Everything St. Aubyn writes is worth reading for the cleansing rancor of his intelligence and the fierce elegance of his prose — but rollicking, he is not. A knockabout comic novel needs a plot that believes in its own twists and turns, and that is not on offer here.
This is a more cerebral novel than Mr Ferris’s previous works, but the hapless Paul keeps it grounded. His interior monologues are oddly hilarious...
What happens? Not much. But Mr. Kinney has a chance to describe several different strata of Dylan admirers, from those who’ll eat cherry pie because he did to those who know the first name of his maternal great-grandmother...The stories are innocent and not particularly interesting.
Whitehead serves up an engrossing mix of casual yet astute reportage and hang-dog philosophizing, showing us that, for all of poker’s intricate calculations and shrewd stratagems, everything still hangs on the turn of a card.
“AB” is reliably amusing, of course...And Stibbe herself is Bennett-like in her deadpan, ruthlessly honest observations. Properly heartwarming.
An immensely readable and rewarding book that will challenge and inspire readers to make their workplaces hotbeds of creativity.
The effect is both luxurious and down to earth, a pleasurable sojourn with characters Marciano depicts as simultaneously likable and irritating, bold and retiring, types and individuals—not unlike those reading about them.
Readers won’t soon forget his most fearless essay, which recounts a raw, heartbreaking experience from his days in rehab for his alcohol addiction. A savvy writer with a quick wit, Lowe invites readers into his world with easy charm and disarming frankness.
...while a lot of fun, the book has trouble achieving satiric traction. The chief problem is easy to identify: Why, one wonders, did Coupland choose as his narrator a figure he seems so obviously out of sync with?
In his authoritative and enormously engaging new biography...Scott Eyman writes in great detail on all three subjects: the politics..the cancer that ultimately killed him in 1979 at age 72; and the surprising amount of care and work that went into creating the persona known to the world as John Wayne.
As always, Pratchett's unforgettable characters and lively story mirror the best, the worst, and the oddest bits of our own world, entertaining readers while skewering social and political foibles in a melting pot of humanity, dwarfs, trolls, goblins, vampires, and a werewolf or two.
Although Wagner regales readers with tales of many of his Hollywood friends—from Mary Pickford and Harold Lloyd to Andy Williams and Jimmy Stewart—he never stoops to kiss-and-tell gossip about the stars nor does he wax nostalgic about a past for which he desperately longs.
...he takes Whistler at his own estimation (a genius) and repackages the other stuff – the bad faith art, the preening, the viciousness – as the necessary folly of a great man. It is a generous approach but not an illuminating one.
Five Came Back is a welcome addition to film history, and well worth reading for anyone interested in film, World War II, or the use of propaganda in American life. Mark Harris has done a superb job winding the separate narratives of five of America’s greatest directors together...
In this latest crisis, waves of wild magic are flowing from Rachel’s ley-line, causing charms to misfire, often with devastating results...A great ride in and of itself, rather than simply a buildup to the finale, which is sure to be whiz-bang.
Only when it veers towards politics does “Bark” become clunky. Tying plots and characters to Abu Ghraib or Barack Obama’s re-election feels out of place...Still, “Bark” simultaneously honours and regrets the messiness of human relationships.
...Itzkoff’s real achievement is in his chilling analysis of Network as prophecy, demonstrating through interviews with Anderson Cooper, Stephen Colbert, Bill O’Reilly, and others that Chayefsky’s satire has become our reality.
Before you dismiss B. J. Novak’s debut fiction collection, “One More Thing,” as the latest example of a Hollywood actor’s trespassing into the far more glamorous and affluent gated community of short stories, read his humor piece “If I Had a Nickel.”
...it is full of loose ends—a reconciliation with his brother, the attempt to fake a recording from 1932—that the author never ties together, perhaps since Jimmy’s is not the sort of tidy life. Whatever its novelistic flaws, the rock criticism and pop-culture insights are sharp throughout.
It's a vivid metaphor, not just for these characters, but for all of us, writer and reader, an expression of our shared humanity. That was always the point of "Tales of the City," its heartbeat, which makes "The Days of Anna Madrigal" a fitting end.