Archive for The Book Bum

Second Look Books: “Independence Day” by Richard Ford

Second Look Books: Independence Day by Richard Ford (Alfred A. Knopf, $24) This book review was first published on Sunday, July 30, 1995. Richard Ford is no longer a “young American writer.” He is, alas, in late maturity, that time in his professional life wherein…

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Second Look Books: “Sparring with Hemingway” by Budd Schulberg

Second Look Books: Sparring With Hemingway by Bud Schulberg (Ivan R. Dee, $25). This book review was first published in October, 1995. “There are those who see boxing as a blood spectacle, deeply and fundamentally wrong, a sport that encourages one man to beat and…

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Second Look Books: “A Way in the World by V. S. Naipaul

Second Look Books: A Way in the World by V. S. Naipaul (Alfred A. Knopf $23) First published August 14, 1994. In this review from twenty years ago, I see that not much has changed. Colonized by the West, the Middle East is now in…

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Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture by William Leach

Land of Desire: Merchants, Power and the Rise of a New American Culture by William Leach (Pantheon Books, New York, 1993) The original American culture was an idealized blend of Republican virtue, Christian piety and community values overlaid against a backdrop of slavery, gambling, genocide…

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Second Look Books: Killing Custer by James Welch with Paul Stekler

Second Look Books: Killing Custer by James Welch with Paul Stekler (Alfred A. Knopf, $25) James Welch is the author of two splendidly bleak novels of American Indian experience. “The Death of Jim Loney” and “Winter in the Blood” together constitute a considerably eloquent body…

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Second Look Books: The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux

Theroux, Paul. The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2011 (285pp. $25) Before too much of the 19th century had exhausted itself in revolution and bloody war, travel, which had once been the province of solitary wayfarers,…

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Second Look Books: The Informers by Brett Easton Ellis

Second Look Books: The Informers by Brett Easton Ellis (Alfred A. Knopf, $22)  Brett Easton Ellis is justly famous for his book, “American Psycho” which caused a moral firestorm when it was first published. I consider Ellis a fine American novelist who is responding to…

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Second Look Books: Julip by Jim Harrison

  Second Look Books: Julip by Jim Harrison (Houghton Mifflin, $21.95) Originally published on July 10, 1994. Jim Harrison died last year. His passing is a great loss for American letters. Jim Harrison is one of our very best American writers. He is the author…

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Sorrows of the Digital Age: Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping us Hooked by Adam Alter

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter (Penguin Press, New York 2017) Nobody in their right minds would now be anything but concerned about the rise of addictive behaviors, especially as they relate to digital electronic…

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Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Nutshell by Ian McEwan (Nan Talese, Doubleday New York, 2017) Conceits like those employed by Ian McEwan in his new novel, “Nutshell”, rarely succeed. Concocted points of view, skewed voices, or ghostly and enigmatic tale-tellers (such conceits were common in 60s fiction, eg. the work…

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