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 it, and even Oprah's audience, instructed to read it for the talk show host's book club, demurred, prompting Oprah to call Morrison to offer the … Continue reading Toni Morrison, Paradise

Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels

The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels My rating: 4 of 5 stars In this 1979 classic of popular non-fiction, religious scholar Elaine Pagels explains to a broad audience the theological significance of the trove of early Christian writings discovered at Nag Hammadi in 1945. Not only that, but she also places these documents in their … Continue reading Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels

Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille My rating: 2 of 5 stars [This is a pornographic novel, and not all of the activities it describes are consensual, so you might avoid this review if you would like to avoid discussions or descriptions of such material.] Back during the dark heart of the George W. … Continue reading Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye

John Gray, The Soul of the Marionette

The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom by John N. Gray My rating: 3 of 5 stars A brief and essayistic digest of Gray's analysis—he views western modernity as deludedly self-satisfied in its unwitting recapitulation of the Gnostic heresy that humanity can be God—and his aesthetic—his is an austere and gentlemanly … Continue reading John Gray, The Soul of the Marionette

Simone Weil, On the Abolition of All Political Parties

On the Abolition of All Political Parties by Simone Weil My rating: 3 of 5 stars If you'll allow me, dear reader, a self-indulgent preamble— Readers of my novella, The Ecstasy of Michaela, will notice a few lines from Simone Weil quoted as the heroine's reading material. This should not be mistaken for deep familiarity with … Continue reading Simone Weil, On the Abolition of All Political Parties