John Pistelli

writer

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Road, like many other novels in the broad speculative tradition from ancient utopias to modern science fiction, designs … Continue reading

21 July 2017 · 2 Comments

Vladimir Nabokov, The Enchanter

The Enchanter by Vladimir Nabokov My rating: 3 of 5 stars VN’s first pass at the Lolita subject matter, The Enchanter was written in 1939—making it one of the author’s … Continue reading

16 July 2017 · Leave a comment

Why Speech Is Not Violence

Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett has written an article for the New York Times entitled “When Speech Is Violence.” It begins: Imagine that a bully threatens to punch you in the … Continue reading

15 July 2017 · 4 Comments

Gish Jen, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap

The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap by Gish Jen My rating: 3 of 5 stars One time, teaching a course on the graphic novel, I … Continue reading

14 July 2017 · Leave a comment

Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo My rating: 5 of 5 stars It sometimes seems as if great novels—where “great” implies success at the historico-political task of summing an epoch or … Continue reading

12 July 2017 · Leave a comment

Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right

Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle My rating: 3 of 5 stars Kill All Normies is like three … Continue reading

9 July 2017 · 3 Comments

Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol

The Doom Patrol Omnibus by Grant Morrison My rating: 3 of 5 stars In my review of Boris Groys’s In the Flow, I somehow failed to note the thesis in … Continue reading

7 July 2017 · 1 Comment

William Faulkner, Sanctuary

Sanctuary by William Faulkner My rating: 5 of 5 stars As everyone knows, Faulkner claimed he wrote this brutal 1931 novel as a potboiler. Superficially, this is plausible: a lurid … Continue reading

5 July 2017 · Leave a comment

Boris Groys, In the Flow

In the Flow by Boris Groys My rating: 4 of 5 stars For a long time, God was our anchor: the gaze of the deity secured our place in the … Continue reading

1 July 2017 · 2 Comments

Announcing Portraits and Ashes

As you might have guessed from yesterday’s defense of self-published literary fiction, I have independently published a novel, Portraits and Ashes. For a brief description, here is the back cover copy: … Continue reading

28 June 2017 · 1 Comment