Spiegelman, Ian 1974-
SPIEGELMAN, Ian 1974-
Male. Born January, 1974, in New York, NY. Education: Graduated from Queens College.
Home—Forest Hills, NY. Agent—Joseph Regal, Regal Literary Inc., 52 Warfield St. Montclair, NJ 07043; c/o Author Mail, Random House/Villard, 299 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10171-0002. E-mail—[email protected]
Journalist and novelist. Worked at Queens Courier; former staff writer for New York Magazine. New York Post, "Page Six" columnist.
Everyone's Burning: A Novel, Villard (New York, NY), 2003.
Details magazine, contributing editor.
Ian Spiegelman started out writing poetry in college and went on to become a gossip columnist for the New York Post. His first book, Everyone's Burning: A Novel, tells the story of narrator Leon Koch, a twenty-four-year-old, disaffected resident of Queens, New York, who spends his time hanging out with a dubious set of friends and girlfriends drinking alcohol, doing cocaine, and having one-night stands. Leon, who cannot hold down a job, knows he is going nowhere fast and is resigned to the fact. Leon joins his friends in mocking the so-called "normals": middle-class people who go to work every day and obey the law. He also has little sympathy for the other end of the spectrum: street-gang thugs whom he calls "retards." The novel's focus shifts back and forth from the present to Leon's life in high school and his young adulthood. When his need for drug money becomes unbearable, Leon pawns his prized Star Wars memorabilia so he and a girl can buy some cocaine. Eventually, after one friend's death, he becomes mentally unstable and on the verge of following in his friend's footsteps.
Several reviewers, including New York Times Book Review contributor Charles Wilson, complained that Everyone's Burning meanders too much because of a lack of plot and never brings the reader to any meaningful conclusions. Nevertheless, Wilson praised Spiegelman for his characters' dialogue, which he noted is "like David Mamet's: in staccato bursts with verve and irony." Brendan Dowling, writing inBooklist, called the novel a "grim and assured debut," and also noted that some readers "are sure to appreciate Spiegelman's humane portrait of this dark life." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "Leon, despite his drink-and drug-fueled numbness, has an authenticity that makes him worth knowing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2003, Brendan Dowling, review of Everyone's Burning: A Novel, p. 158.
Daily Variety, July 15, 2003, Gabriel Snyder, "Gossip Scribe Chats up Novel Party," p. 15.
Entertainment Weekly, January 13, 2003, Troy Patterson, review of Everyone's Burning, p. 103.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2003, review of Everyone's Burning, p. 504.
Library Journal, April 15, 2003, Lawrence Rungren, review of Everyone's Burning, p. 128.
New York Times, January 11, 2004, David Carr, "The Art of Going Too Far," section 14, p. 5.
New York Times Book Review, June 22, 2003, Charles Wilson, review of Everyone's Burning, p. 24.
Publishers Weekly, May 26, 2003, review of Everyone's Burning, p. 49.
Everyone's Burning Home Page,http://www.everyonesburning.com/ (June 22, 2004).