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Thursday, November 6 2014

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.


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.


Wednesday, November 5 2014

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

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


‘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.


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?


Tuesday, November 4 2014

‘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.


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

What is it about Canada that incites apocalyptic narratives?


‘Brood’ May Keep You Up at Night

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


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.


Monday, November 3 2014

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.


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.


‘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.


Friday, October 31 2014

‘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.


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.


Thursday, October 30 2014

What a Difference a Hair Makes

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


‘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."


Wednesday, October 29 2014

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.


‘Subversive Horror Cinema’ Opens Your Eyes to Films You Thought You Knew

Aware that theories about the horror genre can turn into fanboy rants, Jon Towlson's book is almost encyclopedic in its efficient division and referential format.


Tuesday, October 28 2014

The Witchcraft of History in ‘Babyaga: A Novel of Witches in Paris ’

Like Neil Gaiman, China Miéville and Catherynne M. Valente, Toby Barlow takes an historic urban space and transforms it into a place to ask questions that haunt us.


Michael Goldberg’s Semi-Hallucinogenic Take on the Authentic Real

True Love Scars is a whirlwind tale of a young music fanatic’s quest for true love, high times and “the authentic real” (not necessarily in that order).


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