Reviews > Books
La Nausée in the Spanish Empire: Antonio Di Benedetto’s ‘Zama’

A servant of the Spanish crown finds himself in remote Paraguay, entertaining fantasies and delusions that clash with the actual circumstances of his position. A bleak, comic, and tragic story of alienation.

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This New Spielberg Biography Falls Short in its Analysis of a Storied Man

Film historian Molly Haskell's Steven Spielberg covers all of Spielberg's life, but its pointed analytic lens is too small to properly put his life's work in perspective.

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The “Good Old Days” of TV Are Happening Right Now

Why American television is better now than it's ever been -- and the unexpected paths by which it got there.

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No Country for Broken Men in Joseph Scapellato’s ‘Big Lonesome’

Even at their most impenetrable and monotonous, the stories here are still rich with refined poeticism and imagination.

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‘The Black Notebook’ Shows Modiano’s Undiminished Capacity to Conjure the Magic of Paris

Someday, perhaps, a virtual reality headset will achieve something like what Patrick Modiano has done here.

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‘The Art of the Blues’ Captures the Music’s Visuals to Sublime Standards

Author Bill Dahl and art consultant Chris James' work celebrates the visual swagger of the blues simply for the sheer joy of those visuals.

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‘Aleksandr Sokurov: Russian Ark’ Serves as a Succinct Companion to the Landmark Film

At once a production history, a film analysis and a history of the Hermitage Museum, the Chair of the Film Studies at Aberystwyth University has written a concise and thought-provoking volume.

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The Obscure Cities Series Blends the Subtle and the Fantastic

The steampunk cityscapes are fantastic in The Theory of the Grain of Sand, yet the underlying mystery is subtle.

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Dave Barry Does the Unimaginable in an Exploration of the Sunshine State

Tired of fielding questions about what's the matter with Florida, a treasured American humorist takes matters into his own hands and finds out for himself.

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On Robert Walser’s Idiosyncratic, Whimsical, Sly, and Enchanting Works

Walser's attentiveness to the world's capacity for beauty and kindness in a time of brutality is the most interesting aspect of this book.

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Paul Auster’s ‘4 3 2 1’ Has Flashes of Brilliance But Doesn’t Transcend Its Genre

The four lives of Archie Ferguson do not add up to more than the sum of their parts.

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Do Our Superheroes Satisfy a Secret Craving for Authoritarianism?

Chris Gavaler's On the Origins of Superheroes raises compelling questions about our fascination with men in tights.

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Can Literature Like Banana Yoshimoto’s ‘Moshi Moshi’ Heal the Soul?

For those who haven’t yet experienced Bananamania, Moshi Moshi is as good a place to start as any. Because what Yoshimoto does, she does incredibly well.

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You Will Get Fooled Again: ‘Cinema’s Bodily Illusions: Flying, Floating, and Hallucinating’

On experiencing the cinema without representation or ideology.

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‘Power to the People’ Bleeds History on The Now

Fifty years after the formation of the Black Panthers, a pictorial/oral account reminds us of the movement's power, and promise.

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Take a Vacation From Despair With ‘The Dark and Other Love Stories’

Deborah Willis enchants and transports with 11 stories of adolescent friendship, Canada, and birds.

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Caravaggio May Be the Least Documented Yet Most Constructed Renaissance Artist

Caravaggio and the Creation of Modernity draws attention to both the skill of the historian and the enduring and towering genius of the artist.

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Fun Fact: Jane Austen Wasn’t the Only Female Author of Note During Her Time

Shelley DeWees' sardonic humor buoys the reader through infuriating examples of the misogyny, double standards, and injustice British women authors had to contend with.

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‘You Say You Want a Revolution’? Hell, Yeah!

The images in You Say You Want a Revolution inspire, and the ideas behind them offer spark to ignite another, much needed cultural revolution.

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Pickett Was Wicked Good and Wicked Bad: ‘In the Midnight Hour’

Tony Fletcher's biography of the great soul singer is a vivid, detailed, and insightful portrait of a complex, talented, and often deplorable man.

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Trickle Down Corruption in 'This Is the Police'

// Moving Pixels

"In a world of hitmen, snitches, mobsters, murderers, terrorists, rapists, rioters, bombers, thieves, and serial killers, your greatest enemy is your boss.

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