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Sunday, January 1 1995

Darkness Divided by John Shirley

Alternately disturbing, depressing, bleak, and painful, these stories are bound together by an acute observation of the shadows of the human soul, which makes them so powerful and compelling.


Destroy All Monsters by Ken Hollings

Expands upon this fusion of high and low culture, using mass-media tropes to elaborate on endlessly dense themes. The novel is most easily summarized as an 'alternative history,' a what-if scenario.


The Donald Richie Reader: 50 Years of Writing on Japan by Donald Richie (edited by Arturo Silva)

Throughout his work one point is central: the greatest contrast and point of confusion between the Japanese and Westerners lies in their respective concepts of the surface of things. While Westerners are wary to a fault, distrusting surfaces and ever obsessed with the true meaning behind them, the Japanese exist in an eternal 'now' that renders all of their expressions true.


A Cormac McCarthy Companion: The Border Trilogy by Edwin T. Arnold & Dianne C. Luce, eds.

In the 1990s, this community of McCarthy fans extended its territory into the world of the American academy with the establishment of something called, in this volume, 'McCarthy studies', practised by a weird enclave of literary critics and pop cultural historians who, judging by the essays here, are immersed in the intricacies of their intellectual obsession.


The Cornelius Quartet by Michael Moorcock

A virtual cipher of a character, and his adventures are prolonged studies in existential action.


Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias by Peter Ludlow

Essentially, Ludlow is pointing out that an entirely radical social perspective on governance and freedom rests behind the more mundane facts of the Internet explosion.


Crazy Rhythm by Leonard Garment

Leonard Garment was a lawyer who, in 1963, befriended the new partner at his New York law firm, former Vice President Richard Milhous Nixon. Garment, a self-described 'birthright Democrat' who had done fundraising for liberal candidates in the past, encouraged Nixon to get back into politics, and helped to get him elected in 1968.


A Century of Films by Derek Malcolm

Godard, Ray (both of them), Cassavetes, Fuller, Renoir, Eisenstein, Altman, Rohmer, Chabrol, Lang, Truffaut, Ozu, and so on. If that partial list already has you salivating then you know where Malcolm is coming from. If not, prepare to be educated.


The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold by Kate Bernheimer- PopMatters Book Review

Like a near-death experience, her life flashes in front of our eyes, as time blurs and yesterday, today and tomorrow all vie for equal importance.


The Case of California by Aaron Beebe

It's been 10 years since 'The Case of California' was introduced to an eager and hungry PoMo culture. Perhaps I mistreat it by removing it from the context of Cultural Studies in 1991. Although we are participants in a young field, we've come a long way since those heady days.


A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer

It is a message that must never be forgotten in our legislatures, our schools, or our hearts.


Cyberselfish: A Critical Romp Through The Terribly Libertarian Culture of High Tech by Paulina Borso

If the thesis that many of the dysfunctional get into tech careers because they couldn't handle human interaction is true, it also explains why so many become bullies when they achieve their goals.


The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy

The best approach to Ellroy is always to check your liberal tendencies at the door and trust in the cosmic justice that awaits all in the best tradition of 'noir'.


Circling Dixie: Contemporary Southern Culture Through a Transatlantic Lens by Helen Taylor

If [Helen Taylor] were from around here, we'd say she done her mama proud. We'd tell her this here book is so good it makes you want to slap your grandma.


Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America by Bradford W. Wright

[Bradford W.] Wright approaches the whole of comic book history, and while he suffers from a lack of analytical depth, he provides future scholars with an indispensable point of analytical departure.


Colonel Tom Parker: The Curious Life of Elvis Presley’s Eccentric Manager by James L. Dickerson

Whatever Elvis's other problems may have been, his biggest failing was his utter dependence upon his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.


Comics & Ideology by McAllister, Matthew, Edward Sewell, and Ian Gordon, ed

The basic argument is that Superman must constantly be reinvented in order to appeal to new readers.


Chienne de Guerre: A Woman Behind the Lines of the War in Chechnya by Anne Nivat

Physical distance from Chechnya, from Palestine/Israel, from Rowanda, Albania, Guatemala, Kurdistan, Macedonia, and so on, for those of us who feel we have such distance, provides psychological comfort only. It provides no protection from the fallout from these wars.


The Chastening: Inside the Crisis that Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF by Pau

When you read about how close the US came to tail spinning into financial oblivion, it can send chills along your spine.


Chum by Mark Spitzer

...dark, violent, funny, visceral, and incredibly profane -- an icepick in the gut and a sledgehammer to the skull.


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