Articles by Jacob Lambert

November 27, 2015

Thirty Minutes at a Used-Book Sale 5

Black Friday? You haven’t lived it until you’ve spent 30 minutes at an $8-a-bag library book sale.

November 25, 2015

Hanging ‘Em Up: On Reading About (and Not Watching) Sports 3

All of this would suggest that I’m a boxing fan, one of those old-timey cigar-chewers eager to overlook the sport’s myriad problems and mainstream insignificance in order to enjoy its brutal purity. But despite boxing’s outsize presence in my reading, I’m not particularly interested in it.

November 10, 2015

Too Real to Be Real: The Problem of Authentic TV 0

How can something be both entertaining and true to life — which, as we are all acutely aware, is overwhelmingly mundane?

October 26, 2015

In Praise of Cartoon Violence 4

I recently bought a DVD set for my six-year-old son that featured the following offenses: reckless gunplay, the detonation of high explosives, apparent vehicular homicide, assault with a baseball bat, plunges from great heights, electrocutions, jailbreaks, punches, slaps, kicks, and shoves into oncoming traffic. For good measure, there was also a healthy dose of cross-dressing.

October 9, 2015

Requiem for a Sports Column: On Mike Lupica and the Daily News 3

Lupica not only made me want to become a writer; he made me want to be a persuasive and convincing one. He taught me the value of having a viewpoint and seeing it through.

September 28, 2015

Pump Down the Volume: On Writing With Background Music 13

It’s a tempting narrative, and one that fits with the Internet’s culture of simple solutions: If you’re having trouble with that short story, just put on some Brian Eno. Your latent genius will be unleashed.

September 11, 2015

T-Shirts I Have Known: Part Two 0

To an 11-year-old desperate to inflict damage in the arms race of seventh-grade sexual obnoxiousness, “Big Johnson Erection Company” was a cotton nuclear bomb. “Big Johnson Erection Company” was more than a shirt. It was how I announced my regrettable eligibility as a viable sexual being.

August 18, 2015

Pick a Card, Any Card: Raymond Carver’s First Short Story 4

Carver’s distinctive style was established surprisingly early, as this recently-discovered story — found among the yellowing papers of his third-grade teacher at Yakima Elementary School — will attest.

April 8, 2015

Remember This Fondly: On Reading Roald Dahl to My Son 2

I can think of no other time that my son will sit, his head propped on my shoulder, for a half an hour or more. That I can sense the drama popping in his mind as I read is an obvious added bonus. Reading storybooks has put us at the neat intersection of stillness and excitement.

March 17, 2015

Rites of Danhood: On Liking Steely Dan 8

Steely Dan was like nothing I’d ever heard, and not in an enticing way. It seemed to be the worst of jazz and the most boring of rock rolled into one mutant, bad-sex package. It sounded like what sad aliens might listen to when they got around to masturbating.