Moths and Snails and Slugs

I recently critiqued the writing style in Swamplandia!; however, there was at least one passage that had a lasting impact on me: “Outside our porch had become a cauldron of…

Inundated with Similes

Karen Russell makes excessive use of similes throughout her book Swamplandia!, at least in the first half I completed. Some are clever or insightful, such as “We were watching the…

Reading “Cholera”

Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, like Midnight’s Children, was a long, hard slog, especially for one with a glacial reading pace. The text lives in thick…

Changing Places

E-books, tablets, iPads, they are flipping the concept of an ending. With DVDs and Blu-rays and VOD, all movies now have trackers, slide bars, countdowns, to tell you when the…

More Borges

A few lines from Borges’ “The Shape of the Sword,” quoted below, have an eerily similar quality to a recently cited line from Midnight’s Children: “Whatsoever one man does, it…

Me Read Slow…

Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is one of those books that sat unread on my bookshelf for years and years. Admittedly, I read the first few pages several times and then…

The Wisdom of Tobolowsky

Stephen Tobolowsky, in his new book The Dangerous Animals Club, has a great comment on drug use that really deconstructs our fascination with the practice – “[D]rugs create [an] ……

Worst Book Cover Ever

I have seen many book covers in my life – and I have to say, the cover for Alien Sex, a short story compilation I’ve owned for years, is absolutely…

In Place of a Soul…

I read the sci-fi book Leviathan Wakes as a bit of a palate cleanse after the intensity of McTeague. Yet in the midst of this potboiler (I am using that…

Greene’s The Tenth Man

Graham Greene could have been talking about today’s political pundits with this line from The Tenth Man: “She was like an old weatherworn emblem of wisdom – something you find…