Articles by David Rice

June 11, 2013

My Own Private Iceland 10

Three of Sjón’s books have just appeared for the first time in America. They combine legends and tall tales, magical realism and biblical allegory, landscape and maritime studies, arcane scientific and theological musings, YA-style swashbuckling and personal confession. They’re wonder books, cabinets of curiosity, and extended riffs.

December 28, 2012

Flowers in the Desert: Patrick White at 100 5

As the 20th century finishes receding, we will have to interrogate its artistic legacies and decide which few to carry with us further into the 21st, rescuing them from the Flood that will wash the rest away. Patrick White should be among these few.

July 10, 2012

The Many Middles of Nowhere: Donald Ray Pollock’s The Devil All the Time 6

Without ever verging into the supernatural, Pollock’s brand of homespun grotesquerie achieves moments of genuinely satanic power.

April 9, 2012

Distant Stations: On Steve Erickson’s These Dreams of You 1

A has-been LA novelist and current late nite radio host sits down with his newly adopted Ethiopian daughter to watch Obama win the presidency. He gets to thinking that at last the evaporated dream of the 60s – and the guiding dream of his life – has been fulfilled. The rest of the novel follows the myriad ways in which this turns out not to be the case.

January 13, 2012

Faith in Appearances: Don DeLillo’s The Angel Esmeralda 2

His vision spreads outward, encompassing ever more of the nuances and frequencies of an urbanized West that has maxed out on chatter and distraction. It has to expand like this in order to express the burden of shepherding a lone self through a world of mass-consciousness, ruled by media and money, where terror is the only form of awe that has not been stripped and sold for parts.

November 14, 2011

Porn, Lies, and Videotape: On Russell Banks’ Lost Memory of Skin 2

Lost Memory is a novel of the ruin and possible renewal of the Garden of Eden, where “maybe the Internet is the Snake and pornography is the forbidden fruit.”

November 7, 2011

Bitesized Backwoods Bloodbath: On Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods 3

Nightwoods is not only grippingly cinematic, it’s also unabashedly movie-ready, no less so than Cold Mountain was.