Israel – Siouxsie and the Banshees (Review)

For whatever reason, I’ve been on a Siouxsie and the Banshees kick over the last couple of weeks. That’s a band I used to listen to a lot in high school and college and haven’t paid much attention to since. They’re a lot better than I remember. Albums like Kaleidoscope that used to seem like…

Holding (Review)

Unlike apparently everyone else on the internet, I’d never heard of Graham Norton before I picked up Holding. Apparently he’s some sort of comedian, and not really the type you would expect to write a small-town cozy. But Holding is a small-town cozy if ever there was one, and the incongruity of the genre and…

The Last Coin (Review)

James Blaylock’s The Last Coin is a bit of a divisive book, with opinions running the gamut from awful to fantastic to boring. One thing everyone seems to agree on: it’s unique. Jules Pennyman is an ambiguously evil, dapper ghoul of a person who is attempting to collect the 30 silver coins that were paid…

Lord Edgeware Dies (Review)

Lots about Lord Edgeware Dies feels like a do-over for Peril at End House (reviewed here). While it’s not unusual for Christie to recycle ideas between books, the fact that these two are separated in publication by only a year and a half means the similarities must’ve been striking even to contemporary readers. Poirot and…

Hell is Other People

"Hell is other people" – the most famous thing Jean-Paul Sartre "never said." That’s in shock quotes because one of his characters says it, and that character just happens to be most probably a bit of self-satire on Sartre’s part. So, did Sartre really never say it? I think what’s fair to say is that…

Peril at End House (Review)

Peril at End House is the book Agatha Christie claims she can’t even remember writing. At least, that’s a rumor I’ve heard repeated a number of places. It rings a bit true: the machinery is a little more visible in this book than most. You’re rarely presented with a clue unaccompanied by instructions on how…

Star Wars no es Una

In the mid-1990s, one of those deep-dial networks – I wanna say it was USA? – used to play the Star Wars Trilogy (back then that’s all there was) one per night around holidays. I believe it was around Christmas, but it might’ve been Thanksgiving or even both. My roomates and I and other people…

Love Like Monkeys (Review)

To judge by some – OK one – of her essays, romance, and feeling alienated from it, is something of a theme with Jess Zimmerman. To judge by the story of hers I just read – Love Like Monkeys – it might even be her version of that thing that a lot of good artists…

Trespassing in an Alternate World

Sometimes the more interesting essays are the ones that you feel don’t get it quite right – the ones that have an intriguing premise but ultimately don’t pan out. That’s because these are the essays that help you step outside your worldview and think a bit in real time. An essay that’s dead wrong is…