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The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics
Yikes. Sloppy, pitiable ravings.
Apr 28, 2012
Apr 28, 2012
funny, exhausting. The cover blurb says Ellis gets the era right better than Wolfe or DeLillo; that's half right and half ridiculously wrong. An inter...more
Oct 14, 2014
Oct 09, 2014
Verses and Versions: Three Centuries of Russian Poetry Selected and Translated by
Of more interest to Nabokov scholars than to anyone looking for a representative anthology of readable translations of Russian classics. Worth reading...more
May 02, 2009
Apr 24, 2009
A Set Of Six
six Conrad stories, some merely entertaining, some which should be but are so much more. "The Duel" reminded me of "Michael Koolhaas" in its intensity...more
Feb 17, 2008
Feb 20, 2008
A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud & Sabina Spielrein
This is a phenomenal work of intellectual history, strongly feminist in both its rehabilitation of a forgotten woman psychoanalyst and in its persiste...more
Jun 04, 2012
May 26, 2012
The Puzzled Heart (A Kate Fansler Mystery #12)
the only Fansler novel i didn't like - a case of too much good politics making for bad art. most of the book is about how terrible anti-feminists are,...more
Sep 2007
Sep 07, 2007
A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers
Terrific on Hemingway, Moore, Williams, Fitzgerald; dismissive of Stevens; commits the heresy of calling Pale Fire a "mirthless hoax". His mockery of...more
Jan 13, 2012
Jan 11, 2012
I liked this even more on rereading. An SF novel about terrorism and language. Poet solves mystery of strange attacks. Delany's got a nice anagrammati...more
Jul 24, 2010
Aug 31, 2007
Navigation of a Rainmaker
the second half is good, but by the time I got to it I cared less than I should have - his first-novel prose is underwhelming while all the exposition...more
Mar 12, 2010
Mar 10, 2010
Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits
Some interesting facts I didn't previously know in the first half of the book, but the thinness of what was available to Hoskyns shows in the second h...more
Aug 12, 2009
Aug 12, 2009
Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African-American Voices
a really interesting, well-written look at Mark Twain's African-American (literary) roots.
Jul 09, 2008
Jul 10, 2008
Njal's Saga
This is one of the most exciting books I have read in a long time - blood feuds in 10th c Iceland. Kind of like a mix of Deadwood (or Brisco County) a...more
Apr 2012
Mar 29, 2012
The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
5 stars, but only if you skip the poetry.
Jul 2007
Aug 31, 2007
Batman R.I.P.
meaningless soap opera.
Apr 27, 2011
Apr 27, 2011
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
Tired retread, badly written. The first had its charms but this is thin broth. And novels in the present tense are bad enough, but first person presen...more
Aug 24, 2011
Aug 25, 2011
The Unwritten, Vol. 4: Leviathan
The first books proved a compelling examination of the power of stories, viz. Harry Potter. But the series is growing to seem like some kind of overt...more
Jun 17, 2012
Jun 17, 2012
American Pastoral
it might be a masterpiece if I got the feeling that Roth didn't believe half the blindered bullsh** that comes out of his narrator's mouth. But I do....more
Jul 2009
Jul 01, 2009
A Catskill Eagle (Spenser, #12)
This novel has the kind of grandiose plot that you'd expect from a Bond or Reacher, not a Spenser novel. Maybe that's why the characters seem more arc...more
Jan 19, 2013
Jan 18, 2013
The Way Home
This one starts out seeming like it should have been marketed as a YA novel. Then it gets more complicated. I'm not sure why I liked it so much - perh...more
Dec 10, 2011
Dec 08, 2011
61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14)
Someone call QC - this one slipped through somehow. Your editor ought to catch that when you describe a living, clothed obese person as being "marbled...more
Dec 14, 2012
Dec 14, 2012
five stars for the writing, minus two stars for the American exceptionalism, liberal style. The ironic distance I took for granted at the start betwee...more
Mar 09, 2014
Mar 08, 2014
Road Dogs
Really enjoyable, and better than a handful of his more recent novels. If, like many of the later Leonards, it often feels like something the man coul...more
Nov 2011
Nov 01, 2011
Gone Girl
Pretty awesome. Sick. I love the creative misdirection of all the Tom Sawyer allusions, when the novel is really more in dialogue with certain parts o...more
Sep 13, 2012
Sep 12, 2012
Coffin and Co
A really clever, successful homage to Himes, with a little bit of Simenon thrown in - a novel about two retired Harlem detectives who travel to Paris...more
Jun 16, 2010
Jun 15, 2010
Studies in Classic American Literature
An excellent, piercing, perceptive collection, aside from a perplexingly stupid essay on The Scarlet Letter, where Lawrence's idiocies about women clo...more
Mar 26, 2010
Mar 26, 2010
John Henry
Worth reading just to see what up-to-the-minute hip slang was in 1901. Its catalogue of the day's names, labels, and hot spots and its superficial soc...more
May 25, 2009
May 25, 2009
Dare Me
It's a great story and would make a terrific movie... but it's told in this flat continuous present tense that makes what little reflection there is o...more
Feb 11, 2013
Sep 11, 2012
Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta, #15)
Deft plotting, broad characterizations. I like her habit in this novel of writing around important scenes and leaving us to figure out what exactly ha...more
Mar 09, 2011
Mar 06, 2011
Extra (Ordinary) People
Joanna Russ is criminally under-read. I hope this collection comes back into print soon - seemingly OOP since 1985. Most of the stories are not quite...more
Jan 2013
Dec 31, 2012
Nobody Move
This is much better than Inherent Vice, but still, next time I read an Elmore Leonard novel, it'll probably be by Elmore Leonard. Or Pelecanos.

Zero s...more
Apr 29, 2012
Apr 29, 2012
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