Tag Archives: Books

Book Reviewlet: Maddaddam trilogy, Margaret Atwood

Need a break from the election? Let Margaret Atwood take you to an apocalyptic near-future where biotech companies have taken over all civic functions and disaffected young nerdlingtons plan to destroy all of Earth’s stupid, stupid people.  

Oryx and Crake, the Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam: the Maddaddam trilogy, Atwood’s foray into a surprisingly joyful eco-dystopianism.

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Book Reviewlet: Spiotta Squared (not Square!)

I’m writing another essay for the Gale American Writers series, this one on Dana Spiotta: bard of hidden histories, sane conspiracy, and minor fame.

Bard of Los Angeles.

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A Brief Philip K Dick Interlude

I recently binged both the TV and book versions of The Man in the High Castle. Thatsa lotta Nazis.

I started to blog about these particular alternative histories–both the Asian-centric original and the Nazi-centric contemporary. But then I picked up a minor Philip Dick work, published 2 years after TMitHC, The Simulacra, and it was like TMitHC took acid, watched a bunch of Marx Brothers films, and foresaw a future in which Nazi evil takes the form of corporate oligarchy subduing the masses with HGTV and an ornate, comprehensive bureaucracy of citizenship.

As can happen when you pick up a Dick novel.

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Book Reviewlet: The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt

Setup: a wealthy white genius daughter/wife, pissed at the patriarchy and tired of exclusion by the Art World, plots a long con. She secretly hires dudes to pretend her work is theirs. After three, she’ll unveil herself in triumph to prove to the Patriarchy that the Patriarchy exists.

The Patriarchy’s like, uh, yeah? What’s your point?

And the world blazes on. With footnotes.

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Mini Reviewlets: Munro Immersion

The blog has been more fallow than its usual don’t-call-it-climate-change-it’s-just-fallow state because I’m working on a long term writing project. On Alice Munro.

For money.

I haven’t been paid for my writing since we thought our computers would snap us back to the Iron Age. That dark millennial moment I took a “break” from  journalism to “get smarter” in grad school.

And on Alice Munro? Even cooler than the fluff piece I wrote back then on the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Which is to say: quantum cool.

So here’s a teaser of Munroviana to tide us over.

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Book Revewlets: Girls! Girls! Girls!

The Semplica Girl Diaries,” y’all.

One of the best short stories I’ve ever read. Anywhere. Anyhow.

George Saunders quadruple dog dared “The Gift of the Magi,” plunking it into the suburbs, replacing romantic love with parental love, wringing such pathos out of the ghastliest aspects of late capitalism.

And the story absolutely gets girls. Spoilers ahoy.

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