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Week 51: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

By | 2018-09-07T15:44:39+00:00 June 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Elegance of the Hedgehog book review When I was 23, I brought a copy of Ulysses with me to Greece and carried it around for five weeks. I never actually got around to reading it, but carrying it with me made me feel a cut above my fellow backpackers, most of whom were [...]

Week 50: Portnoy’s Complaint

By | 2018-09-07T15:52:48+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Portnoy's Complaint book review "So. Now you know the worst thing I have ever done. I fucked my own family's dinner." That line, one of the most memorable in modern literature, appears about halfway through Philip Roth's humorous, sexually explicit monologue, which is prefaced by the following clinical definition: "Portnoy's Complaint: A disorder in [...]

Week 49: On the counterculture bus with Tom Wolfe

By | 2018-09-07T16:00:42+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test book review In 1967, at the peak of the Summer of Love, Tom Wolfe set out to chronicle the adventures of Ken Kesey and his followers, the Merry Pranksters. All he knew about Kesey at that point was that he was "a highly regarded 31-year-old novelist and in a [...]

Week 48: A Farewell to Arms

By | 2018-09-07T16:06:00+00:00 May 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A Farewell to Arms book review I always want to slap Hemingway's women. They never seem like fully realized characters. Unlike the men, who, while they may not always be admirable, at least are recognizably human. Hemingway believed that women, along with politics, drink, money and ambition, ruined a writer. So it's not surprising [...]

Week 45: Howards End

By | 2018-09-07T23:51:43+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Howards End book review I've always had a fondness for books about houses. The Fall of the House of Usher is one of the scariest (and will be reviewed here once I get up the nerve to reread it), but there are others that come to mind: Brideshead Revisited, Bleak House, Wuthering Heights, A House for Mr. Biswas. Houses [...]

Week 44: The thoroughly modern Mrs. Bovary

By | 2018-09-08T00:00:02+00:00 April 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Madame Bovary book review Gustave Flaubert (1821 - 1880) came of age during a time of transition between the revolution of 1830 and that of 1848. It was an era of tremendous political and intellectual upheaval, a time when poets and writers like Wordsworth, Coleridge and Walter Scott denounced the rationalism of the Enlightenment, [...]