Summer 2019 – a retrospective

I’ve been thinking about time travel a lot lately. Not really because there’s any point I’d like to go back or forwards too especially. Recently I experienced jet lag from travel and came to the conclusion that the fourth dimension must have a sense of humour. Time plays tricks on us. We play tricks onContinue reading “Summer 2019 – a retrospective”

Coen Brothers: The Message of these Mortal Remains

[this is the final of the 10 short reviews I set out to write since September. given how much else is going on, I doubt I’ll be able to continue them into the new year. but that doesn’t mean this site will go defunct! I’ve got a lot to say in the next few monthsContinue reading “Coen Brothers: The Message of these Mortal Remains”

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and the death of Dialogue Tags

Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel The Road is an intensely bleak vision of the apocalypse. The narrative follows two characters only ever referred to as”Man” and “boy” as they limp across a grey and hellish landscape full of cannibals, rotting houses, and precious canned food in aquest to reach the ocean. McCarthy raises very uncomfortable questionsContinue reading “Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and the death of Dialogue Tags”

Vision in Review: I Too Shall Be Saved By Love

(Special note: The Vision, like many characters of Marvel Comics, was created by Stan Lee, alongside ‎Roy Thomas‎, and John Buscema. Stan Lee passed away this afternoon, which I learned literally while typing up this piece, and it is hard to think of a single other creator responsible for a legacy that has inspired andContinue reading “Vision in Review: I Too Shall Be Saved By Love”

Do Androids Dream in Review

I find that when most people think of Rick Deckard and the neo-noir world he inhabited, they think first of Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (and it’s many different editions). But while the film and it’s very late/very recent sequel are remarkable science fiction films, there are essential disconnects between them and the narrative ofContinue reading “Do Androids Dream in Review”

Arrival/Story of Your Life: Languages of film and Prose

[This isn’t the first time I’ve written on Arrival, and I doubt it will be the last. you can check out my original view of the film here at The Spectatorial:  Arrival – A Case of Déjà vu] Though Ted Chiang’s novella Story of Your Life was originally published in 1998, I did not discover it untilContinue reading “Arrival/Story of Your Life: Languages of film and Prose”

The Simplica Girl Diaries in review

“Limitations so frustrating” (Saunders 126) writes the narrator of George Saunders’ The Semplica Girl Diaries. But the self-imposed limitations and restrictions Saunders impose on his writing make for a more interesting story, building its narrative out of disturbing incompleteness. Set in an unspecified but near future, Saunders communicates everything about his narrative through the sparse,Continue reading “The Simplica Girl Diaries in review”

A Children’s Crusade in Reverse (Slaughterhouse Five in review)

[feeling a little unstuck? that might be because I’ve written on this novel before: God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut. In some circles, I’m known for talking about Vonnegut a lot, so you can also check out my review of one of the author’s weirdest works Slapstick, which Vonnegut himself graded a D, and my paper on Cat’sContinue reading “A Children’s Crusade in Reverse (Slaughterhouse Five in review)”

Ray Bradbury: There Will Come Soft Rains in Review

Few books have been as formative and influential for me as Ray Bradbury’s 1950 short story fix-up novel The Martian Chronicles. While the book as a whole is far from perfect – there are problematic depictions of gender and race throughout the middle section of the book – There will Come Soft Rains has alwaysContinue reading “Ray Bradbury: There Will Come Soft Rains in Review”

Letters to a Young Poet in review

  The ten letters of Rainer Maria Rilke in correspondence with Franz Xavier Kappus that makeup Letters to a Young Poet offer little in the way of technical advice for writing. Rilke does not instruct on form; he does not comment on the use of language, or plot, or dialogue, or verse. However, what takesContinue reading “Letters to a Young Poet in review”