Modern Library Revue

March 5, 2010

Modern Library Revue: #80 Brideshead Revisited 11

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Evelyn Waugh is your bi-curious hipster boyfriend.

January 20, 2010

Modern Library Revue: #72 A House for Mr. Biswas 4

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I don’t tend to condemn books solely because the writer was some variety of wretch. But I have done so if I think it will create a smoke-screen for the fact that I did not understand the book.

December 21, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #17 The Heart is a Lonely Hunter 4

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Carson McCullers attains a level of virtuosity on many fronts, but I was most taken with her depiction of relationships, many of which balance on a knife edge of propriety, wavering back and forth between the lovely and the weird and the outright perverse.

November 25, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #42 Deliverance 14

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The story is told in a self-consciously poetic way, as if the author wrote it while sitting behind a duck blind with a camouflaged typewriter, looking at a picture of Walt Whitman and listening to Wagner.

October 23, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #95 Under the Net 11

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Someone once said (it was me) that Iris Murdoch wrote so many novels that if you are in the mood to read something by her, there is probably a fresh one available.

September 28, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #78 Kim 11

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Kipling, I have observed, is catnip to gentlemen over a certain age; how far they are over that age determines how much they own up to his allure.

July 23, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #20 Native Son 4

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Wright’s pacing is brilliant. It starts hard. It’s a realistic sort of pace. It doesn’t get easier as the novel goes on, but things get explained.

July 15, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #15 To the Lighthouse 5

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To write this installment of Modern Revue, I located and reread the copy of To the Lighthouse I had in college. The shock that the novel delivered to my booze-sodden collegiate nervous system is demonstrable. My copy looks like a creature, bristling with orange post-its. Obscure marginal notes abound, many of which are enormously insightful. […]

June 19, 2009

Modern Library Revue #40: The Heart of the Matter 5

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I have a slightly hard time with Graham Greene. I don’t know why. I think his writing is very good. He has weighty themes and sexy titles. And yet I have found that I can’t really remember anything about his novels beyond the most basic plot points. I’m talking about his “serious” fiction here. I […]

May 18, 2009

Modern Library Revue: #22 Appointment in Samarra 8

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This book is very spicy. I would imagine that it made an absolute scene upon its publication.