Tag Archives: tls

Echoes aplenty in the Penny Press!

One of the little joys of book-reviewing is finding “echoes” of your own reviews in somebody else’s Table of Contents. My beloved Open Letters Monthly, though well-respected in the industry, is virtually unknown outside it (except perhaps for those curious browsers who find one of our blurbs on some new paperback), so it’s extra-pleasing for […]

Those Awful Oscillations in the Penny Press!

Of course the dance of disagreement is the primary three-step when readers encounter reviewers in the Penny Press – we all know that going in. But some weeks are more trying – and more exhilarating – than others. Take my most recent batch, for example: on virtually every other page, there was something I either […]

Pope-enabling in the Penny Press!

Just the other day, at the bookstore, a sane-and-normal-seeming customer asked me for a “fair” biography of Hitler. When I stared at her, she elaborated: a biography that wasn’t “slanted,” that had no “axe to grind,” that reflected the fact that although Hitler might have been an evil man, he was also indisputably a great […]

It’s the Little Things in the Penny Press!

My usual one-two combination of The London Review of Books and the TLS always has a huge amount of long, meaty, scholarly piece of literary journalism – that’s why I’ve been coming back to them every week since before most of you were born. And this last week was no exception, with plenty of great, […]

Rating the Blighters in the Penny Press!

As we’ve so often noted about the Penny Press, the Lord giveth, and the Lord talketh out His ass. Such was certainly the case with last week’s TLS, in which the ‘debit’ column had an item that nearly made me spit up my Tatws Pum Munud in outrage. The offending piece was by Jonathan Benthall, […]

The Perils of Politeness in the Penny Press!

My Open Letters Monthly colleague Rohan Maitzen recently alerted me to a brou-ha-ha boiling in the Canadian lit-scene, sparked by a well-written and near-disastrously wrong-headed article on the CWiL (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts) website called “The Ethics of Negative Reviewing.” The piece is by Jan Zwicky, and in it, she covers a whole […]

Pleasures a-Plenty in the Penny Press!

The dark days of the Penny Press appear to be over, but that might be connected to the fact that my reading today was from three of the most reliable sources of periodical enjoyment currently on the market. First up was my Bible, the mighty TLS, which featured a very peppy review by Alex De […]

Badly Infected in the Penny Press!

My last few scrapes with the Penny Press left me thinking things might not be able to get any worse, but I was wrong: things hit rock bottom when I read this sentence in a review by Guy Dammann in the 2 March TLS: “In Don Giovanni, the general consensus was that the opera ended […]

Uppity primates in the Penny Press!

Jumping (somewhat belatedly) into the fray of 2012′s Penny Press, we find the party in full swing, which is always inviting. In the 6 January TLS, for instance, Mary Kenny writes a letter whose simple honesty about the late Christopher Hitchens will be cried down instantly by the millions of arrested adolescents who jumped on […]

Scurrilous Behavior in the Penny Press!

We’ve had a typically tumultuous year with the Penny Press in 2011, as you might expect. After all, the world of periodicals and the world of blogging share in common a certain element of headlong momentum that dissipates during the gestation of boring old books. In the world of deadline prose, outrageous positions aren’t properly […]


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