Category Archives: Reviews – Facing Out

An Evening with William Gaddis

Readers and fans of William Gaddis, a writer notoriously protective of his privacy during his lifetime, have been waiting years to read his correspondence. A number of pieces were collected in Conjunctions this past fall, and finally next month Dalkey Archive Press will publish The Letters of William Gaddis, edited by Steven Moore with an […]

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Pocket Review: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Dog Stars Peter Heller Knopf, 2012 Everybody’s got that secret genre that does it for them, am I right? Pirate tales, British cozies, sparkly vampires, or some combination of all of the above—hell, that would do it for anyone, come to think of it. Even the most diehard literary snob has some embarrassingly tangible […]

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Post-Summer at Like Fire, and a Post-40 Bloomer at The Millions

Hello hello, loyal friends! We’re back from our brief end-of-summer hiatus, batteries presumably recharged, as we hope yours are as well. Fall is in the air here in New York today, and many ideas are percolating for Like Fire and beyond. We hope you’ll stick around and see what we’ve got up our sleeves (assuming […]

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James Salter on Private Library Love

James Salter puts in an appearance this week on the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog, with an essay in praise of private libraries. It’s taken from his introduction to Phantoms on the Bookshelves, Jacques Bonnet’s chronicle of his life spent reading and collecting, just out from Overlook Press. The book sounds luscious, as it should—Bonnet […]

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Pocket Review: Birds of a Lesser Paradise by Megan Mayhew Bergman

Birds of a Lesser Paradise Megan Mayhew Bergman Scribner, 2012 I like to think I bring at least a somewhat cool head to the reviews I write. Which is not to say I’m not subjective—I can love something or hate it or, more often, find faults and virtues scattered throughout. But I don’t tend to […]

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Forty at Fifty-Two (Stories, That Is)

Everybody deserves a break sometimes. Especially if you’re in the business of putting up content day in and day out—or, in the case of Cal Morgan’s Fifty-Two Stories, week in and week out. You have to give the man plenty of credit: His weekly series of excellent short stories by fine contemporary writers has been […]

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Pocket Review: The Cove by Ron Rash

The Cove Ron Rash Ecco, 2012 On its surface, Ron Rash’s new novel isn’t an overtly political tale. It’s a love story, an adventure, and a mystery, set in the mountains of North Carolina during World War I. But The Cove is also deeply concerned with the fate of the outsider, taking on issues of […]

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Pocket Review: The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana, Translated by A.N.D. Haksar

Kama Sutra Vatsyayana, translated by A.N.D. Haksar Penguin Classics, 2012 New York is an old city with an eternally crumbling infrastructure, but the powers that be do what they can. Lately they’ve been concentrating on making repairs to the subway, a system over a century old that moves more than four million people every day. […]

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Pocket Review: Calling Mr. King by Ronald De Feo

Calling Mr. King Ronald De Feo Other Press, 2011 They say music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, and culture’s civilizing qualities have been the root of many a liberal arts education. In his debut novel, Calling Mr. King, Ronald De Feo takes this notion and runs with it: Can art transport us? Does […]

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Pocket Shorts Review: Scary Stories from Alfred Hitchcock, Part III

“Journey to Death,” by Donald E. Westlake, 1959 This one’s short, sharp, and to the point. It’s a tale of two men trapped in a sunken ocean liner, nothing more or less, and in lieu of any bogeymen or supernatural trappings you have insomnia, hopelessness, claustrophobia, darkness, and hunger. It doesn’t get much more stripped […]

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