Reviews Archives - Page 74 of 78 - The Millions

February 8, 2006

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder: A Review 1

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The “Machine” in the title of Tracy Kidder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book from 1982 is a minicomputer, but for anyone reading it now, it might as well be a time machine. The Soul of a New Machine takes the reader back 27 years, but in terms of the technology that is central to the book, it […]

February 3, 2006

The Corey Vilhauer Book of the Month Club: February 2006 0

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One of the most harrowing things about reading is having to finish a book in order to start another. It’s a necessary evil, to use a cliche, because in order to start a book we have already perceived as being worthy of reading we must first finish the one we are currently on. Bittersweet is […]

February 2, 2006

Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux: A Review 0

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Though I’ve heard great things about Paul Theroux, Dark Star Safari was the first by him that I’ve read – well, listened to actually. Thanks to our current location in Chicago and the locations of our respective families, the holidays involve a lot of driving for Mrs. Millions and me – 36 hours worth this […]

January 30, 2006

Seize the Day by Saul Bellow: A Review 0

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I love finding old pocket paperbacks in thrift stores. That’s how I ended up with a 1960s-era British pocket Penguin edition of Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day. On the cover, the price is listed as “3’6” which, though I’ve been to England, I can’t decipher. On the first page, in pencil is the price – […]

January 23, 2006

Wade Rubenstein’s Gullboy: A Review 1

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It’s a balancing act. How do you express yourself within a rich tradition without resorting to cliche? The deeper you go into the tradition, into the familiar, the more blindingly original your own expression really needs to be. Take, for example, the songs of Will Oldham. A staggeringly good songwriter, his understated records resonate long […]

January 23, 2006

The White Earth by Andrew McGahan: A Review 0

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Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth was a big deal when it came out in Australia in 2004. His previous novels had given him a following, but The White Earth was the winner of the Miles Franklin Prize, Australia’s richest literary award, catapulting him to a new level of recognition. The book is a multigenerational tale […]

January 22, 2006

The People’s Act of Love by James Meek: A Review 0

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A few of the twentieth century Russian history books that I’ve read have touched on a detachment of Czech soldiers who were stranded in Russia after World War I. The Bolshevik Revolution soon followed and the soldiers remained stranded, thousands of miles from home. The soldiers who numbered as many as 40,000 and were stretched […]

January 9, 2006

The Corey Vilhauer Book of the Month Club: January 2006 0

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I find myself wading through stacks of books, it seems, every month. I seek a way to read everything I’ve purchased, but for the most part I can’t. Nobody can, I suspect. Sometimes I need structure. Sometimes I need to be willfully led to my next book. Sometimes I need something easy, like (for instance) […]

November 4, 2005

Plain Heathen Mischief by Martin Clark 0

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At the center of Martin Clark’s comic legal thriller Plain Heathen Mischief is Joel King, a fallen preacher from Roanoke, Virginia, who got in a little too deep with a young female parishioner. After a stint in jail, and facing a broken marriage and a life gone to shambles, Joel is taken under the wing […]

October 17, 2005

Small Island by Andrea Levy 0

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Andrea Levy’s Small Island is a post-colonial novel told from four points of view. Queenie and Bernard, separated by war, are a British couple with a tepid relationship and Hortense and Gilbert are Jamaican, married out of convenience and lured to England by opportunity. The book explores British racism in the 1950s. It’s less overtly […]