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Gaitskill's facility with the written word mostly compensates for the messiness of the novel's plot

Nov. 11, 2005 Books Review by Jess Sauer

Blog! How the Newest Media Revolution Is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture
One of the better in a small field of serious analytical tomes on the topic, despite the commanding, hyperbolic exclamation in its title, mirroring the often breathless voice used by bloggers

Nov. 11, 2005 Books Review by Kate X Messer

News From the New American Diaspora and Other Tales of Exile
Jay Neugeboren's 'News From the New American Diaspora' travels the world, but more often than not, the most memorable pieces of his third short-story collection capture the grandness of those small, personal epiphanies

Oct. 21, 2005 Books Review by Belinda Acosta

Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City: A True Story of Faking It in hair Metal L.A.
When Axl Rose proclaimed, 'You know where you are? You're in the jungle baby! You're gonna diiieee!,' he was talking about Los Angeles. That's where Anne Thomas Soffee found herself in the early Nineties on her way to being the 'next Lester Bangs.'

Oct. 21, 2005 Books Review by Audra Schroeder

The English Teacher
This follow-up to the critically acclaimed 'The Pleasing Hour' is a keen and forthright study of the inner workings of a family circle, which means it's excruciating to read – a strange compliment to bestow, but an apt one

Sept. 9, 2005 Books Review by Marrit Ingman

An Atomic Romance
Middle-aged, divorced, with his children grown, Reed's stepping into what should rightly be called the Bobbie Ann Mason years

Sept. 9, 2005 Books Review by Nora Ankrum

War Reporting for Cowards
Studiously neither pro-war nor anti-war, this 'anti-sending-me-to-war-book' rather too appropriately evidences reluctance to see actual combat, expending nearly two-thirds of its length establishing Ayers' coward credentials before setting off on the road to Baghdad.

Sept. 2, 2005 Books Review by Spencer Parsons

Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants
Jill Soloway takes no pains to appear politically correct or ponderously deep in talking about her life, which can be very refreshing. She makes it clear that she doesn't take herself terribly seriously, but at times she laughs at herself a bit too hard.

Sept. 2, 2005 Books Review by Jess Sauer

Lunar Park
'You do an awfully good impression of yourself,' opens Bret Easton Ellis' first book in seven years

Aug. 26, 2005 Books Review by Audra Schroeder

The Night Attila Died: Solving the Murder of Attila the Hun
Here are the facts. We have a dead male, approximately 47 years of age, who once led a ruthless gang of killers.

Aug. 26, 2005 Books Review by R.U. Steinberg

Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates
A love of baseball draws author and musician John Albert back after years of drug abuse and a few close calls with rock stardom

Aug. 12, 2005 Books Review by Mark Fagan

The Girl in the Glass
In Jeffrey Ford's 'The Girl in the Glass', reality is a con, at least according to illegal Mexican immigrant Diego, his foster father Thomas Schell, and ex-circus strongman Antony Cleopatra

Aug. 12, 2005 Books Review by Rick Klaw

The Big Over Easy
Realizing that you have to break an egg to make a novelette (or something like that), Jasper Fforde cracks the biggest egg of all and cooks up a delectable new mystery

July 29, 2005 Books Review by Robert Faires

Killing Yourself to Live: An 85% True Story
Chuck Klosterman, the undisputed king of metadiscussion, has a Ford Taurus with GPS, 600 compact discs, woman trouble, and a mission

July 29, 2005 Books Review by Marrit Ingman

Hide & Seek
The disappearance of a child is a wretched topic for a novel

July 22, 2005 Books Review by Nora Ankrum

No Country for Old Men
Cormac McCarthy's first book since the conclusion of his highly acclaimed Border Trilogy seven years ago returns to the rugged frontier of far West Texas. It's a mythical landscape whose desolate timelessness cannot, however, forestall an unrelentingly changing world.

