Reviews

December 26, 2012

In A Far Off Land: Emma Donoghue’s Astray 2

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Donoghue throws the windows of the world open in fourteen stories of wanderlust, exploration, and possibilities promised by new and unknown lands.

November 30, 2012

The Art of Being The Boss: On Peter Ames Carlin’s Bruce 1

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While Bruce is too often a workmanlike affair, one comes away from this new Springsteen biography happy that its author had the good sense to get out of the way and just let Bruce be Bruce.

November 30, 2012

A Sensitive Meatball: On Kurt Vonnegut’s Letters 4

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Reading these letters, it seemed like Kurt Vonnegut’s biggest obstacle to happiness was Kurt Vonnegut.

November 29, 2012

Only So Many Words Remain: On Alice Munro’s Dear Life 3

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Growing old has, like a trip through a difficult country, endowed Munro with all manner of new information, and she has begun to file her dispatches.

November 27, 2012

Invisible Borders: Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke 0

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Hamid’s first novel, recently re-released, was published not long after Pakistan tested its first nuclear weapons, and the arms race between Pakistan and India form the jittery backdrop to a harrowing story of a man’s descent.

November 26, 2012

The Mad Girls Next Door: Mary Stewart Atwell’s Wild Girls 0

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It’s hard to resist a story of girls gone bad.

November 26, 2012

Infographics of Despair: Chris Ware’s Building Stories 4

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Only bad art is depressing; good art, no matter what its subject, is exhilarating.

November 20, 2012

With Love, From Julian Barnes 0

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Julian Barnes’s sparkling new collection of essays is a veritable treasure house of letters on novels and their authors.

November 19, 2012

The Lies We Tell: Ian McEwan’s Sweet Tooth 4

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In a traditional spy/thriller/whodunit, the end reveal is never as interesting as the tension-filled pages of clues and red herrings that got you there. On the contrary, Sweet Tooth is a much finer novel in retrospect, once the final chapter and its revelations have been absorbed.

November 15, 2012

Thank God for Uncle Joe: On Joseph Epstein’s Essays in Biography 5

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Bound to elicit peals of outrage is the dust jacket’s assertion that Epstein is “the greatest living essayist.” Whether he has earned this accolade is open to question; he certainly does not deserve it on the basis of this collection alone.