Tag: reviews

Critiques answer the question, “Is it art?” Reviews answer, “Is it good?”

Don’t let the plot get in the way of the story.”
— Anon.

First Graf: Torah

(BE HONEST — YOU MUST HAVE known I’d get around to this one eventually, right?) I make no rigid claims of authenticity, accuracy, or authorship for this work. As far as I’m concerned, this is “simply” a collection of ancient…

First Graf: The Dharma Bums

IN MANY WAYS, THIS 1958 book is better than the earlier On the Road. Kerouac’s signature stream-of-consciousness narrative style is more flowy, and the novel’s lionized centerperson (poet Gary Snyder, or “Japhy Ryder” as tDB calls him) a more noble…

Why I Hate Jay Michaelson

IT’S THAT ANYTHING I CAN do, he can do better. It’s his unaffected, artless prose. It’s his vast non-dualist scholarship and experience. It’s his light touch. It’s his unpretentiousness. It’s that he neither talks down to or over the heads…

“It’s Just That…”

THERE’S A THING — WELL, LET’S call it a verbal placeholder-prefix — used by writers of audiovisual entertainments when they want a character to segue away from or into an awkward conversation. My friends, meet: “It’s just that…” You’ve heard…

First Graf: On the Road

HAVING FIRST (AND LAST) READ this shortly before a 1985-6 cross-country hitchhiking-and-bus-adventure, I’d forgotten how good it was until beginning to read it aloud to The Partner recently. A rollicking, crying-out-for-emulation 1957 work, what strikes me about it now is…