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My Ántonia
My latest encounter with a masterwork -- a novel I just completed in order to teach, and one that seduced me wonderfully and quite unexpectedly. Cathe...more
Apr 09, 2009
May 25, 2008
Brilliant and encyclopedic as James Joyce was -- the artist who, more than any other, hauled the ancient storytellers' calling to distill an entire cu...more
Sep 1969
Aug 03, 2008
The Rings of Saturn
The epigraph informs us that the "rings" of the 6th planet are in fact nothing but rubble. Worse, I can't think of any recent work of imagination -- S...more
Nov 1998
Mar 16, 2009
The Complete Stories
The recent so-called scandalous revelations about Kafka's personal library (as if -- turns out he read a slightly edgy quarterly of arts & literat...more
Aug 19, 2008
Aug 19, 2008
An essential, a masterwork: uproarious yet profoundly troubling, syllable-perfect in its rendering of voices both adolescent and doddering, and gather...more
Mar 1979
Jun 12, 2008
Invisible Cities
Membership in Goodreads has its requirements, and I'd have to turn in my badge if I didn't post something on the late-century grandmaster Calvino. INV...more
Jun 30, 1975
Sep 27, 2008
Heart of Darkness
Morally questionable & structurally shaky, a tragic shaggy-dog story, HEART OF DARKNESS nevertheless is one of those books I just can't get beyond...more
Jun 1969
Feb 27, 2009
Dog Soldiers
Robert Stone, let's all remember, joined his Stanford classmate Ken Kesey & the rest of the Merry Pranksters aboard the LSD-fueled bus "Further,"...more
Jan 1981
Apr 18, 2009
Blindness (Blindness, #1)
(1st, special thanks to Michelle W for the cattle prod)

Recently I dipped again into this one, as I dusted off a few of the artifacts picked up during...more
Jan 2005
May 17, 2009
Pale Horse, Pale Rider
In this review I'm speaking only on the title piece, a "short novel" according to Porter, but I do have to say that "Old Mortality" (in the same colle...more
Jan 1999
Sep 25, 2008
Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme
This one reached my desk last week, I finished it over the weekend, & rightly or wrongly, I've bumped aside a few GR-worthy items in order to put...more
Mar 07, 2009
Mar 09, 2009
Drop City
Already a clear-cut five-star, even before I finish, TC Boyle's ripe and agitated revisit to the hippie extremes of the late '60s offers both a celebr...more
Apr 09, 2009
Sep 05, 2008
Aureole: An Erotic Sequence
Mercy -- just choosing a shelf for this magnificent genre- & gender-bender is a task beyond the oversimplifications of agate type! Carole Maso has...more
Jun 2003
Jan 16, 2009
The Gift
Nabokov looms as one of the navigational stars, glimmering against a novelist's horizon just when things seem darkest. THE GIFT makes my Goodreads lis...more
Jan 2005
Jul 06, 2008
The Dream Songs: Poems
Here it is Columbus Day weekend, & again I'm setting out in the too-small boats of my brains & sensibility across the turbulence of these DREA...more
Oct 12, 2008
Oct 12, 2008
Michael Martone
Michael Martone's got a imagination that ticks, one in which the manifold cogs & springs crank up something extra at each revolution of an idea. T...more
Jul 2006
Jan 03, 2009
Cheri & The Last of Cheri
Virginia Woolf, though rather a she-wolf herself, declared that reading Colette made her feel "dowdy." So too, getting into these twinned short master...more
Aug 2011
Aug 03, 2011
The Tenants
(First, for the record: the review that posted a couple of days ago was incomplete. The mistake was mine, not GR's. Thanks to Alan & Shane for hel...more
Jan 1986
Apr 02, 2009
Without Wax
Now what was Gustave Flaubert doing, writing about the adulteries of a vapid housewife, a woman w/ the sensibility of a mall-browser? What, if not wha...more
Sep 2008
Dec 07, 2008
Head in Flames
Hasn’t old Europe grown weary & stale? Don’t the husks of Renaissance & Enlightenment need “slashes of verve” & “aesthetic savageries,” th...more
Mar 2010
Jun 26, 2010
With magisterial swagger and invention, this novel takes on all of American history. In particular, it considers the little-known "second Revolution,"...more
Mar 1980
Mar 08, 2008
The Names
This man's got all sorts of work to celebrate. Start w/ GREAT JONES STREET, DeLillo's vision of the banality that suffocates the famous, more pertinen...more
Mar 1996
Dec 07, 2008
Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine
It's just a young-love story: they meet & mince around, hurt each other & then, bruised... but don't let me spoil the fun. What matters is, so...more
Nov 2008
Dec 20, 2008
Ladies' Man
Richard Price had already begun to get into screen work when this book appeared, about 1980, and he went on to fame for his movies, and for novels lik...more
Aug 1980
Jul 03, 2008
Tests of Time
Someday, I expect, the essays of William Gass will be culled for a single exemplary volume, in a generous selection. As of now, this compendium seems...more
Nov 2002
Aug 19, 2008
Tabloid Dreams: Stories
The worst trash in print, the titles glimpsed on the pseudo-newspapers in the supermarket checkout lane, provided Robert Olen Butler with the dreams t...more
Aug 1997
Dec 31, 2008
African Psycho
For Christmas, why not a man who can murder as an act of vanity? As self-expression! The narrator of AFRICAN PSYCHO claims to share that pathology: “t...more
Jul 2006
Dec 24, 2008
The End
My God, the sentences of Signore Scibona! Constructions hard-headed yet lovely, precise yet inventive: "Night, for children, was more a place than a t...more
Sep 2008
Nov 20, 2008
Unlucky Lucky Days
UNLUCKY LUCKY DAYS, a debut assortment, is fabulist flash-fic of the highest order. Nothing in the book runs so long as three full pages, & in gen...more
Sep 2008
Oct 23, 2008
Malone Dies
The seamed & hawkish gaze of this harrowing master, this grim reaper w/ a rapier wit, haunted me ever more alarmingly over the past weekend, as I...more
Oct 1971
Feb 17, 2009
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