Year: 2012

If God Were Alive Today

I believe I first learned of Kurt Vonnegut’s last novel from a Rolling Stone interview published a year or so before he died. The interview didn’t say much about the book, simply giving the title and the fact that he

How the Hobbit movie failed

The Hobbit is my favourite book, so I was distressed to see the failure of the movie adaptation. Many critics have given their opinions why the film is a disappointment, but I believe we need to go back to the

Flaubert and his antique smut

Happy Birthday (a few days late) to Gustave Flaubert, who is best known for his masterpiece Madame Bovary. Flaubert was born 12 December 1821 in Rouen and spent five years writing his book, which was published in 1856. The narrative

Idiot American schools ban classic novels

It’s true. If you don’t believe me, just check the UK’s 157 year-old Telegraph, a venerable and highly-respected conservative newspaper. In an article entitled ‘Catcher in the Rye dropped from US school curriculum’ it states: American literature classics are to

Happy Independence Day, Finland!

In honour of Finnish independence, I decided to recommend some excellent Finnish literature. According to Google Analytics, only about half of my visitors are from Finland, so I suspect many people may not know much about Finland’s love affair with

Why the greatest American novelist called it quits

If one were to take a poll on who was the greatest living American novelist, the name that would come up most often would be Philip Roth. Yes, we have people like Junot Diaz and Don DeLillo and Jennifer Egan

The value of reading awful books

Earlier this week I was flattened by a particularly nasty case of the flu. My fever-addled mind couldn’t handle anything strenuous, so I decided to re-read The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. If you aren’t familiar with it, this

Confessions of a reformed Republican

In my formative years, the U.S. Republican Party was the party of logic, of smart finances and small government. The Republicans were the ones who understood economics. I loved economics, and so loved the Republicans. The GOP wanted to keep

Half-naked women like my book

Or something. I keep an eye on social media to see what people are saying about Mohamed 2.0, and oddly, I have seen a flurry of stuff like this: accounts with scantily-clad women displaying their assets saying things about the

Opening lines

‘I told the President I would help him recover the hydrogen bomb that had been stolen by Christian terrorists, but under no circumstances would I end my affair with the First Lady.’ Hopefully that sentence did exactly what first lines