Reviews > Books
‘Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!!’ Fails to Fall Into Tune

Florence Foster Jenkins' music transports one to a realm of bizarre delights. Darryl W. Bullock's book on the singer remains firmly in the mundane.

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Observing the World at Escape Velocity With Russell Banks

Russell Banks latest is a throw-back to a bygone style of literary travel writing.

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‘Track Changes’: History Written on Glass

A dense, scholarly history of machine-made literary magic: effortless revisions, swappable files, perfect printouts, and what authors did with them.

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The Dark Side of Obsession in ‘The Osamu Tezuka Story’

Tezuka may be a god of manga, but his story is apocryphal.

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A Society With Its Hand on the Trigger: Vicki Baum’s ‘Grand Hotel’

Vicki Baum writes of a stir-crazy people living in a world that is both swiftly and slowly emptying of its meaning.

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Richard Russo’s ‘Everybody’s Fool’ Reminds Us That Fortune Comes in Gradations

Only in Russo’s world could we hang as tightly as we do on a belief that misguided fortunes might correct themselves and turn life’s cruelties around.

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What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions?

Vinciane Despret blends science with story to give readers new ways to think about animals and our relationships with them.

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‘Into the Maelstrom’ Provides a Fascinating View of 20th Century Underground Movements

Free music performer and writer David Toop spends much of his latest effort exploring the philosophical and artistic movements from which pre-1970 performers drew inspiration.

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Past and Present, Space and Time: The Script for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Though pasts and futures are undone and redone, by the end we are left where we began.

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Rob Sheffield’s ‘On Bowie’ Is a Textual Funeral for an Idol

Portrait of Rob Sheffield as a young American.

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In ‘You Will Know Me,’ the Mystery is Everybody

Megan Abbott’s novel of suburban gymnastics’ competitive psychosis is like the fictional version of Joan Ryan’s excoriating Little Girls in Pretty Boxes.

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‘American Candide’: A Modern Allegory on Nationalism

Candide and the gang take the gas out of the contemporary political landscape, capitalism, formal education, Hollywood and the news with a sarcastic flare.

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‘Jane Steele’, a Victorian Murderess With a Heart of Gold

This glossier and better-dressed creative reimagining of Jane Eyre falls short of the original, sacrificing depth for the usual pop culture tropes of liberal feminism.

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‘Jonathan Unleashed’: Nice Dogs, Too Bad About the Jokes

This shoots for the angsty New York comedy of Woody Allen, but it suffers from that which Allen so famously called grounds for divorce: insufficient laughter.

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‘The Star Trek Book’: This Is Why We Still Love Star Trek

Long before society caught up by heeding calls for diversity in education and the workplace, Star Trek was preaching "infinite diversity in infinite combinations" as a strength.

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‘In the Shadow of Frankenstein’ Will Haunt Your Dreams

In the Shadow of Frankenstein provides a first-rate example of how the creature's heart continues to pump life into the horror genre.

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Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie

The new Agatha Christie biography is a graphic novel in form but a mere flipbook in narrative.

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‘Last Night, a Superhero Saved My Life’ Is Grounded in Reality

Recommended reading for those whose lives were saved in the nick of time, and were transformed into their better selves, thanks to Amazons, Caped Crusaders, and Mutants.

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The Life of a Navy Wife Is Told With Blazing Honesty in ‘The War At Home’

An existence of constant upheavals, classified work, and arcane cultural mores, the military is a peculiarly isolated place even as it runs parallel to civilian life.

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Race and Sci-fi Theory: Not Just for Dissertations Anymore

Ever thought Toni Morrison's Beloved has a place at ComicCon? Carringont's Speculative Blackness might be for you.

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That Ribbon of Highway: Sharon Jones Re-shapes Woody Guthrie's Song

// Sound Affects

"Sharon Jones and Woodie Guthrie knew: great songs belong to everybody.

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