Reviews > Books

17 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

Chewing Gum by Michael Redclift

Excellently written, with a thesis rich enough to make you think, and enough supporting factoid snippets to keep you armed for dinner parties or pub quizzes.

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16 Jan 2008 // 10:00 PM

John Cage by David Nicholls

If Nicholls can only describe the shadow of the event, the echo of the song, then it is to his credit that he succeeds. The book places these experimental pieces in a context outside of the assumed joke or prank.

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16 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee

Coetzee's odd 'new work of fiction' is no prize.

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The Artist’s Joke by Jennifer Higgie

What is surprising is that so little of 20th-century art criticism has focused on humor in art.

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15 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

American Skin by Ken Bruen

Irish Noir treads into malefic waters with Ken Bruen's American Skin.

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Genre in Popular Music by Fabian Holt

Holt discusses the all-importance of 'genre' in music studies, yet argues that no one knows what 'genre' really means.

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Playboy’s Silverstein Around the World by Shel Silverstein

Silverstein’s travel pieces, commissioned by Playboy Magazine, are like some of the fringe countries and cultures that he explored: not essential, but worth a visit.

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Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

Fans of Chabon will want to know that questions of identity here are sexual as well as religious and that these matters are artfully twined into the action.

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Annette Vallon: A Novel of the French Revolution by James Tipton

This debut novel by English professor Tipton is a well-researched view of life in the Loire Valley during the Revolution.

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No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Though the novel and film versions of McCarthy's story share the same long, desolate stretch of road, they provide differing ways of encountering and interpreting the signs along the way.

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10 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

The Great Funk by Thomas Hine

"When the forces of order are revealed to be a malign conspiracy," Hine suggests, "it's a good time for a party." In the 1970s, America fragmented without falling apart.

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The Rough Guide to Film by Richard Armstrong

Unlike many guides which limit themselves to DVD or video releases, the writers say "our film selections have not been dictated by availability".

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9 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

Being Sugar Ray by Kenneth Shropshire

In sports there is no shortage of flamboyant champions who, by virtue of their triumphs on the field, the court, or in the ring, rise to the mantle of celebrity.

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8 Jan 2008 // 10:00 PM

Gods Behaving Badly: by Marie Phillips

Twelve Greek gods are transplanted into a rundown north London existence, lamenting the decline of their influence in the human sphere even as they misuse their powers for trivial purposes. Hilarity ensues.

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8 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

Nanny State by David Harsanyi

Ultimately, the "nanny state" is about control, as shown in David Harsanyi's new book, which compiles numerous examples of what he terms the "tyranny of the busybody."

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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Economical and considered out of necessity, this is so meticulously crafted that there isn’t a wasted passage or a superfluous phrase.

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7 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff

Story of a Sound isn't just the story of a sound. It's a piece of jazz criticism that passionately questions and enhances the role of jazz criticism.

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If Democrats Had Any Brains, Theyd Be Republicans by Ann Coulter

Coulter has rightly calculated that a healthy dollop of GOP-championing and Dem-bashing can bait true believers into a bookstore.

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6 Jan 2008 // 9:59 PM

I Never Saw Paris by Harry I. Freund

Dialogic exploration of belief in heaven or its alternative, or a tepid exploration of the human tendency for connection and closure?

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Making Waves: New Cinemas of the 1960s by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

On censorship he says: "It tended to be assumed in European films that human beings were born with sexual organs and at a certain point in their lives began to use them, not always in socially approved ways."

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