Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Jane Eyre-ity

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

(This essay was broadcast on Milwaukee Public Radio on August 9, 2011. Have a listen here. Or go ahead and keep on reading…) Flashback to the late ‘80s.  The flight from Sydney to LA, still parked at the gate, is going to be full, I can tell. But I’ve lucked out and am comfortably perched […]

Lightning strikes

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

This review was published in the very cool, new Washington Independent Review of Books on June 9, 2011.  WIRB is highly recommended. Lightning By Jean Echenoz, The New Press, 142 pages Thomas Edison, masterminding a dubious turn-of-the 20th century media event, staged the electrocution death of Topsy, an unfortunate Coney Island elephant, on January 4, 1903. […]

Hipper than you – A Visit From the Goon Squad

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Elvis Costello released his third album in the snowy winter of 1979.  In those days, Elvis was known as a ‘new wave’ rocker, not ‘punk,’ not mainstream, but hard to define, left of center, quirky.  Kicking off side two of Armed Forces was a vaguely martial, grim tale of trying to make it as a […]

The approval of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Sly Stone

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Before two giants of 20th Century American literature were published, when both were unknown, discouraged and broke, Allen Ginsberg wrote a letter to Jack Kerouac telling him, “DON’T FLIP, take care of yourself now, rest from fatigue and figure what next to do.  This is my poor advice.” Writers, as a general rule, are needy […]

The novel Skippy Dies is like a doughnut

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Some books are like potato chips—you just can’t stop readin’ ‘em.  Maybe it’s the salt. Or some diabolical bioengineerickal sort of thing cooked up in a crackling subterranean megacorp lab inducing an addict-like craving unknown by the EPA or USDA. And some books are like doughnuts—they taste good—very good—but at some point, you’ve just had […]