Wednesday, March 5 2003
This is your quintessential dysfunctional family with intriguing secrets popping up all over the place.
Wednesday, February 26 2003
This desire to know and to accept that knowing is the only possible way forward is the theme tackled by Penelope Lively in her latest novel.
A beautifully written but ultimately unsatisfying novel about the trappings of life and the artifice of friendship.
Carefully and meticulously, van Heerden chronicles the notion of apartheid and its effect the inhabitants of Yearsonend.
The best love poetry (and there's a lot of it in this book) achieves this mingling of the solid and the intellectual.
Wednesday, February 19 2003
A work of mourning -- mourning for a humanity, an earth which has lost control through globalisation, through the irresponsibility of power-crazy politicians and businessmen.
It is sparkling, sophisticated and heady -- and more than a little addictive.
An intense extrapolation of the crises that have sullied Zimbabwe over the last three decades.
Deserves a spot on every bookshelf (Stones fan, or no Stones fan). And to the gentlemen of the Rolling Stones we have this to say: Thanks, and for our sake, please keep rockin'.
Has little to do with mountain climbing and a lot to do with the general situation of humankind.
Wednesday, February 12 2003
Underground USA: Filmmaking beyond the Hollywood Canon, Edited by Xavier Mendik and Steven Jay Schne
Hollywood moulded some of the most promising filmmakers into mainstream clones.
'Regular people' can read and appreciate Bukowski. I doubt scholars will find a distinct identity in each successive volume of his posthumous work, but that doesn't seem terribly unusual to me.
Records the tale of a people who are at the intersection of the two groups most terrorized and abused during American's colonial and post-colonial history.
The story is interesting in the cultural context the author provides but, ultimately, it fails to satisfy on a deeper level.
As I sit here in a fabulous new pair of striped, sparkly, 1972 polyester pants and a furry-collared shirt with dachshunds racing across the sleeves, I wonder what my shopping habits say about me in the context of these words from cultural critic Thomas Hine's newest book.
It doesn't really matter whether you believe he's a fashion genius or the world's luckiest tie salesman, because anyone who has read the book on Ralph Lauren knows that he's both, in addition to something else: an ice-cold businessman with a heart of steel.
The bottom line is: at this moment in history, a somber one, to say the least, when there are so many serious global and national issues and egregious injustices to be addressed, does the American woman really want to be bitching (yes, bitching) about who does the dishes.
Wednesday, January 22 2003
Shepard doesn't embarrass himself with the steamy stuff here.
Mencken the newspaper columnist was stirring the pot of American culture.
The Life and Death of the Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate
Life is so unusual in this wilderness we call the universe that we might as well think of it as unique.