John Pistelli


Against Celebration: Bloomsday vs. Dallowayday

Two years ago, Elaine Showalter suggested that we balance Bloomsday (June 16, the day whereon Joyce’s Ulysses is set) with Dallowayday: Like Joyce’s Ulysses, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway is set … Continue reading

16 June 2018 · 1 Comment

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood My rating: 3 of 5 stars Some books are so famous, so ubiquitous in the culture, that you feel you have read them well … Continue reading

17 May 2018 · 1 Comment

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 · 1 Comment

Toni Morrison, Paradise

Paradise by Toni Morrison My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paradise was not well received upon its publication in 1997—influential critics like Michiko Kakutani, James Wood, and Zoë Heller disparaged … Continue reading

10 November 2017 · 7 Comments

C. G. Jung, Answer to Job

Answer to Job by C.G. Jung My rating: 3 of 5 stars The back cover advertises Answer to Job as “one of Jung’s most controversial works.” He wrote it toward … Continue reading

4 June 2017 · 2 Comments

Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple

Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson My rating: 2 of 5 stars Often called America’s first bestseller, Charlotte Temple (1791) is a short didactic novel of primarily historical interest. In this, … Continue reading

31 December 2016 · 1 Comment

Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham, Nameless

Nameless by Grant Morrison My rating: 3 of 5 stars But did Grant Morrison deserve my bitchy crack about Coldplay toward the end of my review of Greg Carpenter’s British … Continue reading

4 October 2016 · 1 Comment

Muriel Spark, The Driver’s Seat

The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark My rating: 4 of 5 stars Murlel Spark’s 1970 short novel The Driver’s Seat, recommended to me by a friend and former student, reminds … Continue reading

17 June 2016 · 1 Comment

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”

Rappaccini’s Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne My rating: 5 of 5 stars While I am not in the habit of reviewing individual short stories, this is almost novella-length anyway and is … Continue reading

4 April 2015 · Leave a comment

Samuel Richardson, Pamela

Pamela by Samuel Richardson My rating: 3 of 5 stars As a number of observers have stated, a classic may be defined most simply as any work of art that … Continue reading

4 January 2015 · 1 Comment