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Omensetter's Luck
I read The Tunnel a few years back, and it is probably the only book I've ever read that made me physically sick reading it. I loved it, but it was to...more
Jul 2011
Jun 29, 2011
At its best, Saturday is a story of ordinary lives against a slightly carnivalesque backdrop, told by a judicious and charming authorial voice-- it re...more
Feb 2013
Feb 06, 2013
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
"Soon, perhaps, respected & glossy high-art organs might even start inviting smartass little ironists to contemporize & miscegenate BC mythos;...more
Sep 2012
Sep 24, 2012
Europe Central
In a book this big, I have to say that unevenness is almost an inevitability. So keep that in mind.

But! In a book this big, there's also a pretty high...more
Dec 2012
Dec 08, 2012
The Dhammapada
So I'd never read any Buddhist texts before, and within the 40 or however many volumes of the standard Pali Canon (Thai edition), the Dhammapada seems...more
Jan 2010
Jan 19, 2010
I've been a fan of Beckett's plays since I was a punk-ass 18 year old lit student. The dismal, oppressive air, the bleak landscapes, the brooding, the...more
Apr 2011
Apr 25, 2011
Farther Away
A set of short essays. Some of them are passionate environmental journalism. Some of them are a rehash of the frankly embarrassing whine of the Discom...more
May 2014
May 18, 2014
It's a slightly uneven collection, but it's still pretty great. This collection of intertwined stories is set in a far grittier world than that of The...more
Nov 2011
Nov 22, 2011
Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages
It's not an easy swim through Sassen's prose, but her analysis of globalization is subtle enough to merit the density. Globalization is not a process...more
Jan 2010
Jan 05, 2010
Song of Solomon
There's a superficial kinship to the sprawling novels of the '70s, but her strongest influence is, far and away, Faulkner. The distorted sense of plac...more
Jun 2011
Jun 13, 2011
This is the last David Foster Wallace book published in his lifetime I've read, and the last book he published before his death-- consequently, it's a...more
Jun 2013
Jun 09, 2013
The Moon and the Bonfire
I, to be fair, am something of an exile, having abandoned my home at a young age, and restricting myself to a once-every-other-year visit to see how m...more
Dec 2011
Dec 29, 2011
The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society
Habermas, you're a helluva humanist thinker. I can't complain about the man's motives-- this is the sort of qualitative commentary that stands on its...more
Feb 2013
Feb 08, 2013
Power, Politics And Culture
Interview collections always feel so incomplete. No real thesis comes out of them, and the reader just gets a very fragmentary notion of a writer's li...more
Sep 2010
Sep 16, 2010
Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place
He says this isn't a travel book. He's wrong. It is. The "psychogeography" veil might give it a hip edge, but it only barely applies.

That being said,...more
Feb 2012
Feb 10, 2012
When I say "this is like a Japanese version of Lolita," that probably sounds like it could be the perviest shit on the planet. It's really not. So I'l...more
Apr 2012
Apr 04, 2012
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Centre
What I like about bell hooks is how commonsense her approach is. She breaks down the situation, simply and directly, criticizing some of the contradic...more
Oct 2011
Oct 02, 2011
Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud
Marcuse has not only taken a great many of his cues from Freud, but has also modeled his method on Freud... and consequently, a great many of what I p...more
Nov 2008
Nov 23, 2008
I've been a fan of Ousmane Sembène's films for a while now, but this is my first attempt at reading his fiction, and his fiction feels structured like...more
Jul 2011
Jul 04, 2011
Thérèse Raquin
A book like Thérèse Raquin stands right on the cusp. On one hand, it has the lingering morality themes and melodrama of the romantics, but is still fi...more
Feb 2013
Feb 06, 2013
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
In the world of literature, violence is generally used as a means. Cormac McCarthy, bless him, had the cojones (my spell checker just approved "cojone...more
Nov 2010
Nov 06, 2010
Of Human Bondage
This was one of the more gaping holes in my reading list, so I decided to fill it, and damn am I glad. By pretty much tacitly rejecting the whole high...more
Jan 2010
Jan 05, 2010
The Russian Debutante's Handbook
So this is Gary Shteyngart's debut novel. Guess what, it's about a tail-chasing, self-deprecating Russian Jew who gets involved in an improbable schem...more
Aug 2013
Aug 11, 2013
The Human Stain (The American Trilogy, #3)
My, Roth was/is a talented writer. His sheer virtuosity is often stunning, and he never feels like he's showing off-- each beautifully crafted phrase...more
Aug 2012
Aug 06, 2012
The Old Capital
I have a way of comparing Japanese novels to the films of Yasujiro Ozu, who is probably my favorite filmmaker. So much modern Japanese fiction is writ...more
Nov 2011
Nov 26, 2011
The Undiscovered Self
My first foray into Carl Jung! Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed... his notion of the "individual" seems so simplistic. And while he has occasiona...more
Sep 2009
Jan 11, 2010
Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
Damn, it's better than you'd think to have someone tell you how bullshit the way you and everyone you know does life and how you need to watch out for...more
Nov 2008
Nov 09, 2008
I really, really wanted to love this. Because it's all transgressive and modernist and shit.

But its whole is vastly, vastly smaller than the sum of it...more
Jun 2013
Jun 25, 2013
Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments
This, I feel, is a statement superlative to the Minima Moralia in the Adorno catalog. The classist overtones that damage so much of that book are less...more
Feb 2009
Feb 01, 2009
The Stories of John Cheever
I honestly hadn't read much Cheever before this volume: a few stories here and there, including The Swimmer, which has had and continues to have the s...more
Jun 2012
Jun 23, 2012