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Reviews > Books

Thursday, December 22 2005

Chasing Elvis by Glenn P. Marcel

Elvis stands in popular culture a singular force whose persona like Whitman's permits contradictions and provokes an urge to make myths.


Wednesday, December 21 2005

The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value by James F. English

Without passing any sort of overt judgment on cultural prizes themselves, English instead provides some illuminating research on the driving forces behind the 20th century proliferation of awards.


Monday, December 19 2005

Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist by John Brockman

We like our lives to be a seamless narrative, and it takes a lot of editing to turn the chaotic jumps of experience into a good story.


Friday, December 16 2005

The Beatles by Bob Spitz

Spitz conquers the sensibilities of common logic by telling us a story we know by heart as if we'd never heard it.


Thursday, December 15 2005

Dr. Golem: How to Think About Medicine by Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch

Reading Dr. Golem is like looking at a diseased heart on an electrocardiogram with improperly placed leads; you can clearly tell something is wrong, but the angles are all distorted.


Wednesday, December 14 2005

Howl for Now: A Celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s Epic Protest Poem by Simon Warner

It's a poem that must be heard, and seen, and felt, a literary 'happening' that can only be captured with divergent artistic facets superimposed and interlaced with each other.


Tuesday, December 13 2005

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things I’ve Learned by Alan Alda

The book, with Alda's full life as its case study, presents new ways of looking at old problems; new approaches to long-standing lessons.


Monday, December 12 2005

The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Richie

Richie somehow manages to take a lifetime of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll and render it about as exciting as Kenny G playing Christmas tunes.


Friday, December 9 2005

Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler by Ethan Brown

This book provides a parabolic tale. Brown articulates that the tragic circumstances surrounding so many hip-hop greats signifies the folly of confusing a crime underworld with BET's Access Granted.


Thursday, December 8 2005

Devil’s Midnight by Yuri Kapralov

Certainly the Russian Revolution has been tackled before, but Kapralov's stab brings a level of dark, supernatural mysticism that throws an already-gloomy history even deeper into shadow.


Wednesday, December 7 2005

Bat Boy Lives! by David Perel

If the horse that played Mr. Ed was really a pothead, how did it operate the bong?"


Tuesday, December 6 2005

San Francisco Noir by Peter Maravelis

Out there on the foggy edge on the continent, with its outlaw history, mad riot of architecture and strangely cold sun, San Francisco casts some long, weird shadows.


Monday, December 5 2005

Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa by Karin Muller

The chaos of the crowd struggling to board the last train out of Tokyo at midnight is so wonderfully suffocating, the rigidness of sumo training so extreme, that they beg to be witnessed in person.


Friday, December 2 2005

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill

Sex may be a physical act, but it's a psychological response. In this respect then, Gaitskill is an author of interiors.


Thursday, December 1 2005

Dr. Futurity by Philip K. Dick

By using the previous genocide of the native residents of North America as a futuristic rallying cry for his characters, Dick delivers an interesting epic without a great deal of technical wizardry or speculative mumbo jumbo.


Wednesday, November 30 2005

Continued by Piotr Sommer

Nearly every poem springs from/exists in the Relentlessly Everyday.


Tuesday, November 29 2005

Speak Now by Kaylie Jones

The novel suggests that, if not faced -- if only medicated away, as both Clara and Mark have been wont to do -- shadows of the past will permeate the present.


Monday, November 28 2005

Spice: the History of a Temptation by Jack Turner

The allure of spice lives on in the present, although certainly in a less rarified atmosphere than in its heyday.


Wednesday, November 23 2005

Surrender by Sonya Hartnett

Surrender is a novel about a young boy made to bear an unbearable burden, and about the bargains he strikes to sustain himself.


Lennon Revealed by Larry Kane

Former journalist Kane's flawed but passionate take on Lennon succeeds because of its flaws -- not unlike Lennon himself.


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