Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
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Thursday, Nov 22, 2007

Imagine: the tale of Moby-Dick told—nay—brought to three-dimensional life in a mere eight pages. Sam Ita manages this with comic book-style panels and graphics and masterly pop-up paper art. This humorously beautiful work of story and sculpture is billed for all ages, but I’d warn against allowing a single sticky finger near its artful pages. Nor, despite its clever brevity, will it serve like a Cliff Notes substitute for the lazy college kid. Rather, those worthy of this bound beauty have read the entire Melville masterpiece, endured that long, dreadful journey into the depths of Captain Ahab’s dark obsession, and loved it. Only such stalwart, adventurous souls are qualified to bring this pop-up version down from its shelf on high, and share the full ship and sails, the drunken sailors, the thrashing leviathan—ah, ah! don’t touch!—with those who but dare to dream of such things.


 


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Monday, Nov 19, 2007

Oprah is right on target with this one. The apocalypse is not to be tinkered with lightly, or given to writers of lesser caliber. McCarthy has long had a mean, or at least a cold-blooded, streak to him; here, he shows more of a heart than he has for some time. This is not just a litany of despair, it is a lament for all that was lost, and thusly, a celebration of the here and now. This may have the trappings of a horror film, but with his stubborn wanderers diligently batting their unanswerable questions back and forth in a godless waste, McCarthy enters the land of Beckett. [Amazon]



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