Reviews > Books

19 May 2006 // 12:00 AM

March by Geraldine Brooks

March's lessons can be taken on board by any liberal concerned by conservatives gaining ground in the 'culture wars'.

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Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen

Losing his virginity becomes an issue of cleaning up, rather than some crash-bang moment of adult discovery.

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Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream by Florian Keller

Andy Kaufman was not a traditional comedian, actor, or performance artist. He was a silly and many times ominous provocateur, instead.

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Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyon

It is a book that will pummel your boundaries of acceptability if you don't keep an open mind. But it is an artifact that we, as a culture, should digest and ponder.

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Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock by Andrew Beaujon

Are the bands or the fans cognizant of the Orwellian perversion of Jesus' teachings of love and acceptance that institutionalized evangelism has perpetrated?"

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In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami

Murakami plays with space and culture, shedding light on the lack of personal space by drawing the reader into the claustrophobic world of the story's narrator, Kenji, then mimicking the desire to get away from the pervasive presence of a horrific American sociopath named Frank.

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Lockpick Pornography by Joey Comeau

You have to admire the guy's chutzpah and directness, and love the fact that he's utterly circumventing the 'norms' of how one is a success in the publishing world.

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10 May 2006 // 12:00 AM

Black Hole by Charles Burns

It's Dazed and Confused meets X-Men by way of whatever schlock horror film is at the multiplex this week -- only, you know, without any of the subtext you would usually find in a Richard Linklater film, an X-Men comic book, or your average horror movie.

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Fire in the Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy and Its Aftermath by John C. Esposito

As Esposito explains, a fearful crowd is far more dangerous and deadly than a calm one.

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Ether: The Nothing that Connects Everything by Joe Milutis

Milutis' book is a manifesto for something that seems to be driving artists everywhere. Although it hides behind language of academic criticism, it is an anti-critical call to arms.

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Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson

In an ancillary sense, the author uses the events of Katrina to tell the African American community that they cannot have it both ways. One should not shout 'Amen' when Bill Cosby disses poor black folk yet cry foul when the media refers to African American citizens stranded at the Superdome as 'refugees'.

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Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship by Jack Klugman (with Burton Rocks)

In a notable departure from many Hollywood celeb tomes, Klugman eschews any self-aggrandizement to focus on honoring the memory of his best friend while also resisting the temptation to canonize him.

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Mohr by Frederick Reuss

The strength of Reuss's writing is more in his observations, the way he builds emotions out of little details like the objects in the clutter of a room or the way a certain person moves.

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Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains by Annie Cheney

Morbid curiosity drives our interest, and there is plenty of disturbing subtext involving doctors who substitute PVC pipe for bones and freezers overflowing with headless, limbless torsos.

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1 May 2006 // 12:00 AM

King Dork by Frank Portman

There's a lot that separates King Dork from, say, Harry Potter. First off, although much has been made of his continuing maturation, Harry Potter has yet to receive a blowjob.

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Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life by Jillian Michaels

Her method is refreshing because it deliberately and aggressively counters late-night TV revolutions and the South Beach-Atkins-Scarsdale-No-Carbs-High-Carbs-Carmen Electra-Strip-Yourself-Thin health product glut.

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Sprawl: A Compact History by Robert Bruegmann

Bruegmann maintains that there are at least two causes of sprawl in its modern form, increased affluence and the spread of democracy.

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Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes by Laurel Snyder (editor)

For many of the essays, the most heartbreaking moments occur after the child has declared his or herself a Jew, only to be rejected by members of the tribe.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer

Foer writes on these tragedies with wide-eyed sincerity, undiffused optimism, and his heart on sleeve, without venturing into the mawkish.

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The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors by Ann Gibbons

Ann Gibbons tells the story of human origins and evolution by addressing one of its aspects, the search for the earliest human, that critter who, so long ago, decided not to be a chimp.

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A Crooked and Unseen Highway: lowercase - "She Takes Me"

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"The newest Between the Grooves series tackles Lowercase's Kill the Lights, a great marriage of slowcore and post-punk: raw, angry, sullen, and very much alive almost 20 years later.

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