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Books

Noir: A Novel by Robert Coover

This book is a compendium of noir clichés, each one twisted to Coover’s purpose, which is to repurpose noir into a metaphor for existence itself

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Overlook Hardcover

Books

The Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta by Paul Theroux

Writing a novel about writer’s block is a bit like cleaning a revolver when you’re not entirely incapable of suicide. Paul Theroux’s new book, a clumsy attempt at the mystery novel, goes off in his own hand.

Books

Point Omega by Don DeLillo

Entirely too long at 117 pages, Don DeLillo’s latest novel was inspired by an installation at the Museum of Modern Art in 2006 called 24 Hour Psycho.

Books

The Paris Review Interviews, Vols. 1-4, Edited by Philip Gourevitch

If you love to read, love to write, or are simply curious about how great authors think and talk about their craft, you’ll find these interviews endlessly fascinating.

Books

The Best American Short Stories 2009 edited by Alice Sebold and Heidi Pitlor

I found at least five of the stories here to be competent, but far from satisfying as an artistic whole.

Music

Nothing is Real: The Beatles 'Yellow Submarine'

The Yellow Submarine exists. It’s not a mirage, or a mind game. Someone, inspired by the Beatles, built the Yellow Submarine, and it exits to this day.

Books

The Humbling by Philip Roth

Simon Axler, a stage and screen actor of near legendary stature, has earned the “reputation as the last of the best of the classical American stage actors.” The novel begins: “He’d lost his magic.”

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United Artists

Books

Nicholson Baker's Enthusiasms and Passionate Obsessions

Nicholson Baker writes from his enthusiasms, which are many and ever changing. Among other things, his books have focused on sex, John Updike, public libraries, and pacifism and World War II. His latest, The Anthologist, is his love letter to poetry.

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William Morrow

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Apple Films, King Features

Books

Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow

With Homer and Langley, author E. L. Doctorow acts as a great magician trying to make a monumental illusion out of a street corner shell game, just to prove that he can.

Books

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro’s first collection of short fiction, though more grounded in everyday experience than his recent novels, is tinged with his sense of the strange and sad, and, new for him, the humorous.

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Simon & Schuster (reprint)

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Knopf Doubleday (reissue)

Music

My Friend, George Harrison: Reflections on the Cool Beatle

The minute I saw George in those blue jeans, work shirt, and those sand-colored boots, I had to have them, and that was exactly what I wore for the months that followed.

Christopher Guerin
Books

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

Moore’s reputation is for mastery of the short story. This book, almost 10 years in the making, should establish her as a master of the novel, as well.

Reviews

Inherent Vice

Pynchon’s latest combines elements of The Big Lebowski, Dashiell Hammett, John Garfield’s movies, and the TV cop shows and Hollywood movie bikinis-and-surfboards grooviness of the early ‘70s.

Christopher Guerin
Books

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer

Two novellas about seeking: in the first, the seeking of pleasure, in the second, of being and nothing.

Books

The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

No matter how close we're brought to the pornography of war, Littell doesn't attempt to excuse anything, only to explain it.

Books

Nobody Move by Denis Johnson

About to get his knees broken, Jimmy grabs Gambol’s gun and shoots him in the leg when, of course, he should have shot him in the head.

Christopher Guerin
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