Reviews > Books
Two Troubled People = Explosive Chemistry

Along the way to Preparation for the Next Life's dramatic conclusion, there's a good deal of lovely, Nabokovian-like descriptive writing.

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Minae Mizumura’s ‘A True Novel’ Makes for a Truly Engrossing Tale

This deeply engrossing and sophisticated Japanese novel unpeels itself in multiple nested narratives over its 855 page length.

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The Dead Talk in Maírtín Ó Cadhain’s ‘The Dirty Dust’

This novel's recurring themes of discontent and rivalry dominate whatever moments of tenderness and solidarity remain after Irish village life has given way to common death.

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The Woman Who Had the Front-Row Seat to the Height of Basquiat’s Career

The story of Jean-Michel Basquiat's longtime companion lets us see him as more than merely a brilliant artist.

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Championing the Middle Ages as Innovative

Johannes Fried's erudite study traces our evolution towards reason, worldwide exploration, and rational procedures to a dynamic medieval period.

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Man Against the Elements, Alone on the Prairie

Hugo Glass survives a brutal attack to pursue those who left him to die in this retelling, based on true events during the frontier winter of 1823-1824.

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The Year That Changed Chaucer From Court Insider to Ambitious Author

Paul Strohm's Chaucer's Tale tells how Chaucer's fall from political favor in London elevated his literary ambitions in rural retreat.

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Who Made the Machines That Remade the World?

Walter Isaacson's The Innovators explores the history of the digital age as told through the intertwined lives of the men and women who created it.

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Marginalia, Errata, Secrets, Inscriptions, and Other Ephemera Found in Libraries

Letter to a Future Lover tries to make sense of the world through the flotsam and jetsam of things left in books.

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Matthew Thomas Tackles Dementia in His Ambitious First Novel, ‘We Are Not Ourselves’

At one point, Thomas gave up his teaching job because the desire to finish his writing had outweighed the desire to achieve financial security. Such passion is evident in the pages of his novel.

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‘The Warren Commission Report’ Reveals How Much the JFK Assassination Remains a Mystery

There's a lot to admire about this graphic-fiction account of the complicated and controversial evidence surrounding the Kennedy assassination

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‘The Never-Open Desert Diner’ Is Beautifully Written With a Delicate Sense of Humor

A book with this kind of subtly, lyricism, and quiet intensity isn’t just appreciated—it’s restorative.

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The Programmer as Author in ‘If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript’

This inventive and engaging book imagines what JavaScript might look like in the hands of 25 writers, including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Tupac Shakur, and J.K. Rowling.

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The Characters in ‘The Half Brother’ Are Formulaic, at Times Startlingly So

Charles Spooner Garrett, Harvard English degree in hand, has no particular talents, ambitions, or goals when he lands a teaching position at the Abbott School, in Abbottsford, Massachusetts.

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‘Scarcity’ Suffers From Trying to Cram Too Much Into One Box

Although the interesting model of Scarcity makes it worth a read, like too many behavioral economics texts, it tries to cram too many global phenomena under its framework.

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‘The Struggle for Pakistan’ Masterfully Summarizes a Country’s Troubled History

Dr. Ayesha Jalal's thorough survey will remain the definitive history of Pakistan for decades to come.

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These Protestant Communities Understood Persecution Firsthand, and the Nazi Agenda Horrified Them

The remote mountain villages of le Chambon and the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon were Protestant havens that opened their homes to shelter countless Jewish children during WWII.

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What Does a Mexican Comic Hero and a Citizens’ War Crimes Tribunal Have to Do With Each Other?

Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires is a blend of narrative genius with deep political philosophical significance, couched in a surreal blend of comic and prose.

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John Carpenter and His Works, in Still Life

Gazing upon this vast collection of images with an abundance of rare and previously unseen stills, one cannot help but feel that Gottlieb-Walker captures the films' ontological identity.

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Reality, One Grain at a Time

There’s more of value in one Calvino essay about Roman pig sties than there is in a week’s worth of slop from the Huffington Post.

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The Best and Worst Films of Spring 2015

// Short Ends and Leader

"January through April is a time typically made up of award season leftovers, pre-summer spectacle, and more than a few throwaways. Here are PopMatters' choices for the best and worst of the last four months.

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