Thursday, May 22, 2008


Anne Applebaum delivers a brutal dis to Nicholson Baker and his Human Smoke. She likens him to Dan Brown:

And the reader, both of The Da Vinci Code and Human Smoke, is duly flattered. Read Brown's book and you, all by yourself, can decide whether Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene! Read Baker's book and you, all by yourself, can decide whether World War II was worth fighting! You too can get the facts and make up your mind! And never mind that the facts have been chosen selectively, even randomly, by writers who do not understand the context in which they originally appeared, and indeed have deliberately tried not to understand it. Brown and Baker are not "experts," after all. They are, to put it politely, artistes.

What may be my least favorite fantasy novel, Wizards First Rule, will now be a full season series on ABC. I'm curious as to how they will handle all the S&M torture scenes. Not curious enough to watch, but still, that will be a challenge.

If you like thoughtful film criticism, what are you doing here? Read these takes on the three Indiana Jones films.

Chuck Palahniuk is upping his gross out ante with his new book, which features suicide via gang bang.

Speaking of fantasy novels, Steven Erikson's Reaper's Gale is a return to form after a disjointed volume. Which is to say, if you have gotten to the middle, keep going. If you haven't engaged by volume 2, pull out.

Barack Obama reads Fareed Zakaria...shouldn't you?

There are those who claim they love all chocolate, but can they handle the Belgian dark chocolate....anus? For a limited time only, also available in solid silver. For some thoughts on things you might actually want to put in your mouth, have a look at Joanna's take on our recent cherry candy tasting.

Remember Faces of Death? It was faked.

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