John Pistelli

writer

Adrienne Rich, Diving into the Wreck

Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich My rating: 3 of 5 stars In the blurb on the cover of this paperback, Margaret Atwood promises that this book … Continue reading

2 February 2018 · Leave a comment

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon My rating: 5 of 5 stars A summary of this classic 1965 short novel’s unsummarizable plot: California housewife Oedipa Maas becomes executor … Continue reading

28 January 2018 · 1 Comment

Back to School: Literature Springs Eternal

Most of my reading matter for the spring semester is above. (You can find the syllabi here.) As with ordering from a new and affordable menu, the digestive organ may … Continue reading

18 January 2018 · Leave a comment

Against Intellectual Biblioclasm

[This is an expansion of a brief response I posted yesterday to Tumblr in reply to user macrolit, who, upon being denounced for sharing a quote from Simone de Beauvoir … Continue reading

13 January 2018 · Leave a comment

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

On the Road by Jack Kerouac My rating: 3 of 5 stars You will say, “You should have read this book when you were sixteen!” Reader, I wouldn’t have liked … Continue reading

10 January 2018 · 4 Comments

Bernard Malamud, The Assistant

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Assistant (1957) is Bernard Malamud’s second novel. Frank Alpine, its eponymous anti-hero, becomes a clerk in the failing … Continue reading

4 January 2018 · Leave a comment

My Year in Books, 2017

But let’s start with movies. Ten years ago, the Scottish musician and critic Momus observed that one of the most acclaimed films of 2007, Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish-Civil-War fantasy┬áPan’s Labyrinth, … Continue reading

31 December 2017 · Leave a comment

Jean Giono, Melville

Melville: A Novel by Jean Giono My rating: 4 of 5 stars Twentieth-century French novelist Jean Giono is currently being introduced (or re-introduced by NYRB Classics) to American readers, and … Continue reading

30 December 2017 · Leave a comment

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders My rating: 4 of 5 stars In one of the few negative reviews of George Saunders’s well-received and Man Booker-winning first novel, Caleb … Continue reading

25 December 2017 · 1 Comment

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates My rating: 4 of 5 stars It is a poor period indeed which must assess its men of letters in terms of … Continue reading

21 December 2017 · Leave a comment