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Wednesday, August 7 2002

The Atlanta Review

Dan Veach, review by Gideon Kennedy -- Otherwise, unlike many literary magazines in which readers are more likely to flip through stopping at titles of interest, Atlanta Review print edition can be read comfortably from cover to cover. Because whatever land it happens to be selling, it knows the value of its real estate.


What Lamb manages brilliantly is to show us what happened to Vietnam after the American War (as it is referred to by the Vietnamese).


In reflecting on a prospective trip to New York, Twigger admits that Americans didn't seem 'to give a toss' about what he had to say. This book is not likely to change our attitude towards him that much.


Wednesday, July 31 2002

Taking the Train: How Graffiti Art Became an Urban Crisis in New York City. by Joe Austin

Austin points out the two chief discourses through which residents and visitors find meaning in the city: The Naked City or the New Rome. The New Rome is the pinnacle of civilization, the city where dreams are fulfilled, fame is won, and riches earned. The Naked City, on the other hand, is the seedy metropolis of noir films, where life is cheap and virtue meaningless.


A Thing (or Two) About Curtis and Camilla by Nick Fowler

But while the conditions and circumstances that afflict the characters are strange, their agonies, of loneliness and alienation, are universal; and Fowler's story aches with a hurt many people, who've loved and lost, should recognize.


Power Plays: Win or Lose—How History’s Great Political Leaders Play the Game by Dick Morris - Pop

... if you don't have natural charm, you sure aren't going to pick it up from a pedantic, dull as dirt book like 'Power Plays'.


Do No Harm by Gregg Andrew Hurwitz

Everyone involved will undoubtedly make shameful amounts of money from this splendid example of western decadence without ever questioning the ethics of what they've done.


Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning at the Edge by Paul Allen

The reader is left with a strong sense of the often violent pressures that build up in situations demanding extreme commitment for little financial reward, and how these pressures can affect individuals as well as teams of people.


Wednesday, July 24 2002

Happy

Bayard, Designer/Publisher: Dan Peyton, review by Phoebe Kate Foster -- That quality of raw honesty may set your teeth on edge or it may speak to your soul. It may infuriate you or give you a hearty laugh or bring tears to your eyes. You may throw 'Happy' across the room occasionally -- but more than likely, you'll retrieve it and go on reading.


Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography by Jimmy McDonough

Nearly half of Shakey's 738 pages of text are devoted to the 1970s, and while some readers may find McDonough's attention to detail frustrating, fans of Young's music will be fascinated with the account of Young's most productive decade, from Everybody Knows This is Nowhere to Rust Never Sleeps.


Staying Alive: real poems for unreal times by Neil Astley (editor)

This new anthology from Bloodaxe is a marvel of editorial skill and taste, offering 500 modern poems by diverse writers as a demonstration of the efficacy of poetry in the modern world.


The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks

In today's world Kidd would have been the unwitting scapegoat for the Enron fiasco, allowing everyone else to get away Scot-free while he rotted in prison.


The Father Costume and Notable American Women by Ben Marcus

About Ben Marcus there is so much to be discussed but nothing, really, to be explained.


The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

a vivid world where floods are described as 'gray soup,' a woman's bound breasts as 'small, withered, modest as folded flowers,' pansies as having 'the faces of spoiled babies,' and horses as having coats of 'brutal velvet.'"


Lummox: The Evolution of Man by Mike Magnuson

Perhaps it's stereotypical, but men who drink American beer and watch football aren't even supposed to read books, much less write them. Magnuson, however, has bucked the stereotype. He is a regular blue-collar guy, but he's also a damn good fiction writer.


A Jacques Barzun Reader: Selections from his Works by Michael Murray, Editor

As a comprehensive anthology, 'A Reader' has wired into its DNA the tendency to deflect attention from the subject at hand in order to illuminate by refraction the face of the writer.


Boat Bastard: A Love/Hate Memoir by Deborah van Rooyen

The poster child of tell-all, slam-the-bastard, blame-anyone-but-yourself books.


As I Live and Breathe, Notes of a Patient-Doctor by Jamie Weisman, M.D.

It is clear that her enthusiasm for life has influenced her enthusiasm for writing and medicine.  The reader of 'As I Live and Breathe' will likely finish the book with a newfound appreciation for illness, medicine, and life in general.


Monday, July 22 2002

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Unviersity Review

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Wednesday, July 17 2002

A Soldier of the Revolution by Ward Just

The novel treats a subject of current political debate: our President's peculiar enthusiasm for turning many of our social obligations over to 'faith based' philanthropic organizations.


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