Reviews > Books
Prepare to Be Logofascinated by Paul Anthony Jones’ ‘Word Drops’

What conversation wouldn’t be improved by the inclusion of the word kummerspeck, which is defined as “excess weight gained through comfort eating” but literally means “bacon-grief”?

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‘Cyberspies’: Our Chapter Is Still Being Written

Cyberspies traces the history of computers and their relationship to espionage beginning with World War II code breaking to the present day's bulk data collection.

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Press ‘A’ for Characterization: Video Games, Fiction and Drew Magary’s ‘The Hike’

The story in Drew Magary's The Hike is a sequence of separate, cool ideas strung together tenuously with flimsy video game logic.

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Nils Büttner’s Examination of Hieronymus Bosch Pales in the Light of Its Subject

Hieronymus Bosch was a fantastic painter whose weird conception of the world stirs strong emotions. This new translation of Nils Büttner's analysis of the artist, alas, doesn't.

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Alex Marwood’s The Darkest Secret’ Is Tightly Woven and Precisely Detailed

The Darkest Secret is exactly what a mystery novel should be: suspenseful, comprehensive, fast-paced, upsetting, and fulfilling.

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Eviction Has Become Increasingly Prevalent and Increasing Damning

Matthew Desmond sees poverty and housing as questions of morality in Evicted.

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‘Florence! Foster!! Jenkins!!!’ Fails to Fall Into Tune

Florence Foster Jenkins' music transports one to a realm of bizarre delights. Darryl W. Bullock's book on the singer remains firmly in the mundane.

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Observing the World at Escape Velocity With Russell Banks

Russell Banks latest is a throw-back to a bygone style of literary travel writing.

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‘Track Changes’: History Written on Glass

A dense, scholarly history of machine-made literary magic: effortless revisions, swappable files, perfect printouts, and what authors did with them.

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The Dark Side of Obsession in ‘The Osamu Tezuka Story’

Tezuka may be a god of manga, but his story is apocryphal.

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A Society With Its Hand on the Trigger: Vicki Baum’s ‘Grand Hotel’

Vicki Baum writes of a stir-crazy people living in a world that is both swiftly and slowly emptying of its meaning.

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Richard Russo’s ‘Everybody’s Fool’ Reminds Us That Fortune Comes in Gradations

Only in Russo’s world could we hang as tightly as we do on a belief that misguided fortunes might correct themselves and turn life’s cruelties around.

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What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions?

Vinciane Despret blends science with story to give readers new ways to think about animals and our relationships with them.

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‘Into the Maelstrom’ Provides a Fascinating View of 20th Century Underground Movements

Free music performer and writer David Toop spends much of his latest effort exploring the philosophical and artistic movements from which pre-1970 performers drew inspiration.

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Past and Present, Space and Time: The Script for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Though pasts and futures are undone and redone, by the end we are left where we began.

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Rob Sheffield’s ‘On Bowie’ Is a Textual Funeral for an Idol

Portrait of Rob Sheffield as a young American.

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In ‘You Will Know Me,’ the Mystery is Everybody

Megan Abbott’s novel of suburban gymnastics’ competitive psychosis is like the fictional version of Joan Ryan’s excoriating Little Girls in Pretty Boxes.

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‘American Candide’: A Modern Allegory on Nationalism

Candide and the gang take the gas out of the contemporary political landscape, capitalism, formal education, Hollywood and the news with a sarcastic flare.

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‘Jane Steele’, a Victorian Murderess With a Heart of Gold

This glossier and better-dressed creative reimagining of Jane Eyre falls short of the original, sacrificing depth for the usual pop culture tropes of liberal feminism.

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‘Jonathan Unleashed’: Nice Dogs, Too Bad About the Jokes

This shoots for the angsty New York comedy of Woody Allen, but it suffers from that which Allen so famously called grounds for divorce: insufficient laughter.

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Moving Pixels Podcast: Highbrow, Middle Brow, and Lowbrow in Free-to-Play Gaming

// Moving Pixels

"From the charmingly trashy to the more artistically inclined, there is a wide variety of gaming options in the free-to-play market.

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