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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
"Absolutely, gosh ,wow" (cover quip) on his sentences? Yes, very yes. Chabon can flat out compose sentences. Think Dickens, Pynchon, Tolstoy. But that ...more
not set
Aug 18, 2007
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town
"Safari," in Swahili means "journey," and is Theroux’s reason for returning to Africa: to escape a life usurped by schedules, appointments, e-mails an ...more
May 2007
Aug 24, 2007
Tree of Smoke
First of all, TREE OF SMOKE is as similar to JESUS' SON as DUBLINERS is with ULYSSES. Compare a writer messing around with his experience and craft an ...more
not set
Oct 14, 2007
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
"Call me Ishmael"--God will listen. Strange name for a pretty godless rant, which is really one of the top four books in America. The bible story has ...more
not set
Feb 23, 2008
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Okay, I'm 60 and am more inclined to reading the unread classics before I die. So when a contemporary author comes along and does new, I'm startled. T ...more
Sep 2007
Sep 28, 2007
The Moon Before Morning
I need to go read somebody like Bloom on Merwin, as I only tumble into his poems now and then. One should approach poems like the Zen master approache ...more
not set
Apr 07, 2014
Don Quixote (Don Quijote de la Mancha)
My goal was to read the book at an age younger than was Cervantes when he wrote it (70). Barely made it. If you are interested in the wind mills, it h ...more
Jan 2006
Aug 17, 2007
The Night of the Gun
What the book really needs is a review by a reliable addict. Doesn’t exist, I know, but it should. At first, I thought THE NIGHT OF THE GUN a daring a ...more
not set
Nov 29, 2008
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
Well, let's see. Stephen Greenblatt has an abiding bias against Catholics, but who doesn't these days. He shamefully gives the monks short shrift on t ...more
Jan 2013
Feb 12, 2013
The Map and the Territory
Have only come across Houellebecq in the New Yorker and the NYRB, so picked this up as I am more comfortable with books and Houellebecq seems to have ...more
Jan 2013
Jan 22, 2013
Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution
If Steven Sears identifies every mini ball fired in the civil war battles he covers, Nathaniel Hilbrick finds every musket fired in Boston. A must rea ...more
not set
Jun 12, 2013
Stephen Sears is a top flight Civil War historian, and Chancelorsville is an extraordinary battle to recount. My old Rommie is a CW buff and marched m ...more
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Feb 20, 2008
An Officer and a Spy
Finally, I have an understanding of the Dreyfus Affair. Dreyfus comes into the picture always from the oblique. I am reading about WWI or Franco-Pruss ...more
not set
Jul 11, 2014
The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist
An essential memoir. "We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community. It ...more
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Feb 19, 2008
Infinite Jest
Ulysses was easier. Finnegan's Wake was funnier. War and Peace was longer.
Anna Karenina was racier.

Still, if you are going to plod through, you won't
not set
May 06, 2013
Faulted Sears's Chancellorsville for spending too much time locating every bullet that was ever fired. Then my National park ranger and old room mate ...more
Nov 20, 2009
Dec 20, 2009
The Third Reich
My third attempt at Bolano was successful. I ripped through this one in a day and a half. Got it, and am spurred on to 2666 without fear or trepidatio ...more
not set
Jul 31, 2013
The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789
I finally slugged my way through this long book. I find Middlekauf tedious. Where McPherson explained the importance of the interwoven political and e ...more
not set
Dec 20, 2009
The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6)
Reading this in conjunction with Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. Trying to figure out what Pynchon is doing. If Chandler uses Marlow as a social criti ...more
not set
Dec 20, 2009
Jesus' Son
As when reading Bukowski, you pray these are just stories.
Sep 2007
Sep 28, 2007
Lessons of the Masters
I have fallen in the habit of taking a book with me to church, which I suppose is better than falling out of the habit of going at all. It is arrogant ...more
Jan 2006
Nov 25, 2007
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Don't care for Krakauer, ever since Into Thin Air. But my Jewish friend moved to Salt Lake City and recommended I read it. After reading it, I recomme ...more
not set
Dec 20, 2009
The Crying of Lot 49
I sat down to re-read The Crying of Lot 49 for, at least, two reasons. One, I came across a Columbia undergrad who was (re)reading Gravity’s Rainbow, ...more
not set
Dec 24, 2007
The Instructions
Only a quarter of the way through, and find it clever, inventive, subversive, engaging. I want to jump start it and recommend it as the next teen book ...more
not set
Nov 02, 2010
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)
Interesting insights into the Mason's. But lacks the momentous challenges he presents in the DaVinci Code. His books often are good entertainment. Oth ...more
not set
Dec 20, 2009
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
One of the calmest, even handled stories I've read in years. Anything but dramatic, or fantastical, as you usually find in Murakami. This could have b ...more
not set
Nov 11, 2014
Ill Fares the Land
I wish everyone in the land read this book before going to the polls. If we had, we'd put off voting for a while and work on the mission. Judt wrote t ...more
not set
Nov 02, 2010
The Bone Clocks
What a delightful relief, after wrestling CLOUD ATLAS to the ground with both hands and feet. BONE CLOCKS is readable, followable, and fathomable. But ...more
not set
Oct 01, 2014
The Terror
I picked it up, then put it down, saying I did not want to get wrapped up with a fictionalized account of the Northwest Passage—the actual histories a ...more
Jan 2008
Jan 14, 2008
Paintings in Proust: A Visual Companion to In Search of Lost Time
I have given this book to friends unlikely to read "in Search of Lost Time." In fact, it may be the best approach to ISOLT, given that the art world p ...more
Jan 2013
Jan 22, 2013
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