Reviews

August 29, 2014

Last Words: On Michael Hastings’s The Last Magazine: A Novel 3

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There was a certain buzz in the air before Michael Hastings’s The Last Magazine was published. His personal story, in fact, is the stuff that good fiction is made of. A prominent journalist, he died just over a year ago in a single-vehicle crash in the hours before dawn, triggering speculation that he had been murdered.

August 18, 2014

Mind of a Team: David Peace’s Red or Dead 2

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There will always be another game. Each game is as important as the next.

August 13, 2014

A Little Night Music: On Marie-Helene Bertino’s 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas 0

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Is it possible for a group of characters to be too charismatic? If so, that was my only real objection to Bertino’s novel.

August 13, 2014

The Sublime and the Odious: On Joseph Luzzi’s My Two Italies 1

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My Two Italies is a hybrid memoir, both a recollection of personal experience and growth and also a scholarly look at the long-standing divide between Italy’s north and south — the north characterized by wealth and culture, and the south by poverty and crime. For Luzzi, the divide is personally felt.

August 11, 2014

Aloof, Quiet, and Dissonant: On Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage 5

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All of the hallmarks of Murakami’s style all are present in Colorless Tsukuru, but for perhaps the first time in his work, they seem flat and uninteresting, almost overused, as if the novel is a parody of his earlier work.

August 1, 2014

More Alive and Much Stranger: On Yelena Akhtiorskaya’s Panic in a Suitcase 0

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Storms come, storms go, aspirations don’t become reality and personalities don’t improve, they just flat-line.

July 30, 2014

Should We Talk About The Weather? Frankenstein, Fear, and the “Year Without Summer” 1

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Wood sees the eruption of Tambora and its devastating after-effects as a case study for rapid climate change, arguing that the years post-Tambora offer “a rare, clear window onto a world convulsed by weather extremes, with human communities everywhere struggling to adapt to sudden, radical shifts in temperatures and rainfall.”

July 29, 2014

“Story with a Real Beast and a Little Blood”: on Rose McLarney’s Its Day Being Gone 0

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Appalachian literature plays an elegaic refrain. It is a literature of dislocation and transition and survival.

July 22, 2014

John Waters’s America 1

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In the back of his mind, Mark Twain probably imagined a dogshit-eating transvestite, but couldn’t find a place for him in Huckleberry Finn.

July 22, 2014

Our Own Personal Superhero: Gene Luen Yang and The Shadow Hero 4

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It’s like coloring within the lines of a Jackson Pollock painting.