Hard-Boiled Entertainment

This is my second Murakami experience and it was a good one. I read Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and found it relentlessly inventive but not much else. Hard-Boiled, however, has plenty of chewy meat beneath the author’s famous razzle-dazzle style. The … Continue reading

Woolf in the Lighthouse!

To the Lighthouse is a novelistic exploration of individual consciousness and of relationships in the interwar period in Britain. Woolf uses a stream of consciousness technique to tell us what characters are thinking and feeling. The narrator promiscuously jumps from … Continue reading

Southern Gothic Thriller

This mid-century, noirish psychological thriller has something in common with The Maltese Falcon. Both stories feature a classic “MacGuffin,” an arbitrary object of desire that all parties seek, pursuit of which drives the action of the story. The tale also … Continue reading

Just What I Always Wanted!

Interesting writing kept the pages turning for me. Nguyen has a knack for unexpected description and creative simile. A random example: Two men are talking but notice the chairs: “As usual, he reclined in an overstuffed leather club chair that … Continue reading

How to Do Yourself In

Everyone dies. A significant number of people will die in automobile crashes, gang wars, from drugs, or in military wars, but because of modern medicine and public health, if you live through your twenties, you’ll probably die of “natural causes,” … Continue reading

Card – How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy

The first two chapters of this slim volume were most helpful to me. “What is science-fiction?” is not an easy question, especially in distinguishing it from fantasy and the broader category of speculative fiction. Basically, Card says sci-fi concerns experience … Continue reading

Service – A History of Modern Russia

The Next Russian Revolution I read this book in preparation for a class I will take in August at the University of Arizona. Reading a course’s books before the lectures gives valuable context. I also hoped the book would answer questions … Continue reading