Reviews Archives - Page 74 of 86 - The Millions

October 15, 2007

Message from a Dead Man: A Review of Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke 2

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The intrusion of the university into the life of the writer “is unquestionably the chief sociological fact of modern American literature,” Keith Gessen wrote in last year’s N+1 symposium on American literature. Though Gessen’s rhetoric may have been strategically hyperbolic, the facts bore him out. For better or for worse, the M.F.A. workshop has changed […]

October 2, 2007

Fighting Terrorism Is Easy, Don’t You Know?: Thinking Like A Terrorist by Mike German 0

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This guest contribution comes from Timothy R. Homan, a journalist based in Washington, D.C. Counterterrorism officials in the United States, and elsewhere, have failed to utilize two easily accessible tools in the war against terrorism, according a former FBI undercover agent who uses his personal experiences to support his recommendations in Thinking Like a Terrorist […]

September 27, 2007

A Bygone Era: Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow 6

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I’ve read and enjoyed many of E.L. Doctorow’s short stories, typically in the New Yorker, but I’d never had the occasion to read Ragtime, Doctorow’s most famous work, one that has been made into a film and Broadway musical. I don’t know that I’m well read enough to insist that Doctorow invented this sort of […]

September 13, 2007

Squib Review: Twenty Grand And Other Tales of Love And Money by Rebecca Curtis 2

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A few months ago I read a story called “The Near-Son” in n+1. It engrossed me completely, right through to the punch-in-the-gut Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”-esque ending. The plotting, the pacing, and the narrator’s bizarre and fascinating affect (was she retarded – somehow not right in the head – or just distressingly honest?) were unlike […]

September 12, 2007

How I learned to Love the Bomb: A Review of William Langewiesche’s The Atomic Bazaar 0

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Gone are the days of mutually assured destruction, when – at the push of a red button – one of the nuclear giants could initiate a worldwide fallout, inevitably bringing about the widely feared doomsday. It is different now: the rogues are in the game. The bomb scare is not what it used to be. […]

September 10, 2007

I See a Darkness: The Looming Tower 5

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1. Transparency, if not objectivityIn December of 2001, I took my mother to see the first Lord of the Rings movie. Though it was my idea to see the film, it was her cash that purchased the ticket, and so she was not only baffled, but also irritated, when I had to leave the theater […]

August 28, 2007

Bombay Dhamaka: Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games 4

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Borges tells us of a civilization where cartographers produced the perfect map: one “whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.” In the next breath, he concedes that this map was useless. Though Borges titles his tale “On Exactitude in Science,” it might serve as a parable for […]

August 21, 2007

Winning Isn’t Everything: Victory in War by William C. Martel 0

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This guest contribution comes from Timothy R. Homan, a journalist based in Washington, D.C. In September, as many Americans reflect on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, four government reports detailing progress in the war in Iraq will be presented to Congress and the American public. The most anticipated of these is expected to […]

August 16, 2007

Occupational Hazards: Liberation by Joanna Scott 0

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I’ve written in the past about World War II fiction. I especially appreciate how the genre can illuminate elements of the conflict that history books cannot, for want of specificity and seriousness. I had a child’s school-taught understanding of the war until I read a novel, actually. The second part of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement […]

August 8, 2007

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

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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 […]