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Wednesday, January 21 2004

Burn by Jennifer Natalya Fink

Fink manages the cultural uncertainty of the outsider and dissenter in the material deftly by presenting not only a Communist heroine but one that is Jewish as well in a time that prized greater homogeneity.


Monday, January 12 2004

Striptease: From Gaslight to Spotlight by Jessica Glasscock

With surprisingly little attention paid toward the concept of the 'male gaze,' Glasscock, instead, frames her retrospective around the impact that these women have had on culture, both selectively and in entirety.


Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Reviewers should never reveal that critical plot pivot early in most suspense thrillers when the reader should stop and think about the protagonist's course of action. The 'give away point' you could call it.


Mailman by J. Robert Lennon

Mailman's double life offers a penetrating critique of American social hypocrisy, embroiled in its own weird narrative, reluctant to respond to much outside of itself, and forced, eventually, to go on the run in search of escape from itself and the world it has made.


The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s: A Gay Life in the 1940s by Ricardo J. Brown

Three men with little in common save their sexual preference for other men and, because of the times in which they came of age, the need to keep that a secret from most of society.


Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light by Patrick McGilligan

Who but 'a manipulative egoist' could have created so much enthralling cinema? And who but 'a shriveled soul' would have wanted to?"


Monday, January 5 2004

Visions of the Apocalypse: Spectacles of Destruction in American Cinema by Wheeler Winston Dixon

At once a meditation on all that is wrong with contemporary cinema and a comment on the political climate, the book argues that we have always been fascinated with our own destruction and it is only now that we can realise it on screen.


True Enough by Stephen McCauley

Through McCauley's eyes, even the white lies used in social discourse become indicative of humanity's almost pathological inability to be frank.


The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, & Consciousne

Critics who deem the adornment of a person, place or object as inauthentic, something that merely adds disguise and trickery, fail to recognize what a tap of the pretty stick adds to the 'function' of something.


A Quaint & Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore: The Mythology & History of Classic Horror Films by Fran

Stritto would probably agree with those who feel that what keeps these old favorites alive -- as opposed to dusty museum pieces -- is that they are capable of reinterpretation.


The Known World by Edward P. Jones

This is the crux of the novel: Slavery pollutes everyone who participates in it and warps their concepts of justice and humanity.


Beckham, Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography by David Beckham with Tom Watt

David Beckham is not the pink nail-polished, panty-wearing metrosexual husband of Posh Spice. He is the average bloke who is living the sports fantasy through hard work and training.


Friday, December 19 2003

Tabloid Nation: From the Birth of the Daily Mirror to the Death of the Tabloid by Chris Horrie

While the motive for running newspapers may now be profit, in other respects the two motivations have merged. Profit is power.


Red, White and Liberal: How Left is Right and Right is Wrong by Alan Colmes

One can appreciate Colmes's need to do some CYA when it comes to his employer, yet his repeated defense of Fox News reinforces the opinion of those liberals who brand him a sell-out.


Love and Country by Christina Adam

In the wrong hands, a concoction of adolescent boys, absent fathers, lonely mothers and an untamed land could shove the entire enterprise into Hallmark Hall of Fame territory.


Every Good Boy Does Fine by Tim Laskowski

One of the most significant messages carried by the novel is that reality is not obliged to make anyone's dreams come true.


Edison & the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death by Mark Essig

Essig combines together a mini-biography of Thomas Edison, a short history of capital punishment in America, wars over electricity and the evolution of the electric chair.


Collected Poems 3: Poems 1997-2003 by Peter Reading

Reading invites the reader into a poetic world where the contemplation of natural beauty is an imperative in the face of its imminent destruction at the hand of man.


Tuesday, December 2 2003

Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer’s Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty by Scott Turow

Ultimately, to Turow, the issue is one of moral proportion. The perpetrators of the most violent crimes, the most depraved of the depraved, would seem to warrant the most extreme of penalties.


Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace

This account of infinity is enough to make a head reel, as paradoxes, mind games, and riddles that left the greatest minds in mathematics stumped for ages are packed into a matter of a few hundred pages.


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