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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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John Updike Gives the Mundane Its Beautiful Due

Depending on whom you listen to, God, or the devil, is in the details, and that's exactly where John Updike's talent lies, too.

Books

The Connoisseur of Crime, John D. MacDonald, Is Shadowing the E-Book World

Available again in ebook form, the crime classic Stephen King called "one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century", The End of Night, is ready for rediscovery by a new generation of readers.

Jeff Tompkins
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Random House LLC

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Her Life to Live: Albertine Sarrazin's 'Astragal'

This short novel, rooted in some of the grungiest, grimiest levels of experience, is an affecting parable of spiritual progress.

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Nikolai Leskov Gets His Due in This New Collection, 'The Enchanted Wanderer'

Translating Leskov's delightfully 'slippery ventriloquism' is the latest project of indefatigable translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whose renderings of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have effectively become the new standards over the past two decades.

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Baudelaire's Paris and Calasso's Baudelaire: 'La Folie Baudelaire'

Rambling across decades and art forms, Roberto Calasso finds room for jokes about Belgium and digressions on mistresses and breasts.

Jeff Tompkins
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