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Beware the Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations!

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With the Oscars race finally over, we can stop looking backward at 2005 and get back to unreasonably inflating our expectations for what’s coming up this year. Like V for Vendetta, which shook off bad karma (the film’s fall release was delayed after the London bombings) to arrive as this season’s most anticipated film. Or Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which actually has people excited about seeing Matthew Perry again. Or Game 6, about the Mets’ fateful 1986 victory over the BoSox, written by first-time screenwriter Don DeLillo, which arrives this week to mixed expectations: On the one hand, DeLillo! On the other hand, first-time screenwriter! Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys get bitten by their prerelease hype; Chipotle hits critical mass, twice; and Bernard Henri-Lévy learns that, oddly, getting horsewhipped by Garrison Keillor has a happy benefit. Readers approach your book feeling somewhat sympathetic—and are that much more likely to think it’s not half-bad.


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