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No Exit

Former jarhead Anthony Swofford's Army memories take a fictional turn in Exit A.

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The recent explosion (and implosion) of literary memoirs caused some critics to wonder what sort of novels these sensations would have written had they embellished just a little bit more. Was there a ...   More
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 John Freeman

This Book Will Save Your Life

Bold title proves true from author of The Safety of Objects.

As commentators never tire of reminding us, Southern California is a place unto itself. Especially the Hollywood Hills. Up there, the movies' gravitational pull eclipses the ocean's daily suck—s ...   More
Wednesday, April 26, 2006 John Freeman


Vivid stories about dignified loners and misfits.

Big Cats By Holiday Reinhorn (Free Press, 224 pages, $14.95)Social workers would have a diagnostic field day with Holiday Reinhorn's debut collection, Big Cats. Set in California and Oregon, these sto ...   More
Wednesday, July 20, 2005 John Freeman

Rockin' Computers

How the sex, drugs and rock-'n'-roll generation turned on computers.

What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industryby John Markoff (Viking, 310 pages, $25.95)Silicon Valley wasn't always the heart of America's computer industry ...   More
Wednesday, June 1, 2005 John Freeman

Film Flam

David Thomson's new book on Hollywood seems compromised.

In 1926, screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz sent a famous cable to his friend Ben Hecht: "WILL YOU ACCEPT THREE HUNDRED PER WEEK TO WORK FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES? ALL EXPENSES PAID. THE THREE HUNDRED IS PEA ...   More
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 John Freeman

A Man for All Seasons

Richard Wilbur's poems never bowed before fads.

When Richard Wilbur published his first collection of poetry, Gregory Peck was lighting up screens in Gentleman's Agreement and Winston Churchill had just finished spooking Americans with his "Iron Cu ...   More
Wednesday, January 12, 2005 John Freeman


The white-bedecked Tom Wolfe unleashes a bonfire of the fraternities in his latest novel.

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Sitting cross-legged on a couch in his Upper East Side apartment, wearing the trademark white suit, navy tie and spotless two-tone spats, Tom Wolfe is about as far from a college keg party as one can ...   More
Wednesday, November 24, 2004 John Freeman

poetry nominees for the national book award

Collected PoemsBy Donald Justice(Knopf, 289 pages, $25) The Rest of LoveBy Carl Phillips(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 80 pages, $20)Thanks to the influence of Plath, Sexton and Lowell, modern poets ofte ...   More
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 John Freeman

oh, play that thing

oh, play that thingby Roddy Doyle(Viking, 384 pages, $24.95)It must be tempting to write about the New York of the 1920s. Gin runners shot and stabbed each other for territory. Speakeasies hired heavi ...   More
Wednesday, November 10, 2004 John Freeman

collected later poems

collected later poemsBy Anthony Hecht(Knopf, 256 pages, $25)Anthony Hecht wrote poetry of a distinctly dour cast, and Collected Later Poems, the last book he published before dying of lymphoma last We ...   More
Wednesday, October 27, 2004 John Freeman
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