Reviews > Books
In ‘The Fly Trap’ Fredrik Sjöberg Writes Much Like His Subjects Behave

If Sjöberg's stylistic tics are an impediment to real investigation, they at least provide an aesthetic pleasure all their own.

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‘The Meaning of the Library’ Goes Beyond Mere Bricks and Mortar

Despite their apparent tidiness, libraries are also formidably entropic spaces, messy jungles, with their own undergrounds.

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‘The Pawnbroker’s Daughter’ Tells Us How to Write Well and Live Beautifully

Maxine Kumin's final memoir is painfully brief, but like all her work, ever lyrical.

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Disco, AIDS and Nuclear War Permeate Jane Smiley’s ‘Early Warning’

Smiley doesn’t overlook defining political moments in part two of her trilogy, including the 1981 presidential election of Ronald Reagan and the ensuing sociopolitical shift rightward.

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‘A Little Life’ Is an Epic of the Intimate

We have all experienced joys and hardships, but through the lens of Jude's tortured existence, we truly are transported to an emotional landscape that is not our own.

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Bob Dylan’s Magical, Controversial Night Shows No Signs of Losing Life

Elijah Wald expertly recreates the (in)famous Newport electric set, shifting perspective amongst Dylan, Seeger and others to fans in the crowd and even the beleaguered sound man.

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‘Girl at War’ Will Stay With You

Did I not want this story to end due to Sara Novic's literary architecture? Or was it my investment in a character so evolved that I didn't want to let her go?

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19 Aug 2015 // 2:10 AM

Trimpe Will Smash

Herb Trimpe didn’t care much for superheroes, but he worked for one of the genre’s most enduring titles and brought to life one of its most popular characters.

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Conservative Radicalism in Edmund Burke’s ‘A Philosophical Inquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful’

A reissued classic of aesthetic theory asks, Can the body be a critic?

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‘Poetry Is Useless’ and Other Merciless Engagements With Meaninglessness

Anders Nilsen’s absorbing and provocative art satisfies with existential angst.

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‘The 100 Greatest Console Video Games’ Chooses Style Over Substance

This is an accessible boilerplate encyclopedia of vintage game history that eschews analysis for rudimentary information and attractive presentation.

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‘How Music Got Free’ Is a Compelling Read for the Disaffected Music Collector

"What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?"

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If ‘Bad English’ Gets Your Dander Up, You Should Read Ammon Shea’s Latest

Sticklers, scolds, and prescriptivists beware: you aren't as smart as you think you are.

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‘Sapiens’ Takes the Long View on the History of Humanity

Yuval Noah Harari's book is a brilliant exercise in counterfactuals: what could, might and should’ve been.

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In ‘A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me’, Denial Bites the Hand

David Gates writing shines in those moments of self-conscious vulnerability, where the veil is drawn and the confrontation with oneself and one’s reality is glaring back, undeniable.

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11 Aug 2015 // 7:00 AM

When a Memoir Isn’t

In chapter after chapter of Hold Still, Mann unfolds the dark secrets of her father, her mother, her adulterous great-grandmother -- everyone, it seems, but Mann herself.

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‘33 Days’ Is a Complex Portrayal of Life Under Nazi Occupation

A harrowing, psychological – and true – first-hand account of Nazi Germany’s invasion and occupation of France.

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‘The Dying Grass’ Refuses to be Coralled

Like the unfenced West, William T. Vollmann's novel roams freely, evading control of the mechanical hand and conforming style.

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A Massive Attack on America’s Ideological Fiction

The WikiLeaks Files examines how 21st century American imperialism works; the military and economic interventions, the covert actions, the violations of national sovereignty and human rights.

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Judith Butler’s Latest on Making and Unmaking the Self

The essays in Senses of the Subject taken together, explore the ways in which human passions (e.g., touch; desire), influence the formation of the subject.

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Ubisoft Understands the Art of the Climb

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