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Reviews

Wednesday, April 2 2003

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The characters are believable, the fictional premise intriguing, and it has two major components to insure sales -- the Knights Templar and the search for the Holy Grail.


Bandits & Bibles:  Convict Literature in Nineteenth-Century America by Larry E. Sullivan

It captures [an] era when bad guys wore black and good women fell for them.


Wednesday, March 19 2003

Pandora’s Handbag: Adventures in the Book World by Elizabeth Young

Elizabeth Young is ultimately a book lover's reviewer rather than a conventional industry hack.


A Plague of Frogs; Unraveling an Environmental Mystery by William Souder

Frogs are supposed to be a 'sentinel species' . . . If frogs are doing badly, we have reason to be anxious.


The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson

Both in throwing his bricks and presenting his bouquets, [the author] seems curiously off the mark.


Layne Staley: Angry Chair by Adriana Rubio

The book is nothing more than one fan's viewpoint on the tortured existence of Staley.


Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Catastrophe by James R. Chiles

Disasters rarely happen by accident. Instead, they occur when one link in a long chain of events fails.


Food and Loathing: A Lament by Betsy Lerner

What we have here is yet another memoir -- excuse me, lament -- on disordered eating suitable for a made-for-TV movie.


About Schmidt by Louis Begley

Offers an important meditation on the enduring meanings of age, maturity and experience in a world increasingly devoted to the brevity of youth.


Wednesday, March 12 2003

What About The Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstei

Dr. Spock and others publish child care books. Well, this is a divorce care book.


The Spirit of Terrorism: And Requiem for the Twin Towers by Jean Baudrillaud

Terrorists are using our own systems against us, and inherent in our systems is paranoia.


The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson

I was pleasantly surprised to discover [the book] is really about that nearly missing ingredient in today's world -- responsibility -- and its re-release is timely and significant.


The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

There is a certain mystery around femininity that involves china teacups, cigarettes, old-fashioned perfume and a glamorous Sunset Boulevard sort of decay.


Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood 1910-1969 by William J. Mann

[This book] is essential for anyone interested in Hollywood -- particularly its heretofore unwritten past -- and for gays and lesbians looking to recover some of their history.


Wednesday, March 5 2003

Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems by Mahmoud Darwish

[Mahmoud Darwish] is a force, undoubtedly the most popular and powerful poet of the Middle East.


Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff

The sometime first-person narrator is really just one of dozens of personalities literally shacking up in the head of the protagonist.


The New Southern Gentleman by Jim Booth

[It] takes the cultural confusion, the anachronism that is the New South and with tongue firmly in cheek, describes the region's dwindling pseudo-aristocratic heritage.


Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power by Gerald Posner

Gordy wasn't running a record company; he was running a factory.


From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey by Pascal Khoo Thwe

He is . . . a skilled writer who infuses a tale of war with warmth, magic and humanity.


Boy Still Missing by John Searles

This is your quintessential dysfunctional family with intriguing secrets popping up all over the place.


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