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The Ballad of Johnny Sosa
Aparain has unsurprisingly already been compared to Marquez. But this rich parable shares as much with Steinbeck's The Pearl as it does with Marquez's work. Both read like a folk legend, both portray music as the yearning soul's most intimate expression, and both describe the struggle of an unsophisticated peasant- type against powerful societal forces

March 25, 2005 Books Review by Jeff Tonn

The New New Journalism: Conversations on Craft With America's Best Non-Fiction Writers
When Tom Wolfe's introduction to The New Journalism' appeared in the 1970s, did he anticipate the semantic fallout his term would create?

March 11, 2005 Books Review by Belinda Acosta

The Polysyllabic Spree
Unless you're a Hornby completist driven to paroxysms over the man's every quotidian observance, get ready to throw the book at the wall more than once: at the twee (titular) references to the Believer' brass, at a gratuitous excerpt from Great Expectations,' and at Hornby's grousing about having too few chances to read

March 11, 2005 Books Review by Marrit Ingman

The Ha-Ha
Howard Kapostash can't speak or write, but the narrator of Dave King's novel – a Vietnam veteran silenced by a head injury 30 years ago & #150; is a man of insight and feeling

Feb. 4, 2005 Books Review by Marrit Ingman

Going Postal
The joy of reading Pratchett's skillfully constructed artifices is in the discovery of his endless fascination with How People Work, and Going Postal, puns aside, is practically an instruction manual

Feb. 4, 2005 Books Review by Marc Savlov

In addition to bolstering tourism, Gregory David Robert's Shantaram' will do for India what Alex Garland's The Beach' did for Thailand: realistically color a foreign world as an accessible frontier for adventure, intrigue, and, most importantly, new beginnings

Jan. 28, 2005 Books Review

Home Land
Wow. Wayne Alan Brenner actually gives something a negative review. You'll want to see this, and soon.

Jan. 28, 2005 Books Review by Wayne Alan Brenner

Kafka on the Shore
It would be an understatement to claim that Haruki Murakami's newest novel is a departure from his other novels

Jan. 21, 2005 Books Review by Jess Sauer

The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
For the serious Sherlockian, there is Leslie S. Klinger's Sherlock Holmes Reference Library, an exhaustive nine-volume survey of scholarship from Gasogene Press. For the rest of us – serious Sherlockians in the making – there is this mammoth two-volume set.

Jan. 21, 2005 Books Review by Marrit Ingman

'The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution' and 'Patrolling Chaos: The U.S. Border Patrol in Deep South Texas'
Two new books about Texas explore a little bit of the deeper, darker, and less obvious parts of our history and culture

Jan. 14, 2005 Books Review by Ed Baker

Dancing on Main Street
Lorenzo Thomas of Houston is a thinking-man's writer. His critical studies of folklore, modernism, and music are substantial works, and in both prose and poetry he always addresses the difficult issues.

Dec. 31, 2004 Books Review by Dave Oliphant

Nobody Runs Forever
No. 26 in Richard Stark's, aka Donald Westlake's, Parker series finds the master thief taking us on a thrill ride among armored cars and badass female bounty hunters

Dec. 31, 2004 Books Review by Jesse Sublett

The Plot Against America
'The writing and the ideas here are unimpeachable, and one could hardly question the audacity of the premise,' writes Josh Rosenblatt of Philip Roth's terrifying look at a reimagined America, 'but there is something vital missing'

Dec. 24, 2004 Books Review by Josh Rosenblatt

Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart
Culled mostly from interviews with plaintiffs, witnesses, and lawyers, this book breathes life into the names and numbers likely to become familiar to us as 'Betty Dukes v. Wal-Mart' plays out

Nov. 12, 2004 Books Review by Nora Ankrum

In his half dozen previous books, the French writer Toussaint has created a bevy of common heroes who painstakingly and humorously navigate the treacherous straits of everyday existence

Nov. 12, 2004 Books Review by Jay Trachtenberg

Flat Crazy

Oct. 8, 2004 Books Review by Virginia B. Wood

Black Trials: Citizenship From the Beginnings of Slavery to the End of Caste

Oct. 8, 2004 Books Review by Roger Gathman

On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth With the Peregrine Falcon
A naturalist on the varied, extreme track of the 'wandering foreigner'

Sept. 24, 2004 Books Review by John Freeman

Field Study: Stories
Rachel Seiffert's sparse, airy prose belies a profound concern with individual identity and historical memory

Sept. 24, 2004 Books Review by Russell Cobb

No Man's Land: Selected Stories
The 10 stories comprising 'No Man's Land,' all of which are set in Mexico's northern borderland, are inhabited by transsexual prostitutes, petty clerks, dusty pickups, broken bottles, sadistic police officers, and wind-blasted prairie

Sept. 17, 2004 Books Review by Dominic Luxford

The Man Who Cried I Am
In this powerful, largely autobiographical novel that was originally published in 1967, award-winning author and journalist Williams crafts the story of the irrepressible 'Negro' writer Max Reddick as he fights to make a difference in the world of the press and the letters

Sept. 17, 2004 Books Review by Jay Trachtenberg

In the Shadow of No Towers
Art Spiegelman's response to September 11 is an invigorating obstacle course for the eyes and a workout for the reader's mind

Sept. 10, 2004 Books Review by Wayne Alan Brenner

The Egyptologist
This novel is not so densely felt or immediate as Arthur Phillips' first, the excellent Prague, but the reader is urged to persevere

Sept. 10, 2004 Books Review by Roger Gathman

Fifty Years of the Texas Observer
"The stories told here do not recount dead issues from our shameful past," Lee Nichols writes. "Instead, we see them with here-and-now vitality, the eyes of the time."

Sept. 3, 2004 Books Review by Lee Nichols

Persepolis 2
After the success of Persepolis, there was only one question for Satrapi. What would she do for an encore?

Aug. 27, 2004 Books Review by Wayne Alan Brenner

Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel-Up Session With Today's Sex-Crazed Adolescent Populace

Aug. 27, 2004 Books Review by Marc Savlov

Vermeer in Bosnia: Cultural Comedies and Political Tragedies
'You might call Lawrence Weschler's most recent collection of peripatetic musings, 'Vermeer in Bosnia,' a series of tangents or digressions,' Russell Cobb writes, 'but this would ignore the fact the tangent is often the tale.'

Aug. 20, 2004 Books Review by Russell Cobb

The Coyote Kings of the Space Age Bachelor Pad
Afro-Canadian political activist, poet, and playwright Minister Faust's first novel, The Coyote Kings of the Space Age Bachelor Pad, begins at the end.

Aug. 20, 2004 Books Review by Rick Klaw

Little Scarlet: An Easy Rawlins Mystery
Despite the abundant emphasis on social message, the suspense plotting seems more tautly crafted than ever in Walter Mosley's eighth Easy Rawlins mystery

Aug. 13, 2004 Books Review by Jesse Sublett

Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings
After two previous studies, what Pamela Nagami is focusing on now is the misery and degradation that can result when we run afoul of the teeth and piercing instruments of our cherished wildlife – and of our fellow humans

Aug. 13, 2004 Books Review by Wayne Alan Brenner

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