Reviews > Books
Chuck Eddy’s ‘Terminated for Reasons of Taste’ Reads Like an Eclectic Spotify Mix on Shuffle

Reading Eddy's latest is like listening to a good record store clerk: no judgment, no arrogance, just a pure love of music and some honest opinion.

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If You’re Suspicious of the Pitch, Read ‘Mad Men, Death, and the American Dream’

If Mad Men’s slickness allow us to enjoy the existential emptiness at the heart of American identity without implicating us, Bronfen’s volume works to close that distance.

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In ‘The Last Days of New Paris’, Art Kills Nazis

In Miéville’s imagining, art isn't something to hang in a museum. It is politics. It is freedom. Like Woody Guthrie’s guitar of old, this art kills fascists.

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How Does the Mind of the Political Reactionary Work?

Mark Lilla notes in The Shipwrecked Mind, “Apocalyptic historiography never goes out of style.”

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Garry Trudeau Knows Words—He Has the Best Words

Television merely gives us “Trump l'oeil”: Doonsbury's 30-year coverage of Trump gives us (gasp!) the "real deal".

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‘The Accidental Life’ Is Both a Time Capsule and a Guide

Like a good editor, Terry McDonell may be invisible, but the insights into writing and editing make up for the author's elusiveness, here.

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Rethinking the Closure of the Asylums in the Age of Community Care

Barbara Taylor's "bin memoir", as she terms it, tells a story of neglect, dysfunction, and failed expectations. She recovered; the mental health care system didn't.

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Marguerite Duras: A Sublime Passion

An intimate interview with France’s acclaimed woman of letters reveals the power of silence.

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‘Frankenstein’: An Indictment of Divine Indifference

By examining the perils of creation, Frankenstein is a parable of the inscrutable nature of man's relationship with God.

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Villette Is the Quiet, Genius Child Left Alone in the Room, Nurturing Itself

Brontë’s expedition traverses the darkest shadows away from the slightest sliver of light.

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‘Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ All-Time Greatest Hits’ Is a Fun, But at Times Frustrating Read

Binelli has his finger on the pulse of pop culture in this era, but Jay himself, as presented here, lacks a pulse.

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‘Masterpieces of Soviet Painting and Sculpture’ Can Hardly Be Bettered

It is to the credit of the editors that they cover as much ground as they do, and in such style.

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Prepare to Be Logofascinated by Paul Anthony Jones’ ‘Word Drops’

What conversation wouldn’t be improved by the inclusion of the word kummerspeck, which is defined as “excess weight gained through comfort eating” but literally means “bacon-grief”?

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‘Cyberspies’: Our Chapter Is Still Being Written

Cyberspies traces the history of computers and their relationship to espionage beginning with World War II code breaking to the present day's bulk data collection.

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Press ‘A’ for Characterization: Video Games, Fiction and Drew Magary’s ‘The Hike’

The story in Drew Magary's The Hike is a sequence of separate, cool ideas strung together tenuously with flimsy video game logic.

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Nils Büttner’s Examination of Hieronymus Bosch Pales in the Light of Its Subject

Hieronymus Bosch was a fantastic painter whose weird conception of the world stirs strong emotions. This new translation of Nils Büttner's analysis of the artist, alas, doesn't.

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Alex Marwood’s The Darkest Secret’ Is Tightly Woven and Precisely Detailed

The Darkest Secret is exactly what a mystery novel should be: suspenseful, comprehensive, fast-paced, upsetting, and fulfilling.

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Eviction Has Become Increasingly Prevalent and Increasing Damning

Matthew Desmond sees poverty and housing as questions of morality in Evicted.

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‘Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!!’ Fails to Fall Into Tune

Florence Foster Jenkins' music transports one to a realm of bizarre delights. Darryl W. Bullock's book on the singer remains firmly in the mundane.

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Observing the World at Escape Velocity With Russell Banks

Russell Banks latest is a throw-back to a bygone style of literary travel writing.

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Moving Pixels Podcast: Highbrow, Middle Brow, and Lowbrow in Free-to-Play Gaming

// Moving Pixels

"From the charmingly trashy to the more artistically inclined, there is a wide variety of gaming options in the free-to-play market.

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