A couple of reviews and some links worth a few minutes of your valuable time
Apologies again for my somewhat sporadic posting: I’ve been in a bit of a work-hole for the last little bit. I think – I hope – I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but in the meantime I thought I’d link to a couple of reviews I’ve had in the papers recently (there have actually been a number more but exactly what gets posted online seems to be a bit arbitrary these days).
The first is my review of Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists, which was published in The Australian a few weeks back. I may have some more things to say about Rachman’s book in the not-too-distant future, but for now the review will have to do.
The second is also from The Australian, and is of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s follow-up to the truly unsettling Let The Right One In, Handling the Undead, a book which despite its subject matter (zombies in Sweden) and Lindqvist’s bizarrely unmodulated prose, is both oddly beautiful and more than a little upsetting.
(If you feel like hunting out the print versions I’ve also had pieces on Martin Amis’ The Pregnant Widow, Richard Powers’ entirely wonderful “enhancement” Generosity (one of the most exciting books I’ve read in ages), and Jim Crace’s All That Follows).
I’d also like to suggest three (or four, to be precise) things from elsewhere which are very definitely worth reading (assuming you haven’t already). The first is Anthony Lane’s breezy and entirely entertaining tour of the history of 3D (in the context of which I’d refer you to my post on Avatar a few weeks back). If you’re not completely over Avatar by now Daniel Mendelsohn’s piece on the film is also worth a look (though I have to confess I think anything by Mendelsohn is worth reading).
Also worth a look is Jason Epstein’s piece in The New York Review of Books on the future of publishing: I suspect I feel less wedded to the past than he does but it’s a pretty good summary of the situation at present.
And last (but very definitely not least) Jonah Lehrer’s fascinating piece from The New York Times Magazine about the controversial but tantalising studies suggesting depression may confer evolutionary advantage, a piece which is distinguished not just by being the only place I’ve ever seen the word “heterogeneity” used in a newspaper article, but by meshing suggestively with the desire of a wide range of writers (including myself) to try and understand depression in terms beyond the simplistically pathological.
Enjoy – I’ll be back online later this week.