Sunday, June 6 2004
The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favori
Yuppie feeding frenzies have driven other species to the brink of extinction. Might that be the lobster's fate?"
The deep control that software gives us over images also softens our trust that they represent something genuine.
Wednesday, June 2 2004
The picnic is an everyday possibility, a refuge from the demands of the working world that can be accessed in the city as well as the countryside.
While decrying the pop culture mass-produced state of the music industry, Fitzhugh veers dangerously close to contributing to the mass-produced made-for-the-movies state of the publishing industry.
When Ted Koppel and the Dixie Chicks are arguably more 'punk' than most politically lazy Generation-Y rock bands, you know something's amiss.
After re-experiencing the World Trade Center attacks, there can't fail to be a sense of history in the making, for Rinaldi manages to convey the peculiar fascination of September 11th and its lasting effect on the American consciousness.
Wednesday, May 26 2004
What elevates this book far beyond other page-turners is Green's acute understanding of the emotional bonds between people: father and son, husband and wife, boss and subordinate.
The author has wants only to champion the self-awareness of some of them rather than challenge their idea that a bad upbringing is a license to be an asshole.
What separates this book from McCarthy's hopeless bloodbath is that Bojanowski has given us the gift of the narrator's voice.
Tuesday, May 18 2004
Part Chester Himes' flawed hero, part Raymond Chandler's maverick private eye, Easy Rawlins is a complex, engaging and lean creation.
Goto's explorations become more compelling when she links displacement with motherhood and with culture.
Heinrich is admittedly tightly bound to the animals he's observing. He cares. He ain't objective and that's not good science.
Tuesday, May 11 2004
If you're expecting drippy, dewy-eyed Spielbergian schmaltz, or a wistfully nostalgic look back into the bygone days of lost youth, you best look elsewhere.
The stories wear their pop culture on their sleeves, critically contrasting with the existential longings expressed by the various characters.
The world did not suddenly become extraordinarily dangerous on September 11, 2001. What has changed since then is the reinterpretation of basic terms now being used to justify US policies.
The 16 'stories', such as they are, are divided into four sections that explore different aspects of manhood and male sexuality in an endlessly frustrating and facile manner.
Tuesday, May 4 2004
With the recent brouhaha over the latest actions taken to legalize gay marriage and the conservative Right's counteractions to ban such unions, it's surprising to learn that there were advocates of gay marriage within the church over a hundred years ago.
But somewhere through the decades, teenagers stubbed out their cigarettes and traded fast cars for Kalashnikovs.
Nature-centered writing has degenerated into stories about rare animals or exotic places, a niche market of upscale Baby Boomers. It is written by folks who've sworn off deodorant or humor or both.
For all those writers who got rather stinky reviews from James Wood, I'm sorry to say that you should stop holding your breath and hoping for the worst, because Wood's first novel, The Book Against God, is finely crafted.