book Book Lovers Archives

Future Boston

Issue No. 52 ~ September, 2001

For the last month, I’ve been practicing the phrase, “I used to live in Boston,” but it still feels strange to say it. In two weeks, I’ll put all my stuff in a truck and head south to New York. I’m prepared, but after eight …

The Death of Sweet Mister

Issue No. 51 ~ August, 2001

At a late point in Daniel Woodrell’s new novel The Death of Sweet Mister, Shug, an overweight, 13 year old boy, finds his father’s blood-filled boot in the sink. He knows his father is dead, and he immediately begins to clean up signs of the …

And Venus is Blue

Issue No. 51 ~ August, 2001

Unlike the stock detail of William Gay’s Provinces of Night, which wears its Southerness like a Confederate flag iron-on decal, And Venus Is Blue emanates The South as a region and a place where people live and things go on with or without a genuine …

Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy

Issue No. 51 ~ August, 2001

There is a popular dictum on the children’s program Sesame Street that “asking questions is a great way to find things out.” Whenever one of public broadcasting’s flagship Muppets or moppets faces a seemingly insoluble conundrum, one of the older, wiser characters invariably exhorts them …

The Well

Issue No. 50 ~ July, 2001

In the beginning was The Well… While Katie Hafner doesn’t begin the story of “the seminal online community” this biblically, her tale of The Well is nothing less than a creation myth. Woven into her account of visionary — and not so visionary — businessmen …

Provinces of Night

Issue No. 50 ~ July, 2001

A man nearing the end of a murderous quest — to hunt down and kill his wife’s lover — pauses on the brink of action. He can carry out the plan he’s made, he realizes, but what will he do then? He is “at the …

The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans

Issue No. 50 ~ July, 2001

If poetry volumes were ranked like ski slopes, I’d list Mary Jo Bang’s The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans as a black diamond: it’s not for the poetry beginner. Bang has some exquisite lines, and if you like associative poetry, you’ll adore her. …

Honeymoon and Other Stories

Issue No. 49 ~ June, 2001

Despite the odd fact that Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway have both been tagged with the term “realistic writer,” both write as if they are more concerned with style and form than any kind of fidelity to experience as actually lived by living, breathing people. …

Flight and Other Stories

Issue No. 49 ~ June, 2001

As a rule, authors’ first books are rarely their strongest. Think of Faulkner, Dickens, and Morrison. Think of Jane Austen and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Think of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who in his later years, sought out copies of his first book so that he could burn …

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Issue No. 48 ~ May, 2001

The easy thing to say about this sometimes gut-wrenching trip through the underside of the nation’s fast-food industry is that once you’re done you’ll think twice before strolling into McDonald’s or one of its numerous cohorts. Well, it’s easy to say, but it may not …