book Book Lovers Archives

Speak Low

Issue No. 145 ~ June, 2009

There are tissue paper-thin ideas of meaning in the poem, and all the poems; Phillips is so infinitesimal in his perceptive thought, we see how he embodies the talents that make him an excellent translator of poems and essayist on the art of poetry. The poet divides back onto himself, revising and adding, often through non-essential clauses, the most essential ideas.

The Watchmen

Issue No. 143 ~ April, 2009

"The thematic questions of the book are what make it beat with life, but the complexity of the story - with comic books within comics, three time periods (or none if you're Dr. Manhattan) and multiple settings - makes it truly postmodern in its ability to deconstruct both time and space while still holding a single, primary storyline..."

Another Country Stories by Nicholas Rothwell

Issue No. 143 ~ April, 2009

"A heady analyst of the world around him, [Rothwell is] overly fond of flashing his intelligence forward in the odd word certain to send you to a dictionary. His sense of other people's voices also jars, as if everyone is gifted with the Queen's English and a perfect philosophical riposte."

Three Balconies: Stories and a Novella

Issue No. 141 ~ February, 2009

"Friedman has never really been interested in well-adjusted winners, but rather those on the way up or down, or even better, those going nowhere fast. The neurotic, the unhappy, the malcontent, the put-upon, the outsider, that's patented Friedman territory, and we're the better for it."

Another Country

Issue No. 141 ~ February, 2009

"A heady analyst of the world around him, [Rothwell is] overly fond of flashing his intelligence forward in the odd word certain to send you to a dictionary. His sense of other people's voices also jars, as if everyone is gifted with the Queen's English and a perfect philosophical riposte."

Crazy Love by Leslie What

Issue No. 137 ~ October, 2008

"There is a lot of fear embedded in some of these stories. Men and women fear spending their lives alone, but also fear the possibility of spending their lives with one another. Often there is potential for companionship within reach, but the character, burdened with the baggage of insecurity, isn't capable of overcoming her fear of closeness."

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Issue No. 133 ~ June, 2008

"...This tendency to slide between the past and present, to place events inside an historical echo chamber, to draw us into a world where fact and myth are entwined and time becomes `timeless', is classic `Kapuscinskian' territory."

New York in the Fifties by Dan Wakefield

Issue No. 133 ~ June, 2008

...Forthright and insightful throughout, this assessment of how writers and their writing are perceived in retrospect is woven throughout New York in the Fifties, the end result being a memoir that situates personal experience in a broader historical context, remaining engaging and enjoyable all the while.

Down to a Sunless Sea by Mathias B. Freese

Issue No. 131 ~ April, 2008

It's a crazy but credible universe Freese has created. Every story glistens with bitter truths, edgy truths about twisted human relationships, lack of love, the inexplicable lives we live. Each says maybe you haven't experienced life this way, but many others have–it is their truth and one day you might know what it means to live a shadow figure yourself.

Ancestor Worship by Michael S. Begnal

Issue No. 131 ~ April, 2008

Begnal's latest collection, Ancestor Worship, is a remarkable for its moody details. In "Beautiful People," "Dead bird blown down the road / as light as its feathers," is a dazzling, fitting inchoate for a poem that ends with the provocative line "the knife dripping with juice." Like Ginsberg, Begnal realizes a poem must provoke.