Going Buddhist: Panic and Emptiness, the Buddha and Me by Peter J Conradi. Short Books. 183 pp. I had high hopes for this book, which I found when I was farting around on the Internet after reading a review of Iris Murdoch’s letters. The author was a friend of Murdoch’s and became her official biographer. … Continue reading Get Me Outta Here: Panic as a Spiritual Practice
45 Years A Film by Andrew Haigh In the same weekend, a friend e-mailed to tell me that 45 Years was a great film—he had just seen it with his wife to celebrate his 63rd birthday—and I heard another friend say, to someone who asked, “Don’t bother. The whole damn thing is too depressing.” I … Continue reading The Bitter Face of a Marriage
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Picador. 566pp. $17.00 The Corrections is the ultimate dissection of a dysfunctional family. It’s 566 pages and basically concerns only five people, who are locked in an epic family battle that seems never to end. Chip is the brilliant brother who had a substantial and flourishing career as a professor … Continue reading For the Holidays You Can’t Beat Home Sweet Home. Dad’s Demented. Mom’s Nuts.
Hail, Caesar! a film by the Coen brothers. For me the most surprising moment in Hail, Caesar was when the credits started to roll. I couldn’t believe an hour and forty-five minutes had passed. It seemed like about an hour. I also couldn’t believe that was all there was to the movie. They should have … Continue reading I’m Eeenocent!
The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante. The Fourth and Final Neapolitan Novel. Europa Editions. 473 pp. $18.00. “I’d have to say it was my least favorite of the four.” I was startled when a friend of mine spoke those words, when I told her I was in the middle of the fourth … Continue reading Life Is Grand IV (Then You Have a Lonely Old Age and Die. If You’re Lucky)