Reviews of Lance Olsen’s Freaknest and Sewing Shut My Eyes, plus Brian Evenson’s Contagion

Written by Bob Riedel on . Posted in Books, Posts

Freaknest by Lance Olsen (Wordcraft of Oregon, 258 pages, $12) Sewing Shut My Eyes by Lance Olsen (FC2, 143 pages, $11.95) In the centerpiece section of his auspicious 1994 Knopf debut, Altmann’s Tongue, Brian Evenson’s linked stories of random cruelty by a ragtag army that may or may not be under siege made Cormac McCarthy’s [&hellip
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Arming America

Written by Norman Kelley on . Posted in Books, Posts

Arming America By Michael Bellesiles (Knopf, 603 pages, $30) The new scholarship, according to David Thelen, the Journal’s editor, was viewed as "too obscure to appreciate and too remote from everyday life." He believed that the profession had gotten to the point where dazzling people with the unfamiliar and erudite had become more important than [&hellip
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Talking with Michelle Tea, Chronicler of Hip Young Dykes

Written by J.T. Leroy on . Posted in Books, Posts

Writer and performance artist Michelle Tea’s Valencia (Seal Press, 256 pages, $13) is an hilarious, poignant and straight-shooting book that reads like an HBO Undercover episode on hip young dykes in San Francisco. Not content to preach only to the converted, however, Tea went on the road as a cofounder of Sister Spit, a traveling [&hellip
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Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Written by Nan Goldberg on . Posted in Books, Posts

The thing about Stephen King is that, like a younger brother (which he is), he can irritate the hell out of you, but he also manages to be endearing. His propensity for wise-assisms and obscenities can drive you crazy. His novels have gotten longer without getting better. His baby boomer characters keep calling each other [&hellip
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A New Life of Aleister Crowley

Written by Alan Cabal on . Posted in Books, Posts

Do What Thou Wilt by Lawrence Sutin (St. Martin’s Press 483 pages, $27.95) Aleister Crowley comes to mind, here. Crowley failed at the task, mainly owing to hubris and a general inability to focus his agenda, but he lived large for quite a while and cut one hell of a swath. Numerous biographers and essayists [&hellip
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A post-mortem on Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin

Written by Colin Raff on . Posted in Books, Posts

Gothic by Richard Davenport-Hines (North Point Press, 438 pages, $15) You might hope that a study of grotesque tropes and morbidity in esthetics would plot the degeneracy of these forms, from their original functions to their lazy appropriation by unlettered twits. You’d want an acute examination of craft and form instead of the easy, predictable [&hellip
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Author Lauren Sanders Discusses Porn, Euthanasia, Masturbation, Etc.

Written by J.T. Leroy on . Posted in Books, Posts

Anything labeled queer fiction used to frighten me. Lauren Sanders’ Kamikaze Lust, put out by Akashic Books last spring (287 pages, $14.95), falls under that gay heading, but after the first page my fear was vanquished. It could be the Bjork of crossover books. It’s funny, daring, freaky and way cool. And yeah, there’s hot [&hellip
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Two from Ed Sanders

Written by Bob Riedel on . Posted in Books, Posts

America: A History In Verse, Volume I 1900-1939 by Edward Sanders (Black Sparrow Press, 385 pages, $16 ) The Poetry And Life of Allen Ginsberg by Edward Sanders (Overlook, 252 pages, $27.95) During a recent change of apartments I found myself engaged in the universal moving-day pastime of self-castigation over the amount of stuff I’d [&hellip
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Norman Podhoretz’s My Love Affair with America

Written by Douglas Davis on . Posted in Books, Posts

My Love Affair with America by Norman Podhoretz (The Free Press, 248 pages, $25) Not that long ago my teenage daughter inadvertently flagged this hot issue. Five times she has organized her classmates to leave school and demonstrate against police brutality at One Police Plaza. "Dad," she said one day, "why don’t I ever see [&hellip
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