Reviews Archives - The Millions

July 25, 2016

Dredging a Riverine Mind: On “Pond” 0

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The combination of a life-left-behind and the lack of a distinct life-to-come leaves the book swirling in some kind of dream-like stasis, the tiny world of house and garden mushrooming until those narrow grounds constitute an entire universe.

July 18, 2016

White Lives Matter: On Nancy Isenberg’s ‘White Trash’ 2

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Isenberg appears to have decided to write a history of poor white America and then persuaded herself that poor black America was only tangential to her story.

July 15, 2016

Becoming a Tugboat: On Rikki Ducornet’s ‘Brightfellow’ 0

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In Brightfellow, Ducornet forces readers to experience the physicality of reading, to feel and taste the act of storytelling.

July 14, 2016

Why Now, Florida Man? On Craig Pittman’s ‘Oh, Florida!’ 0

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The ideal Florida Man story involves a woman named Crystal Metheny firing a missile into a car, while a South Florida Man story involves bodybuilding ex-soldiers getting their international Molly ring busted because of a pornstar’s temper tantrum.

June 30, 2016

Remembering the Present: On Chuck Klosterman’s ‘But What if We’re Wrong?’ 15

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Klosterman’s conversations with Neil deGrasse Tyson and string theorist Brain Greene prove to be fascinating, if creepy, measured discussions of whether life might be a simulation.

June 22, 2016

Baby and the Book: On Rivka Galchen’s ‘Little Labors’ 1

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If novels are investigations into the workings of human existence — shouldn’t a baby, and a baby’s arrival, provide a useful key?

June 20, 2016

Really Bad People: On Sebastian Junger’s ‘Tribe’ 3

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Junger’s quick look at violence, trauma, and modern anomie omits important information, and as a result ends up on shaky ground, failing to consider counterpoints or bring its own arguments to a close.

June 20, 2016

Humanizing War: On Mary Roach’s ‘Grunt’ 1

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Roach’s writing is kinetic in the sense that it propels its readers forward, maintaining a speed and energy that keeps us turning the page, elongating a state of perpetual curiosity.

June 15, 2016

The Ultimate Intimacy: On Neil Gaiman’s ‘The View from the Cheap Seats’ 0

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For Gaiman, the writing memoir is less about how to write and more about why we need writing.

June 13, 2016

Knowledge Porn: On Helen DeWitt’s ‘The Last Samurai’ 11

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When Ludo takes his magnificent brain to public school for the first time, and discovers the exquisite agony of being misunderstood by a world of simpletons, I feel like Helen DeWitt “gets” me.