In the eight months that I've lived where I live now, I've probably walked around my neighborhood hundreds of times. I have dogs; my neighbors all know their names, but not mine. I have memorized every front yard, every awning on every business, from the plumbing supply store ("The Water Heater King")
Child actors exert a droll fascination. The contradictions of the profession—flamboyant personalities and Spartan discipline, the extrovert's desire to perform amid constant rejection—blossom in even its youngest members. In Theater Geek, Mickey Rapkin, a senior editor at GQ, spends a summer among
Ferdinand Mount has enjoyed an unusually varied career—columnist, novelist and literary editor, head of Margaret Thatcher's policy unit in Downing Street, and author of a delightful memoir entitled "Cold Cream" that was an unexpected bestseller last year. His new book, "Full Circle", is an altogether
The giant squid/sea monster is such a science-fiction and mythological cliché that the very title of British novelist China Miéville's eighth novel, Kraken, embraces the genre as pulpy entertainment. Running a brisk five hundred pages, Kraken follows a frenetic stretch in the life of Billy Harrow,
So here I am at midnight, sitting in a Barcalounger, reading the Collected Fictions of Gordon Lish while idly masturbating. Idly, that is, not idol-ly, because Lish is no god of mine so much as he is a lazy indulgence. And if what comes of this is merely tedium with the occasional spasm of delight,
The great English poet John Clare spent the last twenty-three years of his life in the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum; it was his second extended stay in a madhouse. When he died there, on May 20, 1864, his poetry was virtually forgotten. After a frenzy of celebrity in the 1820s, when he was
The Mediterranean beach setting and amorous title may give the impression that Vendela Vida's new book, The Lovers, is a sexy vacation read. Not quite: There is a bit of romance, but it's just one of several kinds of love that are addressed in this novel, Vida's third.
Two new war memoirs, one from a reporter and one from a former army officer, describe close to nothing at all but do so with urgency. Violent images flash by, lives are shattered, the end. You might be inclined to wonder about the difference between observer and participant reports on war, but those