Alex Kuczynski Further Distancing Herself From the Disgusting Book Critics

lneyfakh · 06/02/07 02:00PM

Back in April, when Alex Kuczynski last contributed to the New York Times Book Review, she struck out against "jealous book critics" who like tearing down modeling novels because they "aren't tall and gorgeous" and because they want "to wield their puny amount of power to establish some sort of moral order." She sort of whispered it, but we heard her; this weekend, she appears in the Book Review once again, writing on a pair of short fiction lady books (not yet online, mysteriously), and her campaign for singularity in the scribble sphere is becoming more pronounced.

Agonizingly, Jonathan Lethem 'Parses' an Ian McEwan Stone

jliu · 06/02/07 01:00PM

Well, you have to hand it to the Crystal Leth, at least he's bringing something better than plot summary to the increasingly torpid Times Book Review. Lethem has the cover review, of Ian McEwan's novel(la) On Chesil Beach, in this week's Summer Reading issue, and he dives into close reading—yes, close reading—with what's, depending on one's view, either a cute bit of aw-shucks mixed metaphor or an atrocious bit of aw-shucks mixed metaphor that portends the wholesale dissolution of American letters:

Book Review Unveils Startling Equation As Explanation For Urban Alienation

Lux · 05/13/07 01:30PM

Interested in turning your world from "blasé to rosé"? The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine, featured in today's Times Book Review, chronicles the lives of some pretty lonely folk—lonely, that is, until they are rescued from anomie by some heroic canines. No simple matter of dog being (wo)man's best friend, apparently this creatively titled text establishes a rigorous mathematical framework for evaluating personhood based on doghood. Skeptical? Let's go to the evidence!

Kinsley on Hitchens: "!!!!!"

lneyfakh · 05/12/07 05:08PM

In tomorrow's Book Review, Slate founder/TIME columnist Michael Kinsley explains to us the magic behind "the Christopher Hitchens phenomenon." Who would have guessed—apparently the secret is logic.

'New Yorker' Staff Invades Times Book Review

lneyfakh · 05/12/07 03:31PM

Okay, so maybe they're not quite invading, but there sure seem to be a lot of them in this week's issue. First there's Dana Goodyear on page 28 with a short piece on Liza Dalby's East Wind Melts the Ice. Then Louisa Thomas, who appears to be an editorial assistant to David Remnick, chimes in six pages later on Cristina Garcia's A Handbook to Luck. Finally, Harvard Med School professor/New Yorker medicine man Jerome Groopman closes out the issue with a back-page essay about how doctors should be reading Tolstoy, Turgenev, Philip Roth, and Rhonda Byrne.

Ben Kunkel Ponders Biography of Self, Nirvana

Jon · 05/05/07 10:00AM

In tomorrow's Times Book Review, 2005's it-novelist Ben Kunkel reviews Everett True's Nirvana: The Biography. Though there's no doubting Kunkel's competence in the relevant literature — apparently, Heavier than Heaven is "badly marred" by the influence of she-devil Courtney Love and Come as You Are "scants [the band members'] backgrounds" — one wonders if Kurt Cobain is really the super-sensitive misunderstood wünderkind in question here: