Reviews > Books
From Rust Belt to Brain Belt: ‘The Smartest Places on Earth’

An economist and a journalist report on how advances in technology and communication are helping once moribund industrial cities become hotspots for global innovation.

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29 Sep 2016 // 2:15 AM

Ways of Seeing Kate Bush

Harari’s images are not so much windows unto an inner soul or even openings to the performer’s penchant for the conspicuously odd, but rather hopes for the undisclosed.

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Walter Benjamin’s Fiction in ‘The Storyteller’ Is a Warm Cure for an Academic Hangover

A master of the theory of craft puts his money where his mouth is, revealing a precise descriptive power that gracefully commands plot and characterization.

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Californium: Another Story of Adolescent Angst—With Guitars

Californium is a Frankenstein’s monster of coming-of-age stories, its many moving parts borrowed and reassembled from stock, clichéd characters and plot devices.

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On Friedrich Nietzsche’s Early Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual Development

The Making of Friedrich Nietzsche is a carefully considered and well-paced biography that knows exactly how much it intends to say and doesn't aspire to take on any more than is necessary.

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‘Planetes’ Should Be Required Baggage on the First Mission to Mars

This space drama aboard a garbage collection ship makes for first-rate sci-fi.

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‘Fade To Gray’ Is an Insightful Study of Aging in American Cinema

Timothy Shary and Nancy McVittie’s rewarding, accessible study explores representations of aging and older characters in American film from early cinema to the present-day.

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Neil Gaiman Takes on a Different Perspective

Readers of Gaiman's blog or Twitter feed know his schedule is always full of interesting projects. Here's proof that he's just as busy, and interesting, on the nonfiction side.

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Less Story, More Play: All Aboard for Planet Marlys!

Legendary cartoonist Lynda Barry's most iconic character takes center stage in this large-format hardback.

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Diane Arbus: “Happiness Perplexed Her”

Arthur Lubow is a meticulous researcher whose writing on Diane Arbus never devolves into the prurient or pedantic.

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More Sound and Fury Than Clarity in ‘Against Ambience’

While Kim-Cohen's writing can be cynical and unforgiving and uncompromising. If he's right, none of that matters.

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Race Mixing in ‘Absalom’s Daughters’

This is not an attempt to rewrite Faulkner as much as it's a cogent effort at bringing women and people of color to the forefront of a Faulkner-inspired work.

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‘Tastes Like Chicken’ Will Have You Wanting Seconds

All the great information in Emelyn Rude's Tastes Like Chicken is distractingly indulgent and at times appears to lack direction.

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‘High Dive’ Balances the Momentous Event With the Human Experience

Despite the story's smoldering core about the 1984 Brighton Hotel Bombing, Lee concerns himself mostly with the periphery.

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The Power of the Mythic Medusa in Deborah Levy’s ‘Hot Milk’

An intelligent exploration of myth, memory, and the monstrous in the feminine.

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‘Red’ Is at Once Surprising and Soothing

The story of early red dyes reveals everything about agriculture,the development of international trade, and fashion and class distinctions.

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NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX with Jeff Alulis

Offensive and obscene in all the best ways, The Hepatitis Bathtub is a wild and crazy ride through punk, addiction, kinky sex and noise.

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‘Motown: The Sound of Young America’ Over-promises and Under-delivers

A Motown book that largely recounts the career of its head salesperson can’t really be seen as a definitive history of an enterprise that changed music, culture and commerce in America.

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Looking for ‘The Stranger’: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic

Camus's classic has finally earned its very own biography.

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‘In Search of Lost Films’ Leaves One Imagining the Possibilities

Film critic Phil Hall searches out the stories behind the deletion of films that could be as important as those that were saved.

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