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Friday, May 26 2006

We Are Billion Year Old Carbon: A Tribal-Love-Rock-Novel Set in the Sixties on an Outpost Planet Cal

It's like a psych-rock album, reveling in its pretensions and subverting the dominant systems (in this case, narrative linearity) as it breaks the form.


The Politics of Small Things: The Power of the Powerless in Dark Times by Jeffrey C. Goldfarb

Goldfarb examines the day-to-day connections between people that help them escape isolation, loneliness and despair, the very things Arendt identifies as seeds of the terror that totalitarianism reaps.


Thursday, May 25 2006

Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen

As far as I know, Cohen isn't dying of anything other than the slow death of the existentialist, but there are portions of Book of Longing that read with the calmness of somebody who's reached Kubler-Ross' last stage: acceptance.


Wednesday, May 24 2006

Mexican Days: Journeys Into the Heart of Mexico by Tony Cohan

Cohan links himself with eccentrics and outcasts, all engaged together in an endeavor that is arguably futile, all devoting their lives to the pursuit of Mexico.


Tuesday, May 23 2006

Everyman by Philip Roth

Everyman is of a piece with Roth's oeuvre and yet somehow distinct and unique.


Monday, May 22 2006

The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houllebecq

Like Daniel, Houllebecq is a wounded animal lashing out in fear at the unfathomable mysteries of existence.


Friday, May 19 2006

March by Geraldine Brooks

March's lessons can be taken on board by any liberal concerned by conservatives gaining ground in the 'culture wars'.


Thursday, May 18 2006

Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen

Losing his virginity becomes an issue of cleaning up, rather than some crash-bang moment of adult discovery.


Wednesday, May 17 2006

Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream by Florian Keller

Andy Kaufman was not a traditional comedian, actor, or performance artist. He was a silly and many times ominous provocateur, instead.


Tuesday, May 16 2006

Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyon

It is a book that will pummel your boundaries of acceptability if you don't keep an open mind. But it is an artifact that we, as a culture, should digest and ponder.


Monday, May 15 2006

Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock by Andrew Beaujon

Are the bands or the fans cognizant of the Orwellian perversion of Jesus' teachings of love and acceptance that institutionalized evangelism has perpetrated?"


Friday, May 12 2006

In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

Murakami plays with space and culture, shedding light on the lack of personal space by drawing the reader into the claustrophobic world of the story's narrator, Kenji, then mimicking the desire to get away from the pervasive presence of a horrific American sociopath named Frank.


Thursday, May 11 2006

Lockpick Pornography by Joey Comeau

You have to admire the guy's chutzpah and directness, and love the fact that he's utterly circumventing the 'norms' of how one is a success in the publishing world.


Wednesday, May 10 2006

Black Hole by Charles Burns

It's Dazed and Confused meets X-Men by way of whatever schlock horror film is at the multiplex this week -- only, you know, without any of the subtext you would usually find in a Richard Linklater film, an X-Men comic book, or your average horror movie.


Tuesday, May 9 2006

Fire in the Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy and Its Aftermath by John C. Esposito

As Esposito explains, a fearful crowd is far more dangerous and deadly than a calm one.


Monday, May 8 2006

Ether: The Nothing that Connects Everything by Joe Milutis

Milutis' book is a manifesto for something that seems to be driving artists everywhere. Although it hides behind language of academic criticism, it is an anti-critical call to arms.


Friday, May 5 2006

Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson

In an ancillary sense, the author uses the events of Katrina to tell the African American community that they cannot have it both ways. One should not shout 'Amen' when Bill Cosby disses poor black folk yet cry foul when the media refers to African American citizens stranded at the Superdome as 'refugees'.


Thursday, May 4 2006

Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship by Jack Klugman (with Burton Rocks)

In a notable departure from many Hollywood celeb tomes, Klugman eschews any self-aggrandizement to focus on honoring the memory of his best friend while also resisting the temptation to canonize him.


Wednesday, May 3 2006

Mohr by Frederick Reuss

The strength of Reuss's writing is more in his observations, the way he builds emotions out of little details like the objects in the clutter of a room or the way a certain person moves.


Tuesday, May 2 2006

Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains by Annie Cheney

Morbid curiosity drives our interest, and there is plenty of disturbing subtext involving doctors who substitute PVC pipe for bones and freezers overflowing with headless, limbless torsos.


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