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Article Archive for May 2012

The Non-Event of the Month

May 31st, 2012

Last week on NBC’s Meet the Press, Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, was asked to give his opinion about an advertisement the Obama campaign has been running. It was a cover story for days. It was a complete waste of everyone’s time.

CD of the Week: Schubert String Quartets

May 30th, 2012

The Artemis Quartet brings forth a brilliant recording of Schubert’s string quartets 13, 14, and 15 — that plus three notable new releases of the music of Shostakovich

Book Review: Midnight in Peking

May 28th, 2012
midnight in peking

In pre-war Peking, a young girl is brutally murdered, and an investigation is working against time as Japanese forces converge on the city. But the girl’s father wants justice, even if he has to find it himself.

Classics Reissued: The Mabinogion Tetralogy

May 26th, 2012
mabinogion tetralogy

A towering landmark of epic fantasy literature is re-issued in a pretty paperback!

An Interview with Kim Newman

May 25th, 2012
bloody red baron – march 2012

An interview with Kim Newman, author of the fantastic “Anno Dracula” series of novels!

New in Paperback: Bloody Red Baron

May 24th, 2012
bloody red baron – march 2012

In the sequel to Kim Newman’s great “Anno Dracula,” the evil Count wages war – the First World War, to be exact – with the living!

CDs of the Week: New Names at the Piano

May 23rd, 2012

The steady rush of talented new pianists can be overwhelming. Norman Lebrecht helps locate the gold from the dross.

Book Review: Of Moose and Men

May 21st, 2012
moose and man

The closest thing to a genuine ‘moose-whisperer’ finally gets around to writing the Bible on the species!

Movie Review: Battleship

May 21st, 2012
6We’re going to need a bigger boat

Can an enormous budget save an old, defunct board game about an old, defunct class of warship? Ask Mr. Anderson!

Book Review: The Taming of the Rogue

May 20th, 2012
amanda mccabe

A sensible young widow tries hard not to fall in love with a dashing young playwright in the latest offering from good old Harlequin Romances!

Book Review: Michelangelo

May 19th, 2012
Michelangelo jacket

The first volume in a magisterial new two-volume biography of the greatest Renaissance artist of them all!

Comics: Avengers Assemble, Volume 3

May 18th, 2012
avengers attack

the third and final reprint-volume of one of the greatest creative runs on Marvel Comics’ beloved title “The Avengers”

Book Review: HHhH

May 17th, 2012
Hhhh – april 2012

A popular French book about the daring assassination of a Nazi official in 1942 receives an English translation

CD of the Week – A Rush of Mieczyslaw Weinbergs

May 16th, 2012

Four new recordings celebrate the oft-forgotten Russian composer Mieczylaw Weinberg. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Book Review: Overseas

May 15th, 2012

a lush new time-travel romance arrives just in time for summer

Movie Review: Dark Shadows

May 14th, 2012
well, what do you know? Apparently, blondes DO have more fun

The latest collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is very nearly un-dead on arrival, according to our guest-poster, movie blogger John Anderson!

Book Review: The Romans Who Shaped Britain

May 13th, 2012
the romans who shaped britain

A lively new personality-driven look at the centuries of Roman rule in the British Isles

Book Review: Midstream

May 12th, 2012

The posthumous memoir of a beloved Southern writer

Book Review: My Two Moms

May 11th, 2012

The well-spoken son of a lesbian couple becomes a YouTube sensation – and an author.

Book Review: The Sounding of the Whale

May 10th, 2012
Book Review: The Sounding of the Whale

D. Graham Burnett, a young historian of science, produces a fantastic and important encyclopedic history of the long, torturous, often retrograde progress toward “Save the Whales.”

CD of the Week – Philip Glass’s 9th Symphony

May 9th, 2012

Philip Glass’s ninth symphony has some of the minimalist traits listeners will expect–but also a number of surprises

Book Review: The Confession

May 7th, 2012

In the latest Ian Rutledge mystery, a man walks into Scotland Yard, confesses to a long-ago murder, and shortly afterward is himself found murdered – and the game’s afoot!

Book Review: Star Trek: That Which Divides

May 6th, 2012
Star Trek That Which Divides

Kirk and crew must conduct a rescue mission on a planet that disappears every three years – and is set to vanish mighty soon!

