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Wednesday, February 26 2014

‘The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel’ Is Kinda Like a Slavic Lake Woebegone

There ain't no party like a Slavic party, 1939. We get romance and moonshine in advance of the blitzkrieg in this humorous first novel.


Tuesday, February 25 2014

Standing on Soil Soaked in Blood: Rohan Wilson’s ‘The Roving Party’

Rohan Wilson composes a work of historical fiction that never shies away from the horrors that gave birth to modern-day Tasmania.


‘Fallen Land’: A Provocative Descent from Ambition to Madness

Unorthodox literary tactics imbue Fallen Land with psychological drama, keen social commentary, and riveting suspense all at once.


Monday, February 24 2014

Get a Glimpse of an Early Social Network—and Its Hackers—in ‘Exploding the Phone’

One of the earliest, and most illegal, social networks led to one of the greatest technological revolutions of our time.


The End is Always Near in ‘Snowpiercer Volume 1: The Escape’

Imagining the world ending is a safe kind of fantasy because, deep down inside, we don’t think it can actually happen.


Friday, February 21 2014

‘Do Muslim Women Need Saving?’

This is an elegant, concise book on the entanglement of feminism with imperialism by a foremost anthropologist in her field.


Thursday, February 20 2014

Day-by-Day, London Life from Hundreds of Voices over Hundreds of Years

A London Year chronicles marvelous tales and observations by writers known and unknown.


Linda Ronstadt Is a Beautiful Writer and an Adept Storyteller

In Simple Dreams Grammy Award wining Linda Ronstadt takes readers on a ride through the landscape of America's '60s and '70s music.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

Poking Fun at Everyone: ‘Mad’s Dave Berg

Dave Berg's Mad work reveals the true motivations of people, their selfishness and greed, and their utter ridiculousness.


Alas, Surface-Skimming Is the Dominant Mode in ‘The Beatles Solo’

Books about the Fab Four need to justify themselves. The Beatles Solo, a handsome but information-light and overpriced doorstop, doesn't get there.


Tuesday, February 18 2014

Bite-Sized Bond: ‘James Bond Omnibus Volume 005’

Terrorists want to kill the US Secretary of State; sensitive information is in danger of falling into the wrong hands. What more do you need?


Monday, February 17 2014

‘Death of the Black-Haired Girl’ Will Get Under Your Skin

Robert Stone has set his terrific new novel at a fictional school called "Amesbury". But don't be fooled. The institution he indicts is Yale University.


Gertrude Stein’s Brow-Furrowing Children’s Book Gets a Royal Reissue

Thinking of Gertrude Stein’s work in traditional storytelling terms is an exercise in futility. So how should one think of this?


Friday, February 14 2014

Roddy Doyle’s ‘The Guts’ Is No Sentimental Shite

In Roddy Doyle’s many-years-on follow-up to The Commitments a middle-aged Dublin rocker faces mortality and a serious case of Nick Hornby-itis.


Thursday, February 13 2014

Serge Gainsbourg’s Concept Album, Through the Zeitgeist Darkly

The question of the narrator of Histoire de Melody Nelson and its title nymph can only be answered by exploring the questions surrounding Serge Gainsbourg himself.


“The Mist in the Mirror’ Is Murky, but Spine-Chilling

Like The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror proves Susan Hill is a master at spinning a good old fashioned ghost story.


Wednesday, February 12 2014

‘Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult’ Is Hellishly Illumniating

Black metal is often reduced to a slew of clichés, but Black Metal unpacks the genre’s history in its true form via a huge cast of characters.


Little Feat Finally Gets Their Due

Little Feat's sound evolved and changed, creating a heady mixture of pop, rock R&B, boogie, country, soul, funk and jazz.


Tuesday, February 11 2014

‘Dogfight’ Is a Lively Account of the Business End of Apple and Google Rivalry

Apple versus Google: "It is the defining business battle of a generation", and Fred Vogeistein explains why.


Artistic Struggle the 19th Century Russian Way

Stephen Walsh finds the human drama in Musorgsky and His Circle, the story of "a commando unit of Russian composers forcing themselves on the attention of an unsuspecting world."


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