Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Kim by Rudyard Kipling My rating: 5 of 5 stars Many readers of my generation were introduced to Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901) by a later novel, Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient (1992). Ondaatje's warmly lyrical and fragmentary narrative concerns three figures—a Canadian nurse, a Canadian thief, and a Sikh sapper—gathered in a ruined Italian monastery at … Continue reading Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Derek Walcott, Omeros

Omeros by Derek Walcott My rating: 5 of 5 stars Nothing like the literal—rather than the theoretical—death of the author to inspire one to read his masterpiece. As I wondered about Hart Crane, whom Walcott loved, what does it mean to read a poem, as opposed to a story or novel? What does it mean … Continue reading Derek Walcott, Omeros

Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski My rating: 3 of 5 stars "The good parts are good; he just keeps not having the good parts." Such was the verdict rendered upon House of Leaves and its author by someone I know who left the novel unfinished—a "confirmed ghost story and horror film addict" (quoth Jack … Continue reading Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle My rating: 3 of 5 stars A few years ago, while studying the fin de siècle, I figured I should read some Sherlock Holmes, beyond whatever redacted-for-children versions I’d read when my age was in the single digits (remember Illustrated Classic Editions? I absolutely loved them—they used … Continue reading Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four

Ozick, Said, Bloom: Religion, Politics, Literature

{This is a long appendix to my review of Cynthia Ozick’s Heir to the Glimmering World. It will not make much sense unless you read that first.} 1. Ozick Against Revolution There is a paradox here in reading Jane Austen which I have been impressed by but can in no way resolve. All the evidence says … Continue reading Ozick, Said, Bloom: Religion, Politics, Literature

Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1

The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1: Tintin in America / Cigars of the Pharaoh / The Blue Lotus by Hergé My rating: 4 of 5 stars There is something about Tintin, isn't there? I had never read it before, but a survey course on the history of comics this semester forced my to it. Here … Continue reading Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1