Posts Tagged 'reviews'

My review of Roth’s new novel on Identity Theory

My review of Philip Roth’s new novel The Humbling has been posted over at Identity Theory. Roth has written several of the best books I’ve ever read, and I revere him for his mastery of the art of fiction. But unfortunately, The Humbling leaves a lot to be desired.


My new review on PopMatters: Potato by John Reader

PopMatters has published my review of the journalist John Reader’s history of the potato, titled (surprisingly enough) Potato. If you’re going to read just one history of the potato, this probably shouldn’t be it.

2666 review roundup

My review of Roberto Bolaño’s monumental posthumous novel 2666 should run on PopMatters sometime soon. (Update: here it is.) I won’t offer a detailed assessment of the book here (though I probably will write some more about it once my review has posted). Suffice it to say that I loved the book, and that the current torrent of gushing critical praise for it is fully justified.

At I’ve Been Reading Lately, Levi Stahl has posted a helpful roundup of 2666 reviews. He observes:

Since I finished my review, I’ve read a handful of others, and what’s been most striking is the way they collectively demonstrate the capaciousness of the novel: each emphasizes some different aspect, and hardly any of us draw on more than one or two of the same quotations in the course of describing and appraising the book.

Since I knew as I was working on it that my review would be running later than most, I feared that I might inadvertently latch onto some of the same ideas or passages as another critic whose work would reach the reading public sooner. But as it turns out, I shouldn’t have worried about it. As Stahl points out, there’s so much going on in 2666 that every critic is likely to take something different from it.

2666 by Roberto Bolaño

2666 by Roberto Bolaño

So far, the best of the 2666 reviews I’ve read is probably Jonathan Lethem’s take on it in the New York Times Book Review. I think he comes the closest of any critic I’ve read so far to fully capturing the novel’s most important themes and ideas, and he also does an admirable job of the surprisingly difficult task of simply summarizing the plot.

My Coltrane/Davis book review on PopMatters

This morning PopMatters is running my review of Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington’s book Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever.

And coming soon on the same site: my review of Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel My Sister, My Love.

Recent Publications

Review of J.M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature, edited by Anton Leist and Peter Singer. The Quarterly Conversation, September 2010.

Review of Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett. The Region, June 2010.

Review of The Man in the Wooden Hat and Old Filth by Jane Gardam. The Quarterly Conversation, Issue 19, Spring 2010.

Review of 1989: Bob Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About by Joshua Clover. ForeWord, November/December 2009.

Review of The Humbling by Philip Roth. Identity Theory, November 25, 2009.

Review of Imperial by William T. Vollmann. PopMatters, September 18, 2009.

Review of Wonderful World by Javier Calvo. The Quarterly Conversation, Issue 17, September 7, 2009.

Review of Of Song and Water by Joseph Coulson. Identity Theory, August 3, 2009.

Review of Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music by Amiri Baraka. ForeWord, July/August 2009.

Review of Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda. Rain Taxi, Summer 2009 (#54). Viewable online via Powell's Books

July 2018
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