Book Review: The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens

May 5th, 2012
selected letters of charles dickens

A heapingly generous helping of the letters of history’s most popular novelist

Comics: The Children’s Crusade

May 3rd, 2012

Not-quite-brothers search for their not-quite-mother in this colorful mini-series, now in a hardcover collection

CD of the Week – Rachmaninov’s 5th Piano Concerto

May 2nd, 2012

In a clever ploy to extend the copyright of Sergei Rachmaninov’s music, Alexander Warenberg has fiddled with the composer’s second symphony to create a so-called “fifth” piano concerto. Norman Lebrecht reviews the results.

Book Review: Farther Away

May 1st, 2012
farther away – feb 2012

The latest selection of reprints from one of America’s most-praised novelists

The OLM Quiz – Mayday!

May 1st, 2012
1205 – Inverted Jenny

Celebrate the merry month of May with a literary quiz from the fiendish Tony Hightower

Now in Paperback: The Atlantic and Its Enemies

May 1st, 2012
the atlantic and its enemies – tp – march 2012

A big, pugnacious account of the post-WWII world

Deus in Machina: poetic technique in Derek Walcott’s Omeros

May 1st, 2012

Derek Walcott’s long Homeric tribute “Omeros” will likely stand as his masterpiece and reward detailed study for centuries. And as with Homer, even small fragments of the world can yield fascinating insights.

Affliction Fiction

May 1st, 2012

Brian Evenson’s work is a violent exploration of a violent medium: language. His new novel Immobility and the stories collected in Windeye continue that journey into dark territory.

All the World to Nothing

May 1st, 2012

The real mystery of Richard III is not the fate of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, but why we never tire of telling and re-telling his story. What do we really see when we stare at his enigmatic portrait?

Keeping Up With the Tudors: Lizard on a Rock

May 1st, 2012
Keeping Up With the Tudors: Lizard on a Rock

He survived years of dangerous exile, won his crown on the battlefield, and founded one of the most famous dynasties in human history – and yet we still haven’t embraced Henry VII. A spirited biography seeks to change that.

Facts, And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them

May 1st, 2012

Art, Truth, Data, Sex, and Facebook–rabble-roused by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal’s The Lifespan of a Fact, Max Ross connects them in a key to all nonfiction aesthetics

Monumental and Fragile

May 1st, 2012

No form of literature seems as thoroughly doomed in the 21st century as the printed encyclopedia, but even dinosaurs can have rich and rewarding life-stories. Where did we go, before we all went to the Internet?

Ghost Town Apostle

May 1st, 2012

Ken Layne’s political writing is sharp and raucus, and a novel about a financially devastated near-future United States would seem like a perfect vehicle for more anger. But though that fire is still there, a gentle-but-compelling spiritualist tone has risen to to the fore.

Bad for You

May 1st, 2012

Known as much for how she exited her life as for the poetry she wrote during it, Sylvia Plath remains a polarizing figure in the world of verse. What are we reading, when we subject ourselves to her poems?


May 1st, 2012

a poem

Choices at the Event Horizon

May 1st, 2012

In the latest version of the hugely popular video game – as in real life – you are the living culmination of all your past decisions, good and bad.


May 1st, 2012

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has made a career of joking about easy political targets – so what happens when she tries to deliver a factual inquiry of a serious subject? Nothing funny, as Greg Waldmann discovers.

No Strange Quirk of Fate

May 1st, 2012

This month sees the arrival of the long-awaited $250 million dollar Hollywood movie adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Avengers. Lost in all the hype is the rich history of the comic itself; Justin Hickey explores the convergence of pulp and pixels.

Aid in the Labyrinth

May 1st, 2012

Randall Jarrell was suspicious of attempts to turn criticism into a science: he wrote as a reader, for other readers, with the work itself foremost in his mind.

A Rasp in the Air

May 1st, 2012

A thumping mix-tape of dystopian fantasy and gangster noir, Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane defies easy categorization–but does it offer a story to match its stylistic bravura?

American Aristocracy – Civil War: Pride and Shame on the Via Sacra

May 1st, 2012

The clash between Brahmin liberalism and the legacy of slave-trading focuses on a monument to the men who redeemed a city and ransomed a nation. “American Aristocracy” continues.

May 2012 Issue

May 1st, 2012
private listening devices i will be so quiet

Theresa Anderson
“Bernie Bee”