Reviews > Books
‘The Girl in the Road’ Blends Genres Into a Rich, Sensuous Broth

In its heartfelt, humorous appraisal of the shocking beauty of life, all scars and suffering included, The Girl in the Road is profoundly generous and humane writing.

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‘Maeve’s Times’ Collects Five Decades of Observation by an Astute Irish Writer

Maeve Binchy's good-natured voice challenges Irish prejudice or piety on behalf of those who have been shut out or held down.

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A Wealth of Disturbing Knowledge Awaits You in ‘Flings’

It's rare to find a fresh new voice writing strong realistic fiction about life as it is lived today in America. Justin Taylor's stories will astound you.

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The Unintentionally Chaotic, Uninhibited, and Almost Anarchic Force of Film

The language of cinema, The Intervals of Cinema argues, is more indebted to the traditions of literature and theater than is commonly understood.

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Geoff Dyer Is an Incredible Portraitist

Geoff Dyer has a knack for compelling the reader to stay with him, even when his characters are unlikeable.

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From the Rainbow to Shadows: ‘Judy Garland on Judy Garland’

The ultimate Judy Garland encyclopedia told by the person who knew her best: herself.

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‘In the Light of What We Know’ Suffers From Sahib Syndrome

While living in Pakistan I often noted how a certain class of subcontinental man was prone to what I called “sahib syndrome” – the need to pontificate, at length.

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On ‘Being Miss America’ and Exchanging Ideals

The lyrics to the Miss America theme song say, “There she is, your ideal.” But what does that mean today?

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‘The Underground Girls of Kabul’ Highlights the Learned Nature of Gender Assumptions

This is an outstanding work of journalism, full of riveting stories about the real lives of girls and women in Afghanistan today.

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Here’s Hoping Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven’ Isn’t an Instruction Manual

What is it about Canada that incites apocalyptic narratives?

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‘Brood’ May Keep You Up at Night

Brood serves up a richly imagined, hideous, surprising world.

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On Running Face First Into the Walls of the Ivory Tower

An epistolary novel set within a literally crumbling ivory tower, Dear Committee Members is a smart, wry, and all-too-realistic look into contemporary academic life.

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If Only All of History Were Told as Well as Jonathan Beckman’s ‘How to Ruin a Queen’

Regardless of the melodramatic, almost operatic overtones of the plot, this telling is at its best when it contextualizes the sociopolitical setting in which the story is unfolding.

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Reading ‘The Hospital Suite’ Is Rather Like Watching a Play Adapted from the Dairies of a Dying Man

If the unprepared reader gives the man and his book a chance, that reader will learn to appreciate, and possibly even love, John Porcellino's storytelling.

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‘The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street’ Is Sweet Where It Could Have Been Corny

With a picaresque tone and first person narration reminiscent of Charles Dickens, Gilman’s novel is a delightful chronicle of New York history.

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‘The Boy Who Drew Monsters’ Is a Terrifying Treatise on Raising a Difficult Child

This novel will give you chills, make the hairs on your body stand at end, and, yes, even give you bad dreams.

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Another Kind of Horror: ‘When Paris Went Dark’

When Paris Went Dark is a penetrating history of the anxiety, confusion, claustrophobia, and uncertainty experienced by a city in the grip of an unpredictable menace.

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What a Difference a Hair Makes

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil feels timeless, because it contains truths you’ve known all along.

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‘The Art of the English Murder’: It’s Not all Good Clean Fun

The second half of the19th century saw the murder rate drop precisely when "the activity of enjoying a murder became increasingly acceptable."

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Long Live the Old Flesh: David Cronenberg’s ‘Consumed’

Cronenberg's Consumed feels similar to that of fellow Canadian sci-fi writer William Gibson, in that the narrative is globe-hopping in nature and both writers share a fetish for technology.

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'Wanted' Is a Spaghetti Western That Will Leave You Wanting

// Short Ends and Leader

"The charisma of Giuliano Gemma and some stellar action sequences can't save this sub-par spaghetti western.

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