Sunday, November 30, 2014

Philip Larkin, the loveable, hateful old bastard

My review of Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love by James Booth in the Toronto Star.

"[Larkin] has few rivals when it comes to conjuring joyful or heart-crushing beauty out of utterly commonplace situations and none in the realm of transforming disappointment into something both hilarious and transcendent."

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Kids in the Hall's Bruce McCulloch writes a book about being happy, ostensibly

"This country specializes in the knowing chuckle. We prefer jokes that act as gently dissolving humour lozenges, slowly releasing homespun wisdom. (See: Stuart McLean, The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Red Green, Corner Gas, Russell Peters.)
In that respect, the Kids in the Hall are something special."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Elena Ferrante is my (current) jam

My piece in the Globe and Mail on mysterious Italian novelist Elena Ferrante.

How about you? What are you up to? How have you been?


Sorry to hear!

Monday, April 28, 2014

More books I read for money: featuring David Letterman, Bruce McCall, Gary Shteyngart, the guy who co-wrote "Babe: Pig in the City," and more!

Omnibus blog posts are the best/only kind of blog posts. And so:

Review of This Land Was Made for You and Me by Bruce McCall and David Letterman.

Review of Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart (to which Mr. Shteyngart replied with some Twitter shouting).

Review of Today I Am A Boy by Kim Fu.

Review of The Full Ridiculous by Mark Lamprell. (Who co-wrote Babe: Pig in the City! Which I love! This book not so much!)


Bonus content: getting drunk on CanLit! Watching UFC with poets!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Books I've Been Paid To Read Lately

Life is still elsewhere, but here are some recent reviews:

Of Chris Hadfield's A Guide to Life on Earth.

Of Bill Bryson's One Summer.

Of Eric Schlosser's terrifying Command and Control.

Of The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan.

Of Scatter, Adapt and Remember by Annalee Newitz.

Of Time Reborn by Lee Smolin.


As Daffy Duck might say if he reviewed books, it's not nearly a living.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fetherling's footnotes

The best group of footnotes in George Fetherling's The Writing Life: Journals 1975 - 2005 (on p. 88):

17 Sarah Sheard (b. 1953), novelist, author of Almost Japanese
18 Douglas Gibson (b. 1943), McClelland & Stewart publisher
19 Lee Harvey Oswald (1939 - 1963), alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy