Category Archives: Book Reviews

Letting Go

Philip Roth is dead.  He was old, and it wasn’t exactly sad, and he wasn’t writing fiction anymore, so what did we get from him anyway?  Just two days ago I reread an interview he did with the Times by … Continue reading

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Burgess of the Bilabial Fricative

The Doctor is Sick, Anthony Burgess, 1960 “‘You’ve got this obsession, haven’t you?’ said Dr. Railton. ‘With words, I mean.’” Dr. Edwin Spindrift does. He’s a philologist, a linguist with an obsession with the bilabial fricative, “sound, etymology and lexical definition.” … Continue reading

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A Dynamic World

Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars is, quite simply, a perfect novel. It combines the thrilling driving intensity of a compelling plot with the capability for insight and introspection and revealing observation. Its descriptions of the fourth planet, … Continue reading

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Albert Hirschman Reviewed – “The Passions and the Interests”

In The Passions and the Interests, Albert Hirschman asks how the idea of capitalism won in a world where “commercial banking, and similar money-making pursuits…[had] stood condemned or despised as greed, love of lucre, and avarice for centuries past.” The … Continue reading

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Good God a Wonderful Philip Roth Novel

My Life as a Man – Philip Roth When Peter Tarnopol learns that Maureen has died, he is convinced that it’s another plot of hers, a set-up to get him to react callously, and so recorded in his coldness that … Continue reading

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Tim Snyder Reviewed – “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century”

“What is patriotism?” asks Timothy Snyder in the penultimate chapter of his slim book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. To begin his definition Mr. Snyder lists what he considers is not, and in doing so defines his … Continue reading

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I Will Never Read A Bad Book Again

The First Deadly Sin – Lawrence Sanders Being recommended a book is always a risky proposition. Add being given a book to read and you’re in even worse shape. You could always pretend to have read the book, but why not … Continue reading

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