Thursday, September 11 2003
The Black Death, well, it wasn't much fun, was it? Neither is Pestilence, a novel set in 1347 Europe as the plague roared across the continent.
Jonathan Lethem has always been a cerebral writer with a junk-culture heart.
There's just not enough meat to this main course.
Wednesday, August 27 2003
The 1932 film White Zombie has been hailed by some as classic horror and derided by others as an incompetent mess. In fact, it is both.
Hollis Hampton-Jones has produced a svelte, trendy book that is reminiscent of the anything-goes tradition of porno-chic.
Alexie's latest collection of stories and the best writing he's done since the critically acclaimed The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
One of the strangest and most ambitious books in recent memory.
Wednesday, August 20 2003
What Seth Tobocman's simple Portraits of Israelis & Palestinians sets out to prove is that many such divisions are arbitrary, and that human beings have the choice and the ability to break through the walls.
Morris chastises 'Hollywood apologists' for acting as if they had political standing in the same way they pretend to be the characters they portray onscreen or in song. But with his motives so plainly in view, the opinions espoused by Morris, former Trent Lott and Clinton campaign advisor and now Rupert Murdoch operative, have no more weight than those of whom he so vociferously denounces.
Conceptual fiction is often about itself ultimately, and The End of Free Love is no exception. The publisher makes no secret of this: the book's cover states that Steinberg's writing 'is as much about form as it is content.'"
She's written a chilling tale that -- though it trips over itself a bit -- still manages to be flat-out freaky. And if Freud were alive and had me strapped to his couch, I might even admit it's a bit sexy.
Following the traumatic death of his father, Mancow takes time off from his popular radio program and travels to Europe, where, along with his sidekick the Dwarf, he relieves his confusion and depression through hedonistic exploits that would make Caligula proud.
Cheong brings to us the voice of a social and spiritual conscience, one that could be reckoned with.
Wednesday, August 13 2003
His [Barry MacSweeney] is a poetry of extreme suffering, of Eliot's 'infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing'.
The loose focus of Nouvel and Baudrillard's discussion is the 'singular object': an irreducible, irreplaceable, transcendent cultural artifact.
It's a veritable cornucopia of global contemporary culture . . . If you've been in a coma for the last few decades or recently come from another planet, this book should be required reading.
It has all the ingredients of a 'good' book: humor, fallibility, conflict, cynicism, fear, lust, creativity, and obstacles.
Wednesday, August 6 2003
But one of the most intriguing things about Amy Sedaris is her absolute lack of vanity. A gym-toned, beauty pageant blonde, she routinely adds pimples, hairs and warts to her pretty parts, wears fatty suits around town, and gleefully contorts herself in all sorts of grody ways. She's an enigma wrapped in a satire, wrapped in mock-irony, wrapped in a spoof.
The portrait of religion gone awry is a grim and harrowing one, where misogyny, racism, rape, incest, abuse and even murder can be justified, if ordered and sanctified by a personal God.
The Miraculous Fever Tree, Malaria and the Quest for a Cure That Changed the World by Fiammetta Rocc
Rocco writes with a mature beauty and elegance that could be the polestar of any young writer of serious non-fiction.