Random Notes

From a dark, cavernous place

August 14, 2012

This is lovely stuff. A fine piece by Verlyn Klinkenborg of the New York Times,  published on August 13, 2012, from the always entertaining Draft, a series about the art and craft of writing. It’s all in your head. Where do sentences come from? by Verlyn Klinkenborg Sift the debris of a young writer’s education, […]


July 25, 2012

James Joyce: A New Biography By Gordon Bowker Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN-10:  0374178720 (This review was originally published in the Washington Independent Review of Books on July 25, 2012) T. S. Eliot claimed James Joyce killed the nineteenth century. And he ought to know — Eliot, reportedly, was at the scene of the crime. […]

Schopenhauer meets Maynard G. Krebs…

July 15, 2012

The Asphalt Warrior by Gary Reilly Running Meter Press, Denver, 200 pages ISBN: 978-0-984786-0-0-8 What if the gloomy 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer drove a cab in Denver? What if Schopenhauer, crossed with Maynard G Krebs (you do know who that is, don’t you?) by way of comedian Steven Wright, chased fares in the […]

Live and let love

June 29, 2012

(This review was originally published in the Washington Independent Review of Books.) Let’s see, a new novel by John Irving. Wrestling? Check. Gender confusion? Check. Northern New England? Check. Vienna? Check. Bears? No. Charm? Check. A closer look. Right off the bat, we understand the title—here’s the novel’s epigraph: “Thus play I in one person […]

Think Seinfeld and Kramer meet Elmore Leonard and Herman Melville…

May 17, 2012

A Naked Singularity University of Chicago Press, May 2012 by Sergio De La Pava (This review was published in the Washington Independent Review of Books, May 2012) Crack open this fat novel with the zingy black and white moiré cover, retro-psychedelia in all its head-trip glory, and you are faced with an ominous epigraph, two […]