Tuesday, April 5 2005
When Boyd does make attempts at description, he produces painful prose. The boxing metaphors just keep coming.
For readers who see specters of the Tyrel Corporation in headlines every day, Naam's relentlessly optimistic take on the future of biotechnology is a tough pill to swallow.
The commercial success of The Da Vinci Code isn't just a lesson in shrewd marketing, either. There's something else going on: a thirst for something deeper and richer.
Tuesday, March 29 2005
The Winter family's disastrous experience is a microcosm of the relationship between the world's haves and have-nots.
This book had the makings of a great literary-mystery hybrid of the sort not seen since, perhaps, Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye.
Charlie Fell is a slightly jaded yet optimistic reincarnation of Stephen Dedalus. And, like Dedalus, he wonders endlessly, trying to find meaning to his life.
The Music Internet Untangled: Using Online Services to Expand Your Musical Horizons by Andy Breeding
No longer do you have to hang out at the local record store to hear new music, nor do you have to pour over countless magazines and spend lots of money on bands you've never heard before.
In the world of social critic Nelson George, even the villain reads Toni Morrison on the way to kidnap the world's reigning pop princess.
Tuesday, March 22 2005
While the final effect is like a pointillist painting that adds up to something amazing, waiting for McEwan to connect the dots becomes a little tiring.
McKinney sets out to re-place the greatest band in rock and roll history within the context of the volatile time in which the band exploded into the public consciousness, changing the band, its four members and everyone forever.
Kinsey remains an enigmatic figure, one of Boyle's numerous gurus that his fiction has distrusted so readily over the last several decades.
Beginning this book was like engaging in conversation with a Born Again pro-lifer at a clinic picket line.
When the subject is coke, blow, 'caine, whatever the chosen endearment or curse of nomenclature may be, the story never really ends.
Wednesday, March 9 2005
It has been said that a country gets the government it deserves; perhaps the same is true of religion. Pass the Kool Aid, please.
Nothing is ignored: Castro, reading, four wives, writing, booze, lunch with Orson Welles, depression, and ever-present genius.
Formidable buildings, generous foundations, society scandals -- all these factors generally follow noteworthy players in American history, and the Guggenheim family is no exception.
Tuesday, March 1 2005
Liddle freights the sex in these stories with symbolic weight, but that means it can never be merely 'improper behavior' -- sex must be an expression of character, a vehicle for various obsessions and shortcomings, a cause for romantic tumult.
Curtis' refusal to see any gay content or sensibility in Whale's films, beyond the director's penchant for large floral arrangements on his sets, is baffling.
More than merely reflecting people and the times in which they live, iconic brands offer myths that help resolve the contradictions of society.
We are reminded that for most of history, doubt has been a moderating factor, allowing for a more cosmopolitan atmosphere.