Reviews Archives - Page 30 of 79 - The Millions

February 13, 2013

The Ponderer: Phillip Lopate’s Portrait Inside My Head 1


The centerpiece essay embodies much of what makes Lopate such a compelling essayist: a gift for translating the most personal experience to nearly universal relevance, while at the same time retaining a novelist’s facility for analyzing characters, including himself.

January 30, 2013

Faith and Fiction: The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín 13


This is the story of a woman living out her last days in exile with the excruciating memory of watching the torture and crucifixion of her only son. In Tóibín’s hand, the Virgin Mary is more than her role as a mother or a symbol. Instead, she becomes the most interesting of creatures: a credible human.

January 16, 2013

Shadows and Electricity: Juliann Garey’s Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See 0


Greyson Todd is a man on a wire. He has excelled as a studio executive in Hollywood, and has everything that one’s supposed to want: a kind and supportive spouse, a lovely child. Money, beautiful house, glamourous career. But he’s been hiding a bipolar disorder for two decades, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

January 15, 2013

Why Are We Still Reading About Vietnam? Kill Anything That Moves by Nick Turse 6


Kill Anything That Moves should be required reading in every school, military academy and governmental office in the land. Not that it will stop us from blundering into the next war.

January 11, 2013

Woes of the Posthumous Novel: On Roberto Bolaño’s Latest 9


The fragmentation, self-plagiarism, and lack of narrative development all indicate a manuscript that was very much unfinished, and is only interesting as a completist curiosity, something akin to the financial-driven posthumous discographies of Jimi Hendrix or Tupac Shakur.

January 4, 2013

The Adulatory Biographer: On Richard Bradford’s Martin Amis 5


Bradford’s first two sentences do an excellent job of establishing his book’s tone: awkward, overblown, imprecise.

December 27, 2012

How Charles Portis Got Made: On Escape Velocity 10


Here lies the key to Portis’s success as a novelist: he feels tremendous tenderness for every one of his characters, like the forbearing father of some unruly but loveable brood.

December 26, 2012

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


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


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


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