Volume I, Issue 21
October 27 - November 3, 1997
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Gary Indiana's Resentment: A Comedy illustrates the point that no matter what you do, you wind up guilty of everything. 
Magic is a matter of wanting to live -- a point well demonstrated in this fine second novel. 
Anka Steps Out
Anka sells sex with a Gen-X slant. 
Paul Reiser, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Dennis Miller -- even Sinbad -- bring their humor to the printed page. 
Frank Bidart explores the aftershocks of confessional poetry in an autobiographical age. 
An uninspired collection of works documents writer Paul Auster's birth pains. 
Back-door Books Dealing Undone
Independent bookstores breathe a sigh of relief as they win a big court case against book publishers and national chains. 
Golf, Gardening and the Meaning of Life
Updike's newest is and is not what we'd expect from one of the strongest authors in the American mainstream. 
Blake de Pastino
The Uncollected Stories of William Faulkner by Joseph Blotner; Underworld by Don DeLillo, Hotel Sarajevo by Jack Kersh; Red Hot on a Silver Note by Maketa Groves. 
Blake de Pastino, Susan Schuurman, Jassica English
A Chip off the Auld Sod
Short reviews of Roger Boylan's Killoyle, Joseph Lanza's The Cocktail, Karin Cook's What Girls Learn, and more. 
Harvey Pekar, Jeremy Reed, Robin Bradford, Jesse Sublett, and Jay Hardwig
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. 
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about this feature, click here.
re you the type of person who prefers mom-n-pop shops to big
corporate superstores? Does the proliferation of Walmart make
you shudder? Then you're going to love this story about the anti-trust
settlement against Penguin Books. Seems the publishing company
had set up exclusive (and secret) deals with several large book
chains, like Barnes & Noble. The verdict was one of the largest
in history: Penguin had to pay a $25 million settlement to several
independent bookstores. Haven't heard about it? The article suggests that much of the press resisted the story because they're owned by the same media conglomerates who own Penguin. If that's true,
I wouldn't be surprised.
I would be surprised, however, if any of the current crop of
books by comedians turned out to have any substance. Oh, I'm sure
they have some good one-liners, but how many of these comics can
sustain whole passages like, say, Woody Allen did in Side Effects?
According to this article, the answer is: not many. Especially
since you can't write in a good comic delivery. The books are
selling like waffles anyway, so expect to keep seeing them on
best-seller lists as more and more comedians cash in on their
If ghost-written comedy books aren't your cup of ink, maybe
Gary Indiana's Resentment: A Comedy is what you're looking
for. His trip into the heartless soul of American culture may
be full of moral ghosts, but it ain't ghost-written. And I'm pretty
sure John Updike did all the writing for his new Toward the
End of Time, too. But who needs ghost writers when you're
dealing in good solid trash, like Anka Radakovich does with Sexplorations?
I hear she's even very funny -- unintentionally. Nobody ever needed
a ghost writer for that.
Our online BBS is just like the Algonquin Round Table, only electronic,
sober, and without all the famous people.
In The Wake Of Revolution
A new collection of essays by Mario Vargas Llosa brings a worldly perspective into sharp focus. [09-08-97]
Southern-fried scandal makes for delicious reading. [08-18-97]
Imbalance of Power
Robert D. Kaplan has been described as a purveyor of "travel writing from hell." His journey through the Third World is definitely not on the official tour. [06-06-97]