Reviews > Books
Grim Thoughts and Gallows Humor in Eugene Thacker’s ‘Cosmic Pessimism’

Chuckle if you want, but these are good times for grim thoughts, and some of the best and freshest writing is coming from Eugene Thacker.

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The Writing in Frank Jacobs’ MAD’s Greatest Writers is MAD to the Max

Frank Jacobs' parodies are what most people first think of when they think of MAD, even if they don’t know the name of the man who penned them.

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‘Lovers At the Chameleon Club’ and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Lou Villars is a French athletic champion -- and a spy for the Nazis.

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Glowing Skulls, Murder Mysteries and The Detection Club

The Golden Age of Murder frequently feels like spending time in the company of a loquacious friend who is a veritable storehouse of information about the Detection Club.

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Queen Said It Best: We Are the Champions

The Invaders considers the tenuous position of the planet's top dogs.

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‘The Dark Net’ Peers Beyond the Headlines About the Hidden Web

Part investigative journalism, pop-anthropology, and travel diary, The Dark Net finds a bizarre world; a funhouse refraction of our surface interests, intents, motivations, and mores.

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In ‘Go Set a Watchman’, Racism Is Resilient and Seductive

In Harper Lee’s dry run for To Kill a Mockingbird, it’s somehow less shocking that Atticus Finch is a racist but that his once-forceful daughter Scout is so powerless against him.

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What Is the Line Between Cultural Respect and (Mis)appropriation?

The Goddess Pose is fascinating story of how an Eastern European woman became a global chameleon and the most recognizable face of yoga in the world.

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If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Save It for the Internet

On the Internet, both scholars and non-academics alike find something about the genre of comment to sink their canines into.

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How Do You Pin Down the Concept of Purgatory?

Heaven Can Wait surveys the impact of an otherworldly state on the earthly condition.

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Freedom of Speech: It’s Complicated

David K. Shipler's latest is an insightful and balanced romp through the contested zones of free speech in America.

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Don’t Sign the Lease Just Yet

The journey in Housebreaking is gripping even though the payoff is light.

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A Portrait of the Artist As an Insecure Genius

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a gem full of complex personalities, tragic yet redeeming circumstances, and striking conversations and judgments.

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‘The Household Spirit’ Is a Strange Book

This is the kind of book Erma Bombeck would have written if she was on heroin or had just watched The Grave of the Fireflies while listening to Jeff Buckley.

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‘Unfair’ Shows How Ordinary Human Failings Can Lead to Failures of Justice

Drexel law professor Adam Benforado argues that the root causes of many criminal justice failures lie in misunderstandings of human psychology and behavior.

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The Grateful Dead’s Deep History Is Captured in ‘So Many Roads’

If the road doesn’t go on forever, if the Dead's reign really ends here, David Browne’s volume on The Grateful Dead may well prove to be the go-to encyclopedia for fans.

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The Art of the Game and the Game of Art

John Sharp's Works of Game: On the Aesthetics Games and Art doesn't argue whether games are art or not, but instead looks at the intersection where games and art meet.

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‘Come As You Are’: This Is the Season for Remembering the ‘90s

The complexity of identity, audience, and capital is a strong current running throughout this beautiful book.

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Glenn Greenwald’s Latest Has Us Wondering Who Watches the Watchers?

'No Place to Hide' is a portrait of courage, determination, and the lengths people go to stand by their principles.

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Consider, If You Will, the Pig

Mark Essig's Lesser Beasts is an edifying, surprising, and sometimes sad history of the other white meat.

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A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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