Friday, 31 October 2014
Andy Greenwald, Grantland
So, yes, it’s always darkest before the light. But no matter how gloomy it looked 30 years ago, it’s downright disastrous now — and this time there isn’t a sweater-clad savior lurking just around the corner.
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Gideon Lewis-Kraus, New York Times
Nolan is a gestalt thinker and entertainer, and he thinks that it’s technical details like these, even the ones we register only unconsciously, that make the theatrical experience a vivid and continuous dream.
Rachel Dry, Washington Post
Writing a book is hard, and that seems to be the truth. At least she wrung some laughts out of it.
Andrew Motion, The Guardian
Peter Carey’s fiction is turbo-charged, hyperenergetic. His language has little time for quiet passages; his minor characters, even at their most incidental, are endowed with details of appearance and speech that belie their status; his narrative lines, when they run into difficulties of any kind, blast through them by introducing new inventions and new possibilities. This is what makes him Dickensian.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
James Thomas, New Yorker
Well, here you are, looking at this, trying, hoping, floundering, scrabbling, wishing, dying to find out the mystery of “how to” write a sentence. Or possibly you have tried write sentence and failed utterly.
Never mind and never fear. I am an, thankfully, expert of sentences. Read on and be disbelieving! There is much to have taught you, and little time, so very, very little and small time.
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
David Owen, New Yorker
As I left the restaurant, I reflexively patted my pants pockets, checking for my car keys, and tried to recall where I’d parked. Then I remembered: my car was more than a thousand miles away, at an airport lot in Newark, and I was on a cruise ship travelling to Florida from the Bahamas.
Monday, 27 October 2014
Alexandra Lange, New Yorker
For all their picturesque calm, cemeteries have always been both teeming and empty; the digital version would embrace that contradiction.
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Steph Cha, Los Angeles Review Of Books
In Gone Girl, though, we laugh because we’re supposed to laugh. The absurdity, its laughableness, is a necessary part of the film.
This is because at its core, Gone Girl is a domestic comedy.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers.
Clive Thompson, New York Times
“Brain training” games like Project: Evo have become big business, with Americans spending an estimated $1.3 billion a year on them. They are also a source of controversy. Industry observers warn that snake-oil salesmen abound, and nearly all neuroscientists agree there’s very little evidence yet that these games counter the mental deficits that come with getting older. Gazzaley, however, is something of an outlier. His work commands respect from even the harshest critics. He spent five years designing and testing the sort of game play I had just experienced, and he found that it does indeed appear to prompt older brains to perform like ones decades younger. (“Game changer,” the cover of Nature magazine declared when it published his findings last year.) Now Project: Evo is on its own twisty path — the Boston company that is developing it, Akili, which Gazzaley advises, is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the game. If it gets that government stamp, it might become a sort of cognitive Lipitor or Viagra, a game that your doctor can prescribe for your aging mind.
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Sara Paretsky, New York Times
Lucy Worsley’s lively book, “The Art of the English Murder,” traces the growth of this industry through some of the era’s most avidly followed killings. Her goal isn’t to provide a history of crime or crime writing, but to show how “the British enjoyed and consumed the idea of murder.”
Patrick McGrath, New York Times
Close to the end of Roger Clarke’s “Ghosts: A Natural History,” the author mentions “silent phone calls from people who have been buried with their phone in their coffin.” Who are these people? He doesn’t say, but he claims there’s a whole genre of “apparently true” mobile phone ghost stories, including “texts from the dead.” There are even haunted spell-checks. When the name “Prudentia” was highlighted on a document during a 1998 investigation in Britain, the alternative spellings that reportedly came up were “dead,” “buried” and “cellar.” We’re not told if investigators dug up the cellar, and if they did, whether they found Prudentia.
Julia Carrie Wong, New Yorker
The problem was that the two groups were following different sets of rules—one established by tradition and cultural norms, the other by city regulations. The city’s rules favor those with twenty-seven dollars to spare and either a credit card (phone reservations require a Visa or Mastercard) or the ability to go to the department’s office (a lengthy bus ride). The neighborhood’s rules favor those who’ve been around long enough to know how the pickup system works.