Wednesday, October 23 2013
A man in a Croatian village still shaken by war meets a family who unwittingly "open a trapdoor to the past" in this beautifully paced, quietly suspenseful novel.
Dare Me has been compared to everything from Fight Club to Lord of the Flies and is just as overtly masculine and dark as those two noted novels.
Tuesday, October 22 2013
Although the highest-paid author in America, with a million books sold, Jack London found himself pitching "crackerjack" serials as "a dog writer" to grab "the biggest public I have".
Byzantium gleefully veers through time and space, from the titular 7th century empire to 19th century settings ranging from the fields and alleys of Havana to the docks of Texas to a religious community carved out of the wilds of northern Michigan.
Monday, October 21 2013
In Critical Mass James Wolcott directs us to the intellectuals, entertainers, performers, and/or celebrities who have graced, cursed, or captivated him ever since he quit Frostburg State and hit Woody's Manhattan.
Unlike many books that put words into Shakespeare's mouth, Nick de Somogyi does an excellent job of literary forensics. He expertly reconstructs Shakespeare's insights into stagecraft that lie scattered throughout his works.
Friday, October 18 2013
Stamps serve as a synecdoche for Great Britain's challenges and creations, if affording a small peephole more than a panorama.
Thursday, October 17 2013
In Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz every fan of the classic Trek will find an image that will take them where no one has gone before.
Wha' the whatty-wha'-wha'? Shouldn't you be dead?
Wednesday, October 16 2013
Razmig Keucheyan's expansive, global survey of critical theory provides an ideal primer for anyone willing to risk diving in to the eddying flows of anti-capitalist thought.
This book turns global statistics about poverty, hunger, alcoholism and computer use, among others, into stunning visual representations.
Tuesday, October 15 2013
Meyer Spacks brings a clear-eyed examination of the socioeconomic hierarchies and cultural values of Austen’s time without becoming overly fond of, or resistant to, the ideas of love and romance that run through the novel.
Monday, October 14 2013
This is a fascinating satire that wonders what makes us human.
Although slow-paced and vain, readers will be reminded of Elif Batuman’s wonderful memoir, The Possessed, which also wrings humor from stilted translations and complex cultural exchanges.
Friday, October 11 2013
The new Penguin edition of John O'Hara's short stories set in New York City is a treasure for any O'Hara fan. They show the master at his best--salty, cynical and at times, disarmingly sentimental.
Before Jerry Seinfeld spoke of shrinkage and Adam Sandler sang of Hanukkah, Allan Sherman sang about silly Jewish tales from deep in the heart of the suburbs to the absurdities of summer camps.
Thursday, October 10 2013
Divas, Dames & Daredevils is bursting with hardboiled detectives, lawyers, World War II flying aces, goddesses and science fiction warriors -- all in the Golden Age of comics, when Batman was still finding his footing.
Once the tome gets going, Slimed! can be an insightful and occasionally funny read with a near Rashomon-like telling of the same events from different points of view.
Wednesday, October 9 2013
Jonathan Lethem's family saga, Dissident Gardens, recalls Saul Bellow or Philip Roth’s urban intellectuals battling Jewish angst.
Noise may antagonize, subvert, transcend or annoy, but one person's noise is almost always another's music.