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Thursday, September 11 2003

Bliss Street by Kris Kenway

There's just not enough meat to this main course.

Wednesday, August 27 2003

White Zombie: Anatomy of a Horror Film by Gary Don Rhodes

The 1932 film White Zombie has been hailed by some as classic horror and derided by others as an incompetent mess. In fact, it is both.

Vicious Spring by Hollis Hampton-Jones

Hollis Hampton-Jones has produced a svelte, trendy book that is reminiscent of the anything-goes tradition of porno-chic.

Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie

Alexie's latest collection of stories and the best writing he's done since the critically acclaimed The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

April Witch by Majgull Axelsson

One of the strangest and most ambitious books in recent memory.

Wednesday, August 20 2003

Portraits of Israelis & Palestinians: For My Parents by Seth Tobocman

What Seth Tobocman's simple Portraits of Israelis & Palestinians sets out to prove is that many such divisions are arbitrary, and that human beings have the choice and the ability to break through the walls.

Off with their Heads: Traitors, Crooks and Obstructionists in American Politics, Media and Business

Morris chastises 'Hollywood apologists' for acting as if they had political standing in the same way they pretend to be the characters they portray onscreen or in song. But with his motives so plainly in view, the opinions espoused by Morris, former Trent Lott and Clinton campaign advisor and now Rupert Murdoch operative, have no more weight than those of whom he so vociferously denounces.

The End of Free Love by Susan Steinberg

Conceptual fiction is often about itself ultimately, and The End of Free Love is no exception. The publisher makes no secret of this: the book's cover states that Steinberg's writing 'is as much about form as it is content.'"

The Deadly Space Between by Patricia Duncker

She's written a chilling tale that -- though it trips over itself a bit -- still manages to be flat-out freaky. And if Freud were alive and had me strapped to his couch, I might even admit it's a bit sexy.

Dads, Dames, Demons, and A Dwarf: My Trip Down Freedom Road by Mancow Muller with John Calkins

Following the traumatic death of his father, Mancow takes time off from his popular radio program and travels to Europe, where, along with his sidekick the Dwarf, he relieves his confusion and depression through hedonistic exploits that would make Caligula proud.

Broken by the Rain: The Scums and God by Felix Cheong

Cheong brings to us the voice of a social and spiritual conscience, one that could be reckoned with.

Wednesday, August 13 2003

Wolf Tongue: Selected Poems 1965-2000 by Barry MacSweeney

His [Barry MacSweeney] is a poetry of extreme suffering, of Eliot's 'infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing'.

The Singular Objects of Architecture by Jean Baudrillard and Jean Nouvel

The loose focus of Nouvel and Baudrillard's discussion is the 'singular object': an irreducible, irreplaceable, transcendent cultural artifact.

The Only Good Thing Anybody Has Ever Done by Sandra Newman

It's a veritable cornucopia of global contemporary culture . . . If you've been in a coma for the last few decades or recently come from another planet, this book should be required reading.

Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs

It has all the ingredients of a 'good' book: humor, fallibility, conflict, cynicism, fear, lust, creativity, and obstacles.

Wednesday, August 6 2003

Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not by Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert

But one of the most intriguing things about Amy Sedaris is her absolute lack of vanity. A gym-toned, beauty pageant blonde, she routinely adds pimples, hairs and warts to her pretty parts, wears fatty suits around town, and gleefully contorts herself in all sorts of grody ways. She's an enigma wrapped in a satire, wrapped in mock-irony, wrapped in a spoof.

Under the Banner of Heaven: The Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer

The portrait of religion gone awry is a grim and harrowing one, where misogyny, racism, rape, incest, abuse and even murder can be justified, if ordered and sanctified by a personal God.

The Miraculous Fever Tree, Malaria and the Quest for a Cure That Changed the World by Fiammetta Rocc

Rocco writes with a mature beauty and elegance that could be the polestar of any young writer of serious non-fiction.

Little Doors by Paul Di Filippo

Economics seem to have given genre writers the idea that if something is worth doing as a short story, you might as well stretch it out, pad it up and stitch it together as a novel. Glance around the bookstore and it seems like mere scraps of imagination that might fuel a short story are routinely transformed into an entire series.

Krakota: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester

It seems oddly appropriate that Winchester ends his book with a personal journey, for this is a work of deep personal significance to him. It is also a book of tremendous importance to our understanding of the place of humans in the natural landscape.

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