Decent enough novel about a topic, domestic abuse, that is certainly difficult to write about while maintaining any semblance of positivity.
The storyDecent enough novel about a topic, domestic abuse, that is certainly difficult to write about while maintaining any semblance of positivity.
The story is dated and I did not much care for the author's style (words repeated twice over, constant jumping around of time). The story was also largely predictable which gave a sense of impending doom and kept you on the edge of your seat but ultimately you knew no good was going to come from the situation. ...more
I enjoy Charney's writings (minus his novel which I did not like very much). He is extremely knowledgeable and his writing is very accessible. His worI enjoy Charney's writings (minus his novel which I did not like very much). He is extremely knowledgeable and his writing is very accessible. His work is always well-notated and his bibliographies always provide me with other things to read.
This particular book is a nice, light look at forgeries and forgers over time. It explores the motives behind forgeries and verges off from art a bit looking at forgeries in other fields as well. Most of the subjects he touches on I have been familiar with. Anyone with an interest in art crime probably has come across most of the names cited in the book. It doesn't make the book any less enjoyable, though, as it was nice to recall some of the names I had read about previously. For those without a lot of knowledge, this is a good primer to the field.
Being published by Phaedon it is a gorgeous, high-quality book. The book is loaded with nice photographs which is an extra bonus.
Of all the topics in the book, I would love if Charney were to write more about the 21st century technologies that are both being used to identify forgeries and also to create better forgeries. ...more
I stopped reviewing books on my blog back in 2012 because of Duke Haney so I figure I should use Duke as an excuse to start writing reviews again.
In 2I stopped reviewing books on my blog back in 2012 because of Duke Haney so I figure I should use Duke as an excuse to start writing reviews again.
In 2012, I read Banned for Life, one of my favorite novels of all-time. Then, as now, I felt that I could not remotely write anything that would do justice to the book or Duke's writing. Every sentence that Duke writes is immaculately constructed and well-honed. Every word is deliberately selected. I have neither the patience or self-awareness to build a single sentence as well as Duke, let alone try to string together multiples.
Death Valley Superstars epitomizes Duke's meticulous approach to his craft. He weaves his personal experiences into his passion for old-time Hollywood to create a mix of journalism and memoir that is entertaining and informative. One of my criteria for excellent non-fiction is that it makes me want to learn more about something I read in the book, the more the better.
I do not share Duke's passion for old movies and actors. If this book were written by pretty much anyone else (I might make an exception for Michael Chabon or John Jeremiah Sullivan), I would never have cracked the spine (or whatever the e-equivalent is) as I just do not have an interest in the subject matter. That being said, reading this I did want to find out more about some of the individuals Duke discusses. I learned a lot and i enjoyed reading about Duke's efforts and escapades. And as always, I was humbled and dazzled by Duke's writing. It's just so good.
I reserve my five star ratings on Goodreads for books that really impact me, such as Banned for Life, but that should by no means slight Death Valley Superstars. It is a great read and one I recommend regardless of whether one thinks they have an interest in mid to late 20th century Hollywood. It is well worth the read just to experience the immense talent of an extremely under-appreciated writer. ...more