July 15, 2005 Books Review by Jay Trachtenberg

Farmworker's Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America
'Farmworker's Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America' knits familia y raza together into a deceptively simple, if unspoken, universal truth with all the homespun efficacy of Rose Guilbault's maternal brood spinning ghost stories in a Yaqui Indian adobe near Nogales, Mexico, where the author was born

July 15, 2005 Books Review by Raoul Hernandez

The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention
Guy Deutscher, with his always slightly amused tone, manages to turn this ambitiously comprehensive, globe-trotting book into a great layman's read without sacrificing the integrity of the material

July 8, 2005 Books Review by Nora Ankrum

Assassination Vacation
In this summer of rising oil prices, school finance woes, and escalating bloodshed in Middle Eastern war zones, nothing says getaway like a visit to the home of an obscure 19th-century presidential assassin, right?

July 8, 2005 Books Review by Robert Faires

The Road to Esmeralda
'The Road to Esmeralda' is, in some basic senses, a political thriller. However, it's also the story of mind-blowingly pretentious, self-indulgently self-loathing, overprivileged, and underclever yuppies.

June 24, 2005 Books Review by Jess Sauer

Chasing The Rodeo: On Wild Rides and Big Dreams, Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, and One Man's Search for the West
W.K. Stratton's combination of memoir, profiles, and travel narrative with lengthy digressions into rodeo culture and folklore makes the sport seem familiar even if it defies easy categorization

June 24, 2005 Books Review by John Dicker

Music of the Mill
Luis Rodriguez's insider knowledge of East L.A. gang life has produced several well-received books of poetry, prose, and nonfiction. With his new novel, he shifts to a broader, but no less gritty, examination of labor culture and activism within the walls of the Nazareth Steel Mill.

June 17, 2005 Books Review by Belinda Acosta

Ghosting: A Double Life
As almost no one on this side of the pond gives a rat's ass about Naim Attallah, Erdal's account of their relationship in Ghosting allows American readers to appreciate their story for what it really is: how two misfits in British society negotiate space for themselves through the written word

June 10, 2005 Books Review by Melanie Haupt

The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
In his afterword, historian Stephen Eric Bronner describes The Plot as "a fitting legacy [to] a long and distinguished career." I couldn't agree more.

June 10, 2005 Books Review by Rick Klaw

Goodbye, Goodness
Told in the cracks between bicoastal flashbacks and Nineties real time by Hayward Theiss, a twentysomething working in television, it's the story of someone who can only move forward by retracing his steps and fulfilling – or conquering – his need to go back. Sam Brumbaugh will be at BookPeople on April 29.

April 29, 2005 Books Review by Shawn Badgley

Splendor in the Short Grass: The Grover Lewis Reader
Jesus Christ! What are these words? Hincty, goudge, donicker, furze, rick, pecksniff, flapdoodle fantod, tumerling? What kind of screwball whips out stuff like this?

April 22, 2005 Books Review by Brant Bingamon

The Insomniac Reader
There is an impulse in all of us that is solicited by the night: to look in a stranger's window; to walk, alone, into a seedy bar; to dare to make that pathetic 3am call to an ex

April 22, 2005 Books Review by Audra Schroeder

The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury
Is there any quantitative or qualitative way to measure the tremendous, meteoric impact Waukegan, Ill.'s native spaceman has had on American letters, pop culture, and the planet as a whole?

April 15, 2005 Books Review by Marc Savlov

The Education of Arnold Hitler
Wouldn't it be funny if your name was Arnold Hitler?' Marc Estrin writes in the follow-up to the acclaimed Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa,' and immediately the warning sirens start to wail

April 15, 2005 Books Review by Josh Rosenblatt

There is contemporary fiction about addiction, and then there is Paradise, the fifth novel from A. L. Kennedy, which stands out for its bitter wit, its painful truth-telling, and the narcotic quality of its author's limber, serpentine prose

March 25, 2005 Books Review by Marrit Ingman

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