Joan Didion, Play It as It Lays

Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion My rating: 5 of 5 stars She had announced her willingness to cause her subjects pain in Slouching towards Bethlehem, but at the heart of Didion's sense of morality and her sense of style, which cannot be separated, hurting the reader's feelings is also part of the … Continue reading Joan Didion, Play It as It Lays

I. F. Stone, The Trial of Socrates

The Trial of Socrates by I.F. Stone My rating: 4 of 5 stars If the independent left-wing journalist I. F. Stone had lived to write this 1988 bestseller in 2019 instead, he might have expressed its thesis this way: Socrates was an alt-right troll redpilling young men with corrosive irony and anti-democratic sentiment; therefore, democratic … Continue reading I. F. Stone, The Trial of Socrates

Alan Moore, Miracleman

Miracleman, Book Three: Olympus by Alan Moore My rating: 4 of 5 stars In the 1980s, Alan Moore, the most celebrated writer in the history of mainstream Anglophone comics, made his name by telling the same story four times. In Miracleman, V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, and Watchmen, a commanding male figure, superior of intellect … Continue reading Alan Moore, Miracleman

Tom Wolfe, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

Radical Chic & Mau Mauing The Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe My rating: 3 of 5 stars It's a tiny bit arrogant of people to go around worrying about those less fortunate. —Whit Stillman, Metropolitan Stop me if you've heard this one before: it is a year or two into a conservative presidential administration—one that … Continue reading Tom Wolfe, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

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 books in one. A reader coming to it casually will focus on its useful if somewhat cursory tour of the various factions of the new … Continue reading Angela Nagle, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right

Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies

Art and Lies by Jeanette Winterson My rating: 4 of 5 stars [Spoilers, disturbing ones at that, toward the end of this review.] My first encounter with Jeanette Winterson went badly. In college, I read Written on the Body and found it ludicrously overwritten, an imprecise prose poem wearing the guise of a novel, and … Continue reading Jeanette Winterson, Art and Lies

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes My rating: 5 of 5 stars …Felix was astonished to find that the most touching flowers laid on the altar he had raised to his imagination were placed there by the people of the underworld… —Nightwood There are so many novels I have not read that I don’t do a lot … Continue reading Djuna Barnes, Nightwood