Reviews > Books
The Ethics of Lying and Other Philosophical Inquires Into ‘The Princess Bride’

Each essay in The Princess Bride and Philosophy does precisely what the series intends: offers new perspectives and greater insights into popular culture.

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‘Good on Paper’ Asks, Is Fidelity Possible?

Rachel Cantor follows A Highly Unlikely Scenario with a literary mystery about the difficulties of translating art into life and life into art.

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26 Jan 2016 // 3:05 AM

When Things Get Ugly

The slipperiness of ugliness is the interesting thing about it; ugliness is a transitory marker that contains the possibility to be both harmful and enabling.

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Almost Everything Is Open to Interpretation in Quentin S. Crisp’s ‘Blue on Blue’

Blue on Blue is a delightful kaleidoscope of ponderings, musings, and mysteries.

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‘Fantastic Planets, Forbidden Zones, and Lost Continents’ Ranks 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Films

Not only does this collect all the film ephemera into one place for easy reference, it also serves as a springboard for the kinds of conversations that energize sci-fi fans.

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A Comic Book Look at Guns N’ Roses Wild Ride Through the Perils of Rock ‘n’ Roll Decadence

With Axl, Slash and Duff at least now set to reunite for the 2016 Coachella Festival and a rumored summer tour, Reckless Life comes at a great time to revisit the band’s colorful history.

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The Pessimist’s Guide to Saving the World

A pessimistic outlook, argues Stuart Sim, is much healthier for humankind than optimism.

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Doctor Who’s Famous Sonic Screwdriver

For those interested in how to construct an on-screen universe, there is no better place to start than with Doctor Who: Impossible Worlds.

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Night Riders and Matinee Movies: The Relationship Between the KKK and American Film

This book could not be timelier, given the nativist and racist rhetoric inflaming discourse among America's Republican Party presidential hopefuls.

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Igor Stravinsky’s Music Will Long Outlast the Chatter it Begat

True to form for Critical Lives, Jonathan Cross packs a rich life into a lean yet bountiful biography in Igor Stravinsky.

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And: Phenomenology of the End by Franco Berardi

Imagine orienting yourself on a map, scratching a red "X" to mark your location, and then realizing how precarious your position is, how perilously far you are from where you want to be.

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Sarah Vowell Explores American History With One Foot Firmly in the Land of Humor

Part travelogue, part historical narrative, and every bit a statement on post-Obama politics, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States is an interesting work that serves multiple purposes.

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13 Jan 2016 // 3:05 AM

Beer Is a Funny Thing

The Comic Book Story of Beer shows how the evolution of beer parallels the evolution of civilization. Bottoms up to civilization!

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‘Like Family’ Unfortunately, Is a Story as Lifeless as Its Central Subject

Like Family is full of worthwhile scattered sentiments, but there isn’t enough appeal or momentum between them to make enduring the entire work worthwhile.

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Paper Your Walls With Rock’s Most Beloved, Most Surprising Poster Artist, Todd Slater

There were two people whose music poster hobbies interested me in graduate school. One of them was a local guitarist who did the publicity flyers

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‘Cruising the Movies’ Is as Entertaining as the Movies That It Looks At

Cruising the Movies is film writing that delivers that magic with verve, wit, and self-deprecation.

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8 Jan 2016 // 3:05 AM

Problems at the Zoo

While revealing the complex social ecology of zoos, David Grazian's ethnographic safari ends up defending moral twilight zones.

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The Songs of Sorrowful Fates and Bloodthirsty Constituents Are Sung in ‘Hear My Sad Story’

Richard Polenberg's work documents America's musicology of lawless police and amped-up citizens chasing, terrorizing, maiming, and killing innocent people.

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Buttoned Up: Clothing, Conformity, and White-Collar Masculinity by Erynn Masi de Casanova

Office culture is full of passive aggressions and radical uncertainties. Buttoned Up is a delightfully firm hook on which to hang your hat, if hats are your thing.

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Bad Graphics Are Still Impressive in ‘Spirits of Xanadu’

// Moving Pixels

"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.

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