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Tuesday, July 13 2004

Birth of a Nation by Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin with illustrations by Kyle Baker

The point of this story is less the plausibility of a city's secession than the implication of downtrodden people wielding the tools of transnational capitalism.


Being Jordan: My Autobiography by Katie Price

Whenever she goes out partying with friends she plays the part of Jordan; she meets men as Jordan, and, in a form of identity striptease, gradually reveals the Katie Price.


American Whiskey Bar by Michael Turner

Notwithstanding the $5,000, I'm afraid that Klaus 9 might get ticked off if I reveal too much.


Wednesday, July 7 2004

Sweet Land Stories by E. L. Doctorow

Grand statements, Doctorow seems to suggest, can be covered up and conspired away, but smaller, more personal defiances can carry much more weight.


How the Light Gets In by M.J. Hyland

Lou's fondness for smokes and booze is just one indication Hyland gives that her protagonist is struggling with Repressed Teen Syndrome.


Dog on the Cross by Aaron Gwyn

Gwyn sees language as 'a window into an imaginative space,' but he also believes that it is a 'virus . . . that enters us and reconfigures us in some fundamental way.'


Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild by Susan McCarthy

There's a reason a critter should be born knowing everything and having to learn nothing. Brains are expensive organs to maintain.


Tuesday, June 29 2004

Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930s: Art, Politics and the Psyche by Steven Harris

The co-option of the movement into modern mass culture is overwhelming, a testament to its genuinely threatening force.


So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star: How I Machine-Gunned a Roomful of Record Executives and Other Tr

Slichter seems to have cleverly rewritten his material in the apparent hope that it can be used as a textbook by burgeoning young stars to slip past the Simon Cowells of the music world.


Peace Kills: America’s Fun New Imperialism by P.J. O’Rourke

O'Rourke does more than simply visit these places, he goes out of his way to finding understanding in them, to find common ground. It's a commitment few understand and are willing to indulge in.


Natasha: And Other Stories by David Bezmozgis

Bezmozgis is undeniably a promising young writer, but now, only 147 pages into his career, he could not be called the new Roth, the new Malamud, or even the new Jhumpa Lahiri.


Tuesday, June 22 2004

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy by Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan

We cannot reverse the effects of colonization: exploration alters not only the colonized, 'discovered' people but the explorer.


The Hollywood Dodo by Geoff Nicholson

The Hollywood Dodo itself is a film script, a mechanical reproduction of the extinct bird, a few corpses, fragments of a novel -- in fact a multitude of interlinked things.


Going East by Matthew d’Ancona

Even if Mia acts and dresses like she is working class, she will never be working class. In the end, Mia hasn't changed; her evolution is superficial.


The Bad Guys Won by Jeff Pearlman

If the bad guys won, then maybe the good guys lost, and that's certainly true in Bill Buckner's case.


Tuesday, June 15 2004

Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia by John Gilmore

Elizabeth Short exists now as an image, the victim of what Gilmore calls 'crime as a spectacular act'.


Grab Bag / The Haunted Hillbilly by Derek McCormack

No wonder there's a skeleton on the front cover. The story is entirely bare bones.


Fashion Under Fascism: Beyond the Black Shirt by Eugenia Paulicelli

The Fascists took up the fashion industry cause as part of their agenda of managing cultural expressions of nation, class and gender in the construction of a New Italy.


Tuesday, June 8 2004

The Schooling of Claybird Catts by Janis Owens

Coming of age plots haven't gone out of style -- the term has. There's got to be a better phrase: Grow up or shut up. Reality excursions. Maturity madness.


Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories by Chuck Palahniuk

Once you've looked at people on a close enough level, you can't pretend to believe in normality any longer.


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