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Sunday, January 1 1995

The Fast Red Road - a Plainsong by Stephen Graham Jones

The Southwest of 'The Fast Red Road' is similar to Burroughs's Tangier, a place filled with shady characters and a native magic that bends its inhabitants to the edge of reality.


Esther’s Pillow by Marlin Fitzwater

Former White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater rows across the river of historical fiction with both oars in the water. As the quintessential media man, Fitzwater can sure write the story. This time, though, his stake in his new novel, 'Esther's Pillow', is personal, as he reveals in an interview with 'PopMatters'.


Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise by Scott Eyman

Arguably the father of the musical and romantic comedy, Lubitsch brought an optimistic and practiced eye to the budding silver screen.


Earl Hooker Bluesmaster by Sebastian Danchin

Poverty, ill-health, endless one-night bookings, and little critical or financial reward characterised Earl Hooker's life. In the midst of all of this he established himself as Chicago's premier guitarist in a career of constant gigging and far too few recordings. This is a tale of art, barely recognised, blossoming in the face of hardship and suffering. This is the blues.


Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Richard Russo has been quietly building his reputation as one of America's better novelists, not by writing the ever-elusive 'Great American Novel' but by writing novels about life in small towns filled with characters who have real concerns and real struggles, and who are so deftly drawn that we forget we are reading a book at all.


The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq

Writing for the 'New York Times', Anthony Quinn summed up 'The Elementary Particles' as a 'bilious, hysterical and oddly juvenile book.' Michiko Kakutani's judgement is even more devastatingly succinct: 'It is a deeply repugnant read.' Naturally, I could hardly wait to begin.


Extra Innings: Writing on Baseball by Richard Peterson

I wouldn't give this one much more than a handshake unless I was very well-read and madly in love with baseball.


Esther’s Pillow by Marlin Fitzwater

Former White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater rows across the river of historical fiction with both oars in the water. As the quintessential media man, Fitzwater can sure write the story. This time, though, his stake in his new novel, 'Esther's Pillow', is personal, as he reveals in an interview with 'PopMatters'.


Ernst Lubitsch: Laughter in Paradise by Scott Eyman

Arguably the father of the musical and romantic comedy, Lubitsch brought an optimistic and practiced eye to the budding silver screen.


Earl Hooker Bluesmaster by Sebastian Danchin

Poverty, ill-health, endless one-night bookings, and little critical or financial reward characterised Earl Hooker's life. In the midst of all of this he established himself as Chicago's premier guitarist in a career of constant gigging and far too few recordings. This is a tale of art, barely recognised, blossoming in the face of hardship and suffering. This is the blues.


Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Richard Russo has been quietly building his reputation as one of America's better novelists, not by writing the ever-elusive 'Great American Novel' but by writing novels about life in small towns filled with characters who have real concerns and real struggles, and who are so deftly drawn that we forget we are reading a book at all.


The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq

Writing for the 'New York Times', Anthony Quinn summed up 'The Elementary Particles' as a 'bilious, hysterical and oddly juvenile book.' Michiko Kakutani's judgement is even more devastatingly succinct: 'It is a deeply repugnant read.' Naturally, I could hardly wait to begin.


Extra Innings: Writing on Baseball by Richard Peterson

I wouldn't give this one much more than a handshake unless I was very well-read and madly in love with baseball.


The Days of the Bitter End by Jack Engelhard

Each day that lives in infamy presents a new criteria for learning, an opportunity for reflection. No act of terrorism, no defining historical moment, stands alone. When the prize is the American dream, the fight can be both devastating and exhilarating.


The Desirable Body:  Cultural Fetishism and the Erotics of Consumption by Jon Stratton

The Desirable Body can give the reader a handle on why Impressionism was such a dynamic earth-shattering movement; on the difficult issues which the birth of photography presented; on the role play of blue movies and other titillating visual culture which was for many years relegated to hidden places; and on the presence of the gynoid in sexually aware society.


Darwinizing Culture: The State of Memetics as a Science by Robert Aunger (editor)

. . . is at once the reiteration and clarification of memetic theory.


A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice

. . . by young writer Christopher Rice (progeny of gothic writer Anne Rice and poet and painter Stan Rice), is a mystery and gay-coming-of-age story that is powered, in part, by the current of hate pulsing through America.


The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Motley Crue, with Neil Strauss

[Motley Crue's The Dirt] and its candid tales of porn stars, overdoses, and glam-metal makes the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll memories of other bands seem almost as sweet and innocent as that book by Britney Spears and her mother.


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