Category Archives: book reviews

Some more things that bother me about “Mistakes Were Made”; second in a series on Franzen’s FREEDOM

Awhile ago I read somewhere a list by Jonathan Franzen of his “Ten Rules for Writers” or some-such. I tend to think such lists are stupid, but at the same time I am somewhat obsessively attracted to them. I am … Continue reading

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The first in a series of things I didn’t love about Jonathan Franzen’s FREEDOM

I sort of followed all of the hullabaloo about Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom, out of the corner of my eye, but as I had not read anything else by him (I know, I know), I didn’t really feel compelled … Continue reading

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Book Review: Edinburgh by Alexander Chee*

I found the imagery and prose in Alexander Chee’s 2001 novel Edinburgh so luminous and lyrical that I sometimes actually forgot for a moment the gut-wrenching topic of the story. That such a painful and ugly tale could be so … Continue reading

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Book Review: Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee

Last spring, to celebrate our 23rd anniversary, Julie and I kicked Michael out of his lovely parsonage apartment in Old City (okay, actually I asked him very nicely if we could borrow it for a night and he, in his … Continue reading

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Flash Reviews

I’m so behind in my book review, and I’ll never catch up if I try to write real reviews.  But I’ll never start writing real reviews again until I catch up.  You’ve heard of flash fiction, right?  These are flash … Continue reading

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CHARMING BILLY by Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott, Charming Billy (1999)[*****] I heard Alice McDermott interviewed by Roger Rosenblatt this summer at the Chautauqua Institute, and was so taken by her I immediately bought her National Book Award-winning novel about a lovable Irish-American man drinking himself to … Continue reading

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Dubliners by James Joyce

My Shakespeare professor in college said there was nothing new under the sun to say about Shakespeare, except our own personal story of reading him.  I’m not enough of a literary critic to know if he was right, but that’s … Continue reading

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Back to School

In a week, school begins for my wife Julie and our kids Trixie and Micah (for further introductions, see my About page, above).  For their last summer hurrah, Julie has taken them — along with Trixie’s friend Hannah and our … Continue reading

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