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Thursday, February 20 2014

Day-by-Day, London Life from Hundreds of Voices over Hundreds of Years

A London Year chronicles marvelous tales and observations by writers known and unknown.


Linda Ronstadt Is a Beautiful Writer and an Adept Storyteller

In Simple Dreams Grammy Award wining Linda Ronstadt takes readers on a ride through the landscape of America's '60s and '70s music.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

Poking Fun at Everyone: ‘Mad’s Dave Berg

Dave Berg's Mad work reveals the true motivations of people, their selfishness and greed, and their utter ridiculousness.


Alas, Surface-Skimming Is the Dominant Mode in ‘The Beatles Solo’

Books about the Fab Four need to justify themselves. The Beatles Solo, a handsome but information-light and overpriced doorstop, doesn't get there.


Tuesday, February 18 2014

Bite-Sized Bond: ‘James Bond Omnibus Volume 005’

Terrorists want to kill the US Secretary of State; sensitive information is in danger of falling into the wrong hands. What more do you need?


Monday, February 17 2014

‘Death of the Black-Haired Girl’ Will Get Under Your Skin

Robert Stone has set his terrific new novel at a fictional school called "Amesbury". But don't be fooled. The institution he indicts is Yale University.


Gertrude Stein’s Brow-Furrowing Children’s Book Gets a Royal Reissue

Thinking of Gertrude Stein’s work in traditional storytelling terms is an exercise in futility. So how should one think of this?


Friday, February 14 2014

Roddy Doyle’s ‘The Guts’ Is No Sentimental Shite

In Roddy Doyle’s many-years-on follow-up to The Commitments a middle-aged Dublin rocker faces mortality and a serious case of Nick Hornby-itis.


Thursday, February 13 2014

Serge Gainsbourg’s Concept Album, Through the Zeitgeist Darkly

The question of the narrator of Histoire de Melody Nelson and its title nymph can only be answered by exploring the questions surrounding Serge Gainsbourg himself.


“The Mist in the Mirror’ Is Murky, but Spine-Chilling

Like The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror proves Susan Hill is a master at spinning a good old fashioned ghost story.


Wednesday, February 12 2014

‘Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult’ Is Hellishly Illumniating

Black metal is often reduced to a slew of clichés, but Black Metal unpacks the genre’s history in its true form via a huge cast of characters.


Little Feat Finally Gets Their Due

Little Feat's sound evolved and changed, creating a heady mixture of pop, rock R&B, boogie, country, soul, funk and jazz.


Tuesday, February 11 2014

‘Dogfight’ Is a Lively Account of the Business End of Apple and Google Rivalry

Apple versus Google: "It is the defining business battle of a generation", and Fred Vogeistein explains why.


Artistic Struggle the 19th Century Russian Way

Stephen Walsh finds the human drama in Musorgsky and His Circle, the story of "a commando unit of Russian composers forcing themselves on the attention of an unsuspecting world."


Monday, February 10 2014

Must One Wear Out Nine Pairs of Shoes in Order to Truly Appreciate New York?

Sociologist William B. Helmreich tramps through every neighborhood on foot to record New York City's density and diversity for The New York Nobody Knows.


A Visual Feast, a Melancholy Tale, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’

Anyone who thinks fairy tales have happy endings either hasn’t read enough of them, or hasn’t read enough of the original, pre-Disneyfied material.


Friday, February 7 2014

Lovecraft and Culbard’s ‘The Shadow Out of Time’ Is a Brooding, Unsettlingly Epic Tale

This is a story whose audacious premise is grandiose enough to swallow most anything the reader could think to throw it at.


The Two Worlds of Susan Minot’s ‘Thirty Girls’

Jane's is the tourist's world of "towering eucalyptus smelling of mint" and an evening sun "cracked in a marble sky". Esther's is a world is full of violence and the fear of dying at any minute.


Thursday, February 6 2014

Cracking Up: Why Writing and Drinking May Not Be Such a Great Combination, After All

The Trip to Echo Spring contemplates the vexed relationship between six great American writers and the alcoholism that undermined their lives.


‘Being Here’ Poses Some Serious and Pertinent Questions to Notable Jazz Musicians

These interviews range from the succinct to the sublime with many artists feeling they are only vessels for the music which somehow comes from some universal wellspring of the human experience.


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