Reviews Archives - Page 74 of 85 - The Millions

August 8, 2007

Lethem the Lyrical: You Don’t Love Me Yet 4


The salient aspect of Jonathan Lethem’s latest novel, You Don’t Love Me Yet, is that by the end each character has found his and her level. It’s quite something: of the seven or so characters there are no winners and no losers. The author’s conscientious diplomacy imbues a basically playful book with a certain airy […]

August 7, 2007

Amour Fou: On Leonard Michaels’ Sylvia 2


I.What is style… and how does one achieve it? Our English teachers admonish us to enliven our verb choices, to reach for colorful synonyms… and we imbibe the idea that style means not sounding like anyone else, that styles are as distinctive as handwriting. As, indeed, some are. When we encounter “aurochs and angels and […]

July 29, 2007

A Potter Post Mortem 2


What to say about Harry Potter that hasn’t been said? One approach, I suppose, taking a page from the New York Times, would be to cover the coverage. I, for example, was delighted by the Times’ hypocrisy in covering as news the New York Post’s and New York Daily News’ early publication of movie reviews […]

July 19, 2007

Empire on the Wane: On J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians 0


When Irving Howe reviewed J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians for the NY Times in 1982, he touched on the concern that Coetzee’s “universalized” (which is to say unnamed and fictional) Empire would “be ‘elevated’ into sterile ruminations about the human condition.” At the time of course, it was Coetzee’s South Africa, that obvious villain […]

July 14, 2007

A Final Journey: A Review of Ryszard Kapuscinski’s Travels with Herodotus 0


Published posthumously, Ryszard Kapuscinski’s Travels with Herodotus is very self consciously a final book. In it Kapuscinski reflects on his life as a writer, rarely delving much into the details of his travels with which his readers have become familiar, but instead dwelling more upon writing itself. But more so, his focus is on Herodotus, […]

July 11, 2007

The Devil Inside: A Review of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita 4


About a year ago, The Millions readers recommended that I read Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita after I wrote about Crime and Punishment – which was not so much a commentary on Dostoevsky’s fantastic writing, but a plea for more excellent Russian literature. As happens with a lot of books I end up reading, […]

July 10, 2007

Life In A Broken City: A Review of Rawi Hage’s DeNiro’s Game 1


The first thing you’ll notice is the urgency. Our hero’s youthful voice flirting with maturity, ready to move and ready to take you with him, whether you’re ready or not. Even when he’s waiting, you sense the activity, the plans and schemes to move his life along, to leave for pastures greener, or in the […]

July 9, 2007

Living in the Shadows: A Review of Jose Saramago’s Blindness 4


Seeing is believing. And if you don’t see the shit you wallow in, maybe you won’t mind it as much. Or at least that is one of the tangential points in Jose Saramago’s Blindness, a powerful journey into darkness that sheds a light on humankind in a moment of weakness. With a simple narrative and […]

June 21, 2007

Cold and Ruminating: A Review of In the Wake by Per Petterson 0


Scott of Conversational Reading invited me to participate in his “Reading the World” series this month. My contribution was reading and posting about Per Petterson’s In the Wake. I don’t read enough fiction in translation, maybe a couple of books per year. When I do the experience elicits one of two reactions. Either the book […]

June 19, 2007

Learning Curve: A Review of Nell Freudenberger’s The Dissident 1


Nell Freudenberger is unquestionably a gifted writer and will, if we’re fortunate, become a major one. Her story collection Lucky Girls, published when she was 28, earned ink from Vogue and Elle and hardware from PEN, and if Marisha Pessl has since eclipsed her as lit-fic’s “It Girl,” well… so much the better. Slipping out […]