Beware the Lizard King – “Lights Out in the Reptile House” by Jim Shepard
Books

Beware the Lizard King – “Lights Out in the Reptile House” by Jim Shepard

Jim Shepard – Lights Out in the Reptile House (W.W. Norton & Company, 1990, 285 pgs.): In recent years, author Jim Shepard has established himself as a master of fantastical short stories set in post-Revolution France, World War II-era Philippines, and ground zero of the Chernobyl disaster. He’s written vividly about wildly weird characters like … Continue reading

Books

Book Roundup, 10/7: Chris Hedges – Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (Nation Books, 2009, 240 pgs.): Unless relentlessly bleak political screeds and social forecasting are your thing, steer clear of Hedges’s monotonous doling out of everything terrible in America. I came to this book after having read a few excerpts online and … Continue reading

Books

Best American Poetry 2015 – Sherman Alexie vs. Yi-Fen Chou… er, Michael Derrick Hudson

It seems like one of the least likely places for it to happen, but Best American Poetry 2015 has managed to stir up controversy. This comes in the form of guest editor Sherman Alexie selecting a poem by Yi-Fen Chou, the pseudonym for white writer Michael Derrick Hudson. The controversy arose when Alexie decided to … Continue reading

Books / Film

Yet Another Diatribe Explaining Why ‘The End of the Tour’ is the Worst Thing Since the Last Worst Thing

No, I haven’t seen The End of the Tour, and I don’t know if I will. One reason is because I don’t generally care for actors Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg (especially the latter, whose career path seems destined for him to play increasingly grating versions of himself). Another is because I have the dreadful … Continue reading

Books

Book Roundup, 6/2: E.L. Doctorow’s “All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories”

E.L. Doctorow: All the Time in the World: New and Selected Stories (Random House, 2012, 304 pgs.): Doctorow belongs to an odd cadre of the American literati, that of the old pro, righteously formal in the tradition of John Cheever, a writer whose narrators—regardless of their educational background—have the diction of an Ivy League professor. … Continue reading