Category Archives: Books

Bad Review! BAD Review!

Why are bad reviews supposed to be so good? Toward the end of Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert, when it was revealed that late in his career Ebert often developed friendships with the people whose work he was … Continue reading

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The Time Machine

When in 1970 my family first moved into our house on the dead end street named Paradise Drive, elm trees bordered our front lawn—silent, broad-shouldered sentinels standing watch over the gravel roads they lined. This was in Little Chute, Wisconsin, … Continue reading

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Guardians of the Galaxy and Howard the Duck

Before I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest box office dreadnought from Marvel Entertainment, I read in the Huffington Post about a post-credit sequence featuring Howard the Duck. “As fans might remember,” the article pronounced, “”Howard the Duck” was … Continue reading

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Rabbit Holes: On the Pleasures of Reading Thomas Pynchon

As I was about halfway through Thomas Pynchon’s most recent novel Bleeding Edge, I hit that state of bliss his books can bring me to. I was relieved. I hadn’t liked his previous novel Inherent Vice so much. It was … Continue reading

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Who’s Paranoid?

As a beautiful Fourth of July weekend came to a close, I was coincidentally reading the section in Thomas Pynchon’s most recent novel, Bleeding Edge, that describes the events of 9/11 and some of the immediate responses it provoked. Among … Continue reading

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Weirdoes and Visionaries

The old, weird America. That’s what Greil Marcus called it. I’m pretty familiar with it.  I’d encountered it enough when I was growing up. Talking to the old-timers in the small town in Wisconsin where I was raised, I knew … Continue reading

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With the release of E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962 last September and Susan Cheever’s biography e. e. cummings: A Life this February, Cummings’ poetry is once again being discussed by critics.  Most acknowledge that whatever shortcomings his lesser poems … Continue reading

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