's Hatchet Job of the Year
rewards "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months," with the winning critic taking home a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp. 2013's winner
: Camilla Long, for her devastating review
of Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir, Aftermath
. Among other things, she described it as a nasty, bizarre memoir written by a "brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 18, 2013 -
"In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, a Yale professor finds a case against civilization
Zomia is a rugged swath of Asia that for 2,000 years has remained culturally aloof from the traditional centers of power and the pull of empires. Its inhabitants, Asia’s “hill people,” have earned a reputation for egalitarianism, insurrection, and independence. Up until the second half of the 20th century, many of the societies there remained nonliterate and supported themselves through trade, smuggling, and Iron-Age practices like slash-and-burn agriculture... In Zomia’s small societies, with their simple technologies, anti-authoritarian tendencies, and oral cultures, Scott sees not a world forgotten by civilization, but one that has been deliberately constructed to keep the state at arm’s length.
posted by andoatnp
on Dec 13, 2009 -
Oh God, please never let the NYT review of my latest novel never start like this: Every few years, as a reviewer, one encounters a novel whose ineptitudes are so many in number, and so thoroughgoing, that to explain them fully would produce a text that exceeded the novel itself in both length and interest.
Lately it seems the book reviewers at the NYT--including Michiko Kakutani, on Jonathan Franzen's latest
("Just why anyone would be interested in pages and pages about this unhappy relationship or the self-important and self-promoting contents of Mr. Franzen’s mind remains something of a mystery"
)--have been pulling out all the stops. Poor Irvine Welsh (?).
posted by gottabefunky
on Aug 29, 2006 -
'Runaway': Alice's Wonderland
Knockout of a book review by wonderful writer about a marvelous author:
I want to circle around Alice Munro's latest marvel, "Runaway," by taking some guesses at why her excellence so dismayingly exceeds her fame."
posted by Postroad
on Nov 13, 2004 -
Shakey: Neil Young's Biography. . .
Any big Neil Young fan, and I have to admit to being one, also spends a lot of time hating a lot of his artistic output (i. e. the cringe-enducing Let's Roll
, as well as his all-over-the-map politics.
In the LATimes book review
Hal Epsen mentions that the reliably perverse Young has been a staunch Reagan supporter and proponent of the death penalty, as well as a devoted husband and a stalwart parent to three kids, two of whom were born with cerebral palsy
. He also asserts that Young appeals almost wholly to male listeners.
Young has been discussed here before but not, I believe his biography, which, as has been Neil Young's M. O. from the get-go, is a dictionary-perfect example of a "mixed bag."
posted by Danf
on May 16, 2002 -