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Columns > Books

Thursday, July 30 2009

Rudy Wurlitzer, Bob Dylan, Bloody Sam, and the Jornado del Muerto

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.


Wednesday, July 29 2009

We All End Up in Diapers: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Comparing the book to the film, it’s as if Fitzgerald laid just the foundation, and from that Roth built a multi-storied house.


Tuesday, July 21 2009

Hail to the Thief, Again?

Thom Yorke’s thoughts about political power are in good company. Great theorists of power and justice agree: “you do it to yourself”.


Sunday, July 19 2009

It Ain’t Hard to Tell: The Legacy of ‘Illmatic’

The "half-man, half-amazin'", Nas' persona is part myth and part "everyday kid" from the Queensbridge projects.


Thursday, July 16 2009

The Audacity of Certain Black Ballers

The distance we’ve come from Jackie Robinson hawking Chock Full o’Nuts coffee in the ‘50s, and black A-list jocks hawking virtually anything under the sun today, is astounding.


Monday, July 6 2009

Truth Against Truth: The Work of Adrian Tomine

Tomine has a gift for capturing body language and facial expressions -- his characters often say more in a silent panel than most say with an entire word balloon.


Tuesday, June 23 2009

Snagged by Bishop—Hook, Line & Sinker

Like the lakes we fish in, there are great treasures lurking in those depths, and great depth lurking in those treasures.


Monday, June 22 2009

Augusten Burroughs: The View Through a Saltine Cracker

As a memoirist, Burroughs is highly skilled at the art of aestheticized self-pity.


Tuesday, June 16 2009

Out of Tune and ‘Amplified’

As George Orwell said, “Nearly every book is capable of arousing passionate feeling, even if it is only a passionate dislike.”


Sunday, June 7 2009

Blood Meridian: The Last of the True

Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian has been called unfilmable, but that doesn't stop Ben Nichols from getting ahead of the game and crafting a worthy soundtrack.


Monday, June 1 2009

Is the ‘New York Times’ Tracking Porn Sales Now?

That “comics” persists in connoting “pulp” and “graphic novels” implies something “literary” is purely a matter of convention, and is not because those are the inherent meanings or implications of the terms.


Thursday, May 28 2009

Depression 2.0: Sunday in Kerouac Alley

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.


Monday, May 25 2009

Let the Right One In, But Only the Right One

Lindqvist’s book and Alfredson’s film adaptation both convey a sweet, dark version of puppy love. We don’t need the American remake.


Wednesday, May 20 2009

The Myth of the Rational Market

How silly we were to believe that investors always acted with predictable rapacity and efficiency.


Tuesday, May 12 2009

Obama is The Boss

What Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen share is an understanding that real life happens on the ground, regardless of the hot ideological winds blowing through Crawford or Washington D.C. or talk radio.


Monday, May 4 2009

The Geeks Have Inherited the Earth -– and They Rule It

Geek humor is rooted in a commanding pop cultural and scientific literacy and deployed with a sense of casual authority which one ... must ... obey.


Sunday, May 3 2009

Fighting the Flu

The mobilization of the military to control the spread of the current outbreak of a rare strain of the swine flu in Mexico City is right out of Stephen King’s The Stand.


Monday, April 27 2009

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’: Check, Please

I hate it when a film takes a brilliant literary work and turns it into what it thinks the literary work should be.


Thursday, April 23 2009

Sherlock Holmes and the Shanghai Gesture

“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.”


Wednesday, April 1 2009

Far Cry 2: The Heart of Darkness Game

This is a game that is incessantly hostile. It is constantly pushing the player to become more efficient at destruction.


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