Landers, Scott 1952-
LANDERS, Scott 1952-
PERSONAL: Born 1952. Education: Attended San Francisco State University.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 19 Union Square W., New York, NY, 10001.
Coswell's Guide to Tambralinga: A Novel, Farrar, Straus & Giroux (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Scott Landers's debut novel, Coswell's Guide to Tambralinga: A Novel, is set in a deceptively idyllic, fictional tropical island in Southeast Asia where the Shermers embark on a second honeymoon to restore their crumbling marriage. Following a particularly nasty argument over the fact that Conrad, a meek computer analyst, loses real estate agent wife Lucy's guide book, the couple sets off in different directions to pursue their individual interests. Conrad takes to a brothel enticingly described in some publication; Lucy devotedly pursues the adventures she fastidiously outlined in her now-recovered guide book. Conrad, disappointed with his brothel experience, develops liaisons with two Swedish college students as well as with Rosanette, a French/Belgian woman with a young son. Lucy couples up with a single American woman to devotedly follow the plan outlined in her guide book, and the two enter a heated pursuit of the same man: an American-educated, debonaire, government official who turns out to be affiliated with a repressive and brutal regime. Rosanette and Lucy later meet accidentally, and not until he appears does Lucy realize the man Rosanette now so vividly describes in romantic detail is Conrad.
Ian Schwartz, reviewing Coswell's Guide to Tambralinga for Bookpage.com, called it an "original, notably worthy debut" but felt it is the characters' "repeated boorish behavior that keeps this fine novel from soaring." A Kirkus Reviews critic called Landers's tone "darkly wry," while Joanne Wilkinson noted in Booklist that the novelist "puts a wry spin on the theme of self-discovery." A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that "readers will find the ride, half jungle cruise and half roller coaster, worth the price of admission."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2004, review of Coswell's Guide toTambralinga: A Novel, p. 1426.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2004, review of Coswell'sGuide to Tambralinga, p. 288.
Publishers Weekly, June 14, 2004, review of At Home with Ford.
BookPagecom,http://www.bookpage.com/ (October 14, 2004), Ian Schwartz, review of Coswell's Guide to Tambralinga.*