Articles by Jacob Lambert

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.

February 11, 2015

Yet Again, I Ask: Are Picture Books Leading Our Children Astray? 2

I’ve recently discovered that the polluted river of wicked picture books has been flowing as strongly as ever. A new crop of titles has until now escaped my benevolent gaze — and in so doing, have tainted our tots with narratives of untold madness and perfidy.

December 17, 2011

A Year in Reading: Jacob Lambert 2

I felt utterly rabbit-punched. It was the only book I’ve ever read that betrayed me in such a way — like finding that your cousin’s hilarious web video was directed by Adam McKay.

September 22, 2011

The Greatest Story Ever Drawn 4

Despite my initial skepticism, I’m not sure that I’ve read a better graphic novel.

September 8, 2011

Star Wars, Apatow, and the Death of Classic Comedy 2

Judd Apatow and friends, with their hyper-familiar brand of hairy-assed humor, have issued a crushing blow to the suspension of disbelief — and made the gap between old comedy and new unbridgeable.

May 10, 2011

The Dog Massage 3

I am an old dog, yes, but like to think that I’m open to new tricks.