Andrew Chaikivsky:

It's the rare genre book that gets pleasingly more complicated and challenging toward the end. It's the rare book that sucks you through the cloudy bong water of our demise, sans carburetion, too, precisely because the book refuses to dodge any formula that gets in its way."

The book may be a "mess and sprawling," (according to Esquire), but its vivid depiction of the "ruination of humanity" and the valuable "cultural rant against excess" won the heart of the magazine in the end.

Sandwiched between a sound bite about appraising Afghanistan's $900 billion mineral wealth and Newark mayor Cory Booker's tweet to Snooki on texting in traffic is a screenshot of The Wilderness Downtown, that near-tear-inducing collaboration between indie stalwarts Arcade Fire and Google Chrome. The voice of frontman (and The Woodlands native) Win Butler ties together bursting browser frames programmed by a newly robust HTML5 as viewers' childhood homes are unmapped.

The stirring music video also gets a nod among the year's top cultural treats.

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