Wednesday, March 23 2011
Despite her love of books, Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent a lifetime trying to prevent people from writing about her, sometimes with the accompanying threat of legal action. Her entire life was led with one arm thrust outward, eyes cast downward, keeping the world at bay.
Thursday, February 3 2011
Much as Walt Disney would do with his famed television programs of the '50s and '60s, Lynd Ward used his talents with watercolor, oil, brush and ink, mezzotint, and lithography to illustrate hundreds of inspiring historical biographies of true-life American heroes for children to admire and emulate.
Thursday, June 10 2010
Marion Meade's new book begs the question: Are literary biographies necessary? Somewhere in the afterlife, Nathanael West is having a good chuckle.
Thursday, February 4 2010
“The chief proof of a man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness. It argues... a power of comparison and of appreciation which is in itself proof of nobility.”
Thursday, December 17 2009
The myths of unspoiled frontiers and the freedom of the open road, lives played out on the margins of society, attachment and detachment, wrestling matches with the ghosts of Samuel Beckett and Louis L’Amour…
Wednesday, November 18 2009
One bad novel, gallons of cheap red wine, and spring-fed creeks of sweat.
Thursday, October 22 2009
When the author of a sitcom-styled novel about Mexican heritage cannot resist mentioning the modern-day carnage, then it's fair to assume that the murders have become a significant part of the national identity.
Thursday, September 24 2009
Films and books strive toward a common goal: telling a story. And very few modern filmmakers are as good at spinning a yarn as the late Hal Ashby was.
Thursday, August 27 2009
Familial or political, conservatives in America actually have no moral boundaries whatsoever.
Thursday, July 30 2009
Dylan’s beautifully simple ballad captures the paradoxical fear of and longing for death that is the hallmark of Wurlitzer’s narratives and what lurks at the heart of the human experience.
Tuesday, June 16 2009
As George Orwell said, “Nearly every book is capable of arousing passionate feeling, even if it is only a passionate dislike.”
Thursday, May 28 2009
Scott Thorson rang, flat broke and disabled, in chronic, horrendous pain from a botched murder attempt and an even more botched plastic surgery, hoping that I would serve as his conduit for another lucrative laundry airing.
Thursday, April 23 2009
“We have become archetypes,” laments Holmes to Watson, “we were created and published before the year 1923, which places us and many of our adventures into the realm of public domain.”
Thursday, March 19 2009
This is not Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation but, rather, Hunter S. Thompson’s Generation of Swine, the urban home front during the waning days of World War II, gritty and unvarnished, and chillingly reflective of modern sociology.
Wednesday, February 25 2009
Anyone who has witnessed affirmative action policies in play can tell you that bad apples are chosen to fulfill a quota, not unlike a cop who harasses every citizen who bears a vague resemblance to a wanted suspect.
Thursday, February 5 2009
My conversations with Rudy Wurlitzer were not unlike a road journey itself with plenty of unplanned side trips along the way.
Thursday, December 18 2008
Faces of Sunset Boulevard is, without a doubt, one of the strongest statements about man’s dark fate in the West ever committed to paper in the author and photographer’s chosen form.
Thursday, November 13 2008
Fear, one must understand, is the lubricant that keeps the wheels of human progress greased. Charles Bukowski understood this concept all too well.
Monday, September 29 2008
Silver took the vital ingredients of a regional novel and composed an L.A. tale, but set many miles east -- at the edge of the desolate Salton Sea -- a wasteland that would have held tremendous appeal to T.S. Eliot.
Thursday, August 14 2008
What the author finds on the bottom end of American pop culture in 1958 is an environment ripe and primed, no matter how subconsciously or keep-it-in-the-family quiet, for the sexual exploitation of youth.
Sunday, July 20 2008
Fuller was a playful but hard-bitten cynic who imposed his sometimes weary, whistling-past-the-graveyard worldview on all those people sitting in the dark.