Reviews > Books
The Man Who Melted by Jack Dann

Jack Dann has created a post-apocalyptic world in which Raymond Mantle is searching for the memory of his lost wife. The search for her turns out to be a search for the relationship between memory and desire.

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Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson's towering and mystifying new novel, Tree of Smoke, is truly one of the great Vietnam novels. The faint scent of disgust of a purposeless war seems inherited straight from Greene's view of America's tragic involvement in Southeast Asia, but the exuberant exhaustion is strictly Johnson's.

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1 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

Tender As Hellfire by Joe Meno

The broken things in this book have a quality about them, maybe even a beautiful quality, rather like the book itself.

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Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right…

A memoir that slightly lacks its advertised impact in terms of discussing evangelical politics, but remains an engaging and instructive self-portrayal throughout.

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30 Sep 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam

The Vietnam experience invades Halberstam's account of the Korean War.

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27 Sep 2007 // 11:00 PM

Hes a Rebel by Mark Ribowsky

Ribowsky sees the tragic truth of the story that he's telling: Phil Spector is a terrible man who made wonderful music.

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Everybody Hurts by Leslie Simon, Trevor Kelly

This book, while witty at times, suffers from a burning desire to be cool.

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27 Sep 2007 // 10:58 PM

Vivaldis Virgins by Barbara Quick

What Quick has produced is an unwieldy mix of romance novel and character study, the latter standing out vividly, like Technicolor footage in a black-and-white film.

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Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs

Most anthologies are meant to be dipped into rather than read front-to-back, but for those who take the plunge, Marooned is an enlightening glimpse into 20 of the infinite nooks and crannies of (mostly) contemporary music.

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26 Sep 2007 // 10:59 PM

Marked by Devah Pager

Pager shows that employers regularly exclude ex-offenders from consideration for entry-level, low-paying jobs, and provides strong evidence that the situation for young black men is significantly worse than for their white counterparts.

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Hurricane Season: A Coach, His Team, and Their Triumph in the Time of Katrina by Neal Thompson

Thompson’s account of the 2005 Patriots season is, on the one hand, an inspiring sports story, but it’s also the story of a community struggling to reclaim normalcy in a time of chaos, and looking for something to cheer about in the face of overwhelming loss.

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25 Sep 2007 // 10:59 PM

Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf

Because "the act of reading is not natural" in the sense of "genetically organized," the brain must "rearrange itself" to do so, a process Wolf explains on a neuronal level.

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Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career of an Imaginary Soul Superstar by Dori Hadar

Mingering Mike is a fitting homage to its subject’s ambition and creativity. These images are bursting but fragile, full of meaning and utterly inconsequential, nothing but promise.

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24 Sep 2007 // 10:59 PM

Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton's book on altruism comes at a fortuitous time.

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An Arsonists Guide to Writers Homes in New England by Brock Clarke

Clarke's book ought to make us think about the stories we tell ourselves to keep the howling demons at bay and, hopefully, to laugh honestly at them for what they really are.

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23 Sep 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Brief Wondrous Life will not displace Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies as the novel about Dominican life and history everyone should read.

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The Futurist by James P. Othmer

Othmer keeps us engaged by scaring us about ourselves, satirically and sometimes even painfully putting us in the protagonist's shoes and seeing through his eyes the worst of a luxury economy in a global environment.

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Franklin Evans, or the Inebriate by Walt Whitman [ed. Christopher Castiglia and Glenn Hendler]

Duke University Press has reissued the Long Island-born bard's early temperance novel in a handsome paperback edition.

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When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa by Peter Godwin

This fascinating and at times harrowing memoir is written with such honesty and clarity that I was completely captivated by Godwin’s tale.

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Hotel Theory by Wayne Koestenbaum

An exhaustive, exhausting exploration, evisceration, analysis and autopsy of the author’s obsession with the phenomenon of the hotel, both edifice and state of mind.

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