Posted inNews & Politics

Brief Reviews

THE NYMPHOS OF ROCKY FLATS | Mario Acevedo | Rayo | Former infantryman Mario Acevedo manages to seamlessly blend several genres in his smooth, wryly funny debut novel. Nymphos starts off as a war thriller: enlisted grunt Felix Gomez is just trying to survive in Iraq when he mistakenly shoots a civilian girl who bleeds […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Brief Reviews

THE AMPHORA PROJECT | William Kotzwinkle | Grove Press | In a 1988 essay literary agent Russell Galen had some advice for writers gunning for the big time: “Don’t worry about ‘breaking out of genre.’” Just “make it big, big, very big.” Maybe someone should send a copy to William Kotzwinkle: the man knows how […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Brief Reviews

BEWARE OF GOD: STORIES | Shalom Auslander | Simon & Schuster “Do what [God] says and nobody gets hurt,” the rabbi told Bloom. Unfortunately what God decreed was that Bloom must die. He’d tried to kill Bloom before, but air bags and defibrillators kept getting in the way. Now in “Somebody Up There Likes You,” […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Brief Reviews

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir Nick Flynn | Norton | It’s a conundrum: what is a child’s responsibility to a parent when that parent has long since abandoned him? In his new memoir Nick Flynn takes his sweet time getting to the heart of this question, rifling through his past to make […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In Brief

AMAZONIA: FIVE YEARS AT THE EPICENTER OF THE DOT.COM JUGGERNAUT James Marcus New Press James Marcus’s amusing memoir tells how it was to be in the right place (Seattle) at the right time (the 90s). Personally interviewed by Jeff Bezos, Marcus was the 55th hire at then ramshackle Amazon.com. Tired of starving as a freelance […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In Brief

AGAINST LOVE: A POLEMIC Laura Kipnis Pantheon The title of the latest from cultural critic Laura Kipnis’s seems tactically misleading. Romantic love makes a juicy target for a would-be enfant terrible–the apparent ambition of a writer who opens her book with a “Reader’s Advisory” that warns us to “Please fasten your seatbelts: we are about […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Stratocaster

A year ago, trying to break from a fog of drugs, I returned to the Florida college town where I’d first loosed my moorings. I found a job at the university, became a minor minder of the physical plant. On my first payday, after punching out I left with Izzy, my new friend from work. […]