Reviews > Books

28 Sep 2004 // 1:00 AM

Dylan’s Visions of Sin by Christopher Ricks

Ricks takes displaying linguistic dexterity and literary education several horizons too far -- far too often, this loses Dylan and it loses readers.

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21 Sep 2004 // 1:00 AM

Since You Ask by Louise Wareham

In recounting Betsy's dynamic and destructive connections, Wareham has crafted a novel that portrays a complicated character and her multifaceted mind with deep empathy.

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21 Sep 2004 // 1:00 AM

Moscow 1812 by Adam Zamoyski

Zamoyski blames Napoleon's tactical leadership with the campaign's failure, and the list of errors the author attributes to the emperor looks surprisingly like the kinds of mistakes that continue to doom military campaigns to this day.

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Hoax: Why Americans are Suckered by White House Lies by Nicholas von Hoffman

Von Hoffman rings the death knell for the 'American Century', claiming that despite its current braggadocio and so-called victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has failed in its effort to bring any stability to the region.

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14 Sep 2004 // 1:00 AM

Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames

Blair is an endearingly unsuccessful human being -- and writer-- out to craft the Great New Jersey Novel, thinking the Great American Novel beyond his reach.

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So What!  The Good, The Mad, and The Ugly by Steffan Chirazi

Unvarnished, revealing, annoying, inspiring, and illuminating, the voices of Metallica in this book reach far beyond Hetfield's usual growl on his vocal recordings.

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Some of My Best Friends: Writings on Interracial Friendships by Emily Bernard

It is a pressure cooker situation. Many of the essays are filled with anger, resentment, confusion, misunderstanding, and contradictions.

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How I Paid For College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater by Marc Acito

Marc Acito, who has been called the 'gay Dave Barry,' understands sexual confusion and explores it subtly and lightly, avoiding a heavy-handed approach.

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Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas by Ken Foskett

The two most highly combustible issues in America -- race and sex -- had been doused with gasoline and set afire.

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31 Aug 2004 // 1:00 AM

I Dream of Microwaves by Imad Rahman

At best, such work is insightful; cross-breeding makes for more ingenious and unique prose. At its worse, bad multicultural literature is just bad writing.

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Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look at the Last Days of Pompeii, How Towers Fall, and Other Strange Conne

Before we pass judgment on the moral fiber of earlier societies, we must first examine our own regard for humanity, our propensity for cruelty, and our readiness to deal with future disasters.

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31 Aug 2004 // 1:00 AM

Emily’s Reasons Why Not by Carrie Gerlach

Some of her discoveries are trite, but they work in the plastic, Hollywood world in which Emily inhabits.

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25 Aug 2004 // 1:00 AM

Skels by Maggie Dubris

The book reminds us that to create is to stand in the shadows of those who already have created.

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The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean by Jack Dann

What begins as an exciting premise, though, quickly dissolves into a bizarre mess of ill-conceived ideas and inconsistencies that twists the life of Hollywood biggest and most enduring icon into a preposterous joke.

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No Turning Back:  The Life and Death of Animal Species by Richard Ellis

Another day, another couple of dozen extinctions. Our calluses are so thick that the word extinction no longer riles even the most strident creationist.

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25 Aug 2004 // 1:00 AM

Going to Bend by Diane Hammond

To Hammond's great credit, she seems fully aware of the archetypes she has to work with and focuses plenty of attention on rendering relationship pathos beyond the clichéd characterizations.

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A Certain Chemistry by Mil Millington

Millington engages in far too much foreplay before getting to the nitty-gritty of the story. It takes roughly 170 pages until anyone actually drops their pants.

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Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership, and Hip-Hop Culture by Yvonne Bynoe

Bynoe reminds readers throughout the book 'all of this is about more than hip-hop. Hip-hop is simply the metaphor for our lives.'"

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Mischief Night - New & Selected Poems by Roddy Lumsden

His poems are costly, hard-worked monuments to his own internal struggle, jagged, often irregular chunks of language.

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10 Aug 2004 // 1:00 AM

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Hints of a bigger purpose that sprout up in some of the newer pieces, perhaps the vague outline of a history he is recording, albeit filtered through a funhouse mirror.

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