Yesterday's announcement of Heroes creator Tim Kring's $3 million novelistic collaboration with former literary critic Dale Peck is about the strangest we've heard in some time, but it's hardly the first eye-opening intersection between Hollywood and the literati. Take Digby Diehl, who founded the Los Angeles Times Book Review in 1969: Decades of moving through the entertainment industry as an editor and reporter culminated a few years back by…co-writing a novel with soap-opera star Finola Hughes. Or Chuck Hogan, the Hammett Award–winning writer of gritty, Boston-based crime novels, putting the finishing touches on a horror novel with Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro. (The project is supposed to be secret, but agent Richard Abate let the cat out of the bag in court last year in the midst of his winning battle to leave ICM for Endeavor.)
But nothing quite screams head-scratcher like The Adventures of Slim and Howdy, which is being published by Hachette's Center Street imprint next month. The two good ol' boys, whose antics clearly echo those of the The Dukes of Hazzard, are the brainchildren of multimillion-selling country-music stars Brooks & Dunn. Helping them fashion their rabble-rousing characters from liner notes into narrative format is Bill Fitzhugh, whose 1996 debut, Pest Control, is one of the funniest crime novels we've ever read. Is this a recipe for disaster? Not according to Publishers Weekly, which calls Slim & Howdy "a comic caper that has enough plot twists and nutty one-liners to hook even twang-haters." Maybe so, but if this is a trend, hide your shock when Jonathan Franzen makes his long-awaited return to novel writing with co-credits alongside Gnarls Barkley. —Sarah Weinman
The Adventures of Slim and Howdy [Brooks & Dunn]
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