Reviews > Books
This Is Pop: In Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project by Eric Weisbard

'Creativity has become reduced to taste games,' says Reynolds, and thus 'music for music's sake' has become the primary force driving the authorial role in pop. Will someone knight this guy, already?"

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Richard’s Poor Almanac by Richard Thompson

In the realm of modern newspaper publishing, a strip like Richard's Poor Almanac is an anomaly. The well-documented homogenization of the funny pages has resulted in increasingly generalized and toothless strips aimed straight at the largest possible demographics.

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1 Jul 2005 // 12:00 AM

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Suicide strikes me as a singularly solitary endeavor, but these four wankers all choose the one spot in all of London at the one time in all of the year when they'd be likely to encounter other suicidal roof-climbers.

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29 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo

Doug and Quinette's Manichean worldview proves particularly disastrous when combined with a singularly American strain of optimism, a kind of militant Pollyanna spirit often expressed by neoconservatives and some liberal humanitarians.

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28 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Thirty-Three Swoons: A Novel by Martha Cooley

Danny is a nagging, childish pain, Camilla's ex-husband is just too damn nice to be believable, and Camilla's best friend Stuart, the former mime now book shop owner, is the poster boy for the self-absorbed pretentious arty-farty.

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24 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

War by Candlelight by Daniel Alarcón

The revolutionary heart, truly the essence of the Lima depicted within these pages, never grows old.

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23 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Black Virgin Mountain by Larry Heinemann

Heinemann launches into a second-person narrative guiding the reader through a tense meditation as a soldier exploring the dark and dangerous unknown. The book breathes again (a stale, humid, underground breath) and it's as if we had never left the genuinely captivating part of his colorful brain.

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The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium by Bernd Brunner

Finding a way to keep the creatures alive made it possible for more folks, the average bourgeois, to keep a little of the sea in the front room.

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All Yesterday’s Parties: The Velvet Underground in Print: 1966-71 by Clinton Heylin

LA Free Press's Robert Gold gets the prize for best scatological-gastrointestinal conceit in a review, 'Her {Maureen Tucker's} heavy, continuous 4/4 outpouring on the drums slams into your bowels and crawls out your asshole.'"

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Snow White and Russian Red by Dorota Maslowska

A Polish novel that drolly depicts the country as a place where Snow White is a whore as love has been replaced by meaningless sex and strong drugs.

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16 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Misfortune by Wesley Stace

Misfortune is a musically rousing treat, hitting Dickensonian notes with Stace's wistful prose.

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In a Queer Time & Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives by Judith Halberstam

In a Queer Time displays Halberstam's sophisticated understanding of contemporary culture in a plain and engaging tone.

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14 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

Smith has clearly harboured a fascination with the moon landings since childhood and has translated this enthusiasm into a grown up project, properly researched and examined with the sober eye of adulthood.

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Godlike by Richard Hell

The overall affect is the same as if your best friend called one day and said, 'An elephant walked into my apartment today and to get it out I had to beat up a rabbi,' and then hung up.

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Breath and Bones by Susann Cokal

It was an exciting time to be in America in all of its gritty splendor, and Cokal depicts it with authority and obvious pleasure.

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Hating Women: America’s Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex by Shmuley Boteach

My worry, of course, is that young people concerned about the current state of entertainment and women's rights in this country will read Boteach without skepticism.

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8 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman

If one can gain anything from Hypocrite, it is perhaps that everyday occurrences can be just as meaningful and life-shaping as depressive hardships -- and absolutely make for a far superior read.

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Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture by Sharon Zukin

Zukin points out that in a world where 'too many goods chase too few buyers' it shouldn't be surprising that we're shopping more but enjoying it less.

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Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman by Richard

Feynman's letters remind us of what we're supposed to be doing: pursuing discovery.

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1 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Cream: The World’s First Supergroup by Dave Thompson

Think of you and about 15 or 20 of your friends from high school... now imagine the lot of you irrevocably and inarguably change the course of music history. That's what happened in the era covered in this book.

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'Wanted' Is a Spaghetti Western That Will Leave You Wanting

// Short Ends and Leader

"The charisma of Giuliano Gemma and some stellar action sequences can't save this sub-par spaghetti western.

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