Monthly Archives: March 2016

Old Warbler Hitting Some False Notes

The Ancient Minstrel by Jim Harrison.  Grove Press.  255 pp.  $25.00 I’d like to say I’m Jim Harrison’s greatest fan, though there’s a lot of competition for that spot.  I began reading him back in the eighties when my fellow clerks at the local bookstore raved about him.  I started with Sundog and went through … Continue reading Old Warbler Hitting Some False Notes

I Used to Think I Wanted to Be Promiscuous

A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch.  Penguin.  205 pp.  $15.00 Everything about my reading of Iris Murdoch has changed since I read Dwight Garner’s review of her new volume of letters and A.N. Wilson’s marvelous memoir.  Wilson was right in his introduction; I had perhaps unconsciously reduced her in my mind to the dotty old … Continue reading I Used to Think I Wanted to Be Promiscuous

She Wasn’t Just a Dotty Old Lady II

The Lady in the Van.  A film by Nicholas Hytner.  With Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Alex Jennings. I’m as much a fan of oldster movies as anyone—they’re about me, after all—and, like everyone else in the world, I love Maggie Smith.  I especially like her as the outraged Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, though the … Continue reading She Wasn’t Just a Dotty Old Lady II

She Wasn’t Just a Dotty Old Lady

Iris Murdoch As I Knew Her by A.N. Wilson.  Arrow Books.  276 pp. Those Brits do keep writing, don’t they?  I look at the titles by A. N. Wilson, who is my rough contemporary (two years younger than I, actually) and I’m astonished, and somewhat ashamed, to see thirty books.  (Compared to six for me.  … Continue reading She Wasn’t Just a Dotty Old Lady