Articles by Bill Morris
November 20, 2013
Doctorow’s selective use of historical figures and events lends Ragtime its air of verisimilitude without robbing him of the freedom to imagine and distort and mythologize. It is, for a writer of fiction, the best of all possible worlds.
November 14, 2013
To read Jason Schwartz is to enter a fugue state, in both senses of the word. His writing is, like a musical fugue, a mesmerizing series of themes stated successively in different voices; it is also, in the psychiatric sense, a state marked by wandering and an inability to remember one’s past accurately. It is a state unlike any other.
October 31, 2013
One reviewer of The Counselor remarked that the man who wrote the script, Cormac McCarthy, appears never to have read a screenwriting manual. I can think of no higher compliment for a screenwriter.
October 16, 2013
Brad Bumsted is an important reminder that good journalism will always be built on what it was originally built on – not technological innovations, but on the ability of dogged, savvy, intelligent reporters to gather information and quickly turn it into factual, even-handed and engaging prose. Few people have done it longer than Brad Bumsted. Few do it better.
September 30, 2013
Kevin Barry’s new collection of stories, Dark Lies the Island, shares the virtues that made his debut novel, City of Bohane, such an astonishment. There is rich music, high humor and deep blackness on every page.
September 4, 2013
Marisha Pessl’s writing has done a lot of growing up in the seven years since Special Topics in Calamity Physics was published. Her new novel is bigger, more ambitious, and far more satisfying than her splashy debut.
August 21, 2013
The first times I saw Elmore Leonard were in the 1950s and ’60s, when we were living near each other in a Detroit suburb and I was playing football with his kid.
August 6, 2013
We’re deep in Bret Easton Ellis country here, southern California zip code. Which means there will be sex and there will be blood and anything goes and nothing matters.
July 31, 2013
Anyone who wants to know what made Motown great and what killed Motown should not go to Broadway. They should turn to books. The body of Motown Lit lays out a tragedy every bit as fascinating, maddening, and depressing as the tragedy of Detroit itself.
June 18, 2013
Walter Benjamin would have loved this guy Tom Knox. He didn’t just dissolve a genre. He poured half a dozen genres into a literary Waring blender and hit the puree button.