Tag Archives: sam sacks

Frustrated Urges in the Penny Press!

There’s a certain frustration that can’t be avoided when you read as much book-coverage in the Penny Press as I do. You become familiar with all the regular players in the game (indeed, you sometimes perforce become a minor such player yourself), you learn their quirks and strengths and weaknesses, and you also become familiar […]

Desolation (and small consolation) in the Penny Press!

I made my faithful way through the main attractions of the latest Harper’s in order to reach the end. I read about evil Mormons, and I read some bombastic editorializing, and I read an entertaining little squib of a story by Justin Torres (clearly a young author to watch – still prone to gimmicks, still […]

Rome indeed and room enough in the Penny Press!

It’s been a bad week for good faith in the Penny Press. Bad enough Us Weekly ran a picture of Joe Jonas apparently preparing to kiss a girl (even the National Enquirer would’ve scrupled at that), worse still that National Geographic should so conspicuously lend its imprimatur to a glorified tomb-raider, but worst of all […]

A Tale of Two Echoes in the Penny Press!

It’s become entirely natural to bump into correspondences between Open Letters and the rest of the book-review world. After all, publicists want every critic to read their pet books and rave about them (they want it so badly they’re willing to risk the alternative, when a book hits a critic on the wrong day and […]

Relativism Run Rampant in the Penny Press!

Keith Miller wrote a review last week in the TLS that was, as far as I can recall, utterly unique in the annals of that venerable publication. It was a review of David Shields’ Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, but that’s not the unique part; Shields’ idiotic little collage was reviewed everywhere. No, the unique part […]

April 2010 in Open Letters!

It’s a new month, the sun is shining (for now), and a brand new issue of Open Letters Monthly is on display for all the world to see! As usual, we have a huge variety of stuff for you to read – and a huge amount of it too, enough to last you the entire […]

February in Open Letters!

Ah, February! Despite its winds and snows, it holds the first faint hints of Spring – the touch of its breezes feels ever so slightly softer on the cheek, the blue of its sky suggests deeper, warmer blues to come. Is it any wonder that even a middle-aged bureaucrat could be moved to song when […]

Frustration, consternation, and irritation in the Penny Press!

When I started this week’s New York Times Book Review, I was certain my main frustrations with it would come from some of the main pieces. The lead piece, by Walter Isaacson, reviews two books on American presidential power – one by the insufferably pompous Garry Wills and the other by the nation’s foremost unindicted […]


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