Posted inArts & Culture

Stephen Elliott

In his raucous book-length dispatch from the 2004 campaign trail, Looking Forward to It, Stephen Elliott makes brief mention of his latest novel, Happy Baby, as a “dark, hopeless book”–but it’s a characterization to be taken with a grain of salt. Though Happy Baby (just out in paperback from Picador) is at times relentlessly grim, […]

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

What the –?

A bunch of Topless Humans Organized for Natural Genetics crashed a reception for the NanoCommerce 2004 conference at McCormick Place last week. The five guys and four gals from THONG lined up in front of the podium facing the assembled scientists and businesspeople, stripped down to their thongs, and turned around to reveal the slogan […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Todd Taylor

Of the 17 interviews with punk bands and counterculture figures in Todd Taylor’s Born to Rock: Heavy Drinkers and Thinkers (Gorsky Press), none quite strikes Taylor’s characteristic balance of whimsy and gravitas as finely as the first, with Minnesota’s the Dillinger Four, in which Taylor leads the band through a philosophical comparison of monkeys and […]

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 […]