Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review : Daniel Friedman - Don't Ever Look Back (2014)


''A man's trustworthy only until you leave him alone with something that's worth more to him than his reputation.''

I have a soft spot for senior citizens. They are all facing the unique and terrifying ordeal of becoming more fragile and vulnerable by the day in complete solitude. The lucky ones lose their mind before their body gives up on them, but the process of natural death is equally frightening for everyone. Some go through it with more gusto than others, though, like Buck Schatz. Daniel Friedman's elderly hardboiled detective made a spectular debut in 2012 with DON'T EVER GET OLD, a novel with much sharper fangs than your run-of-the-mill detective mystery. Guess what? He is back in 2014, older and meaner than before in DON'T EVER LOOK BACK

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review : Stephen Graham Jones - The Least of My Scars (2013)


My name is William Colton Hughes. You haven't heard of me.

Columbine was a paradigm shift in Occidental culture. America spent over three decades being afraid of serial killers like David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy and the immortal Zodiac, so much that transcendent fictional alter egos like Hannibal Lecter and Patrick Bateman were created. Then, one fateful morning, a more terrifying and unpredictable menace became the object of media obsessions and rendered serial killers obsolete. That doesn't mean they ceased to exist. If anything, this era might be some sort of golden years for serial killers, sheltered from media scrutiny. We have no way to know. THE LEAST OF MY SCARS, by Stephen Graham Jones is a novel that gives serial killer fiction a brand new set of fangs for this boogeyman to chew its way out of cultural oblivion.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review : Karl Wolff - On Being Human (2013)


I'm a believer in essayism. I think it's a tremendous vehicle for creavity in forming new/original ideas. There also is a freedom (sometimes a playfulness) in the form that other forms of non-fiction writing don't allow. It's difficult to define exactly what it means to be human, because it has physical, metaphysical, emotional and symbolic ramifications. Karl Wolff rose to the challenge in ON BEING HUMAN and offered his critical output on the question of humanity in various books and movies. It's not the deepest collection of essays, but ON BEING HUMAN is interesting for what it is nonetheless: an intellectual, multidisciplinary firestarter.