Tuesday, October 12 2004
A much more interesting anthology might have scrapped the omnibus approach in favor of a different overarching idea.
Wednesday, October 6 2004
Hayes postulates writing as an act of timidity and distance, a profession chosen by those who want to recreate excitement rather than experience.
As lyric poems, however, without the support of a band, it's just totally high school, totally amateur, totally naive, and not in the good way.
After quickly became -- and will hereafter be read as -- a post-Abu Ghraib novel, which burdens it with implications that Tristram could never have predicted.
Tuesday, September 28 2004
Mark Falanga's book is a non-fictional, thesis-free, made-for-TV, ADD-approved examination of American suburban life.
It is fiction for our times that expertly illustrates the dualism (hustling ambition + layered versatility) of an important sect of Generation Xers.
By representing both our divine and our human natures, Horus is Everyman and Everywoman; his story is the Gnostic story of human consciousness.
Ricks takes displaying linguistic dexterity and literary education several horizons too far -- far too often, this loses Dylan and it loses readers.
Tuesday, September 21 2004
In recounting Betsy's dynamic and destructive connections, Wareham has crafted a novel that portrays a complicated character and her multifaceted mind with deep empathy.
Zamoyski blames Napoleon's tactical leadership with the campaign's failure, and the list of errors the author attributes to the emperor looks surprisingly like the kinds of mistakes that continue to doom military campaigns to this day.
Von Hoffman rings the death knell for the 'American Century', claiming that despite its current braggadocio and so-called victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has failed in its effort to bring any stability to the region.
Tuesday, September 14 2004
Blair is an endearingly unsuccessful human being -- and writer-- out to craft the Great New Jersey Novel, thinking the Great American Novel beyond his reach.
Unvarnished, revealing, annoying, inspiring, and illuminating, the voices of Metallica in this book reach far beyond Hetfield's usual growl on his vocal recordings.
It is a pressure cooker situation. Many of the essays are filled with anger, resentment, confusion, misunderstanding, and contradictions.
Marc Acito, who has been called the 'gay Dave Barry,' understands sexual confusion and explores it subtly and lightly, avoiding a heavy-handed approach.
Tuesday, August 31 2004
The two most highly combustible issues in America -- race and sex -- had been doused with gasoline and set afire.
At best, such work is insightful; cross-breeding makes for more ingenious and unique prose. At its worse, bad multicultural literature is just bad writing.
Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look at the Last Days of Pompeii, How Towers Fall, and Other Strange Conne
Before we pass judgment on the moral fiber of earlier societies, we must first examine our own regard for humanity, our propensity for cruelty, and our readiness to deal with future disasters.
Some of her discoveries are trite, but they work in the plastic, Hollywood world in which Emily inhabits.
Wednesday, August 25 2004
The book reminds us that to create is to stand in the shadows of those who already have created.