The Hollars, a film by John Krasinski and James Strouse. With Margo Martindale, Sharlto Copley, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick. * The phrase I use for my title is one my son often repeated when he was four and five years old. We had just moved to a working class Durham neighborhood that abutted a textile … Continue reading That Ain’t Funny
Sully, a film by Clint Eastwood. With Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney. I’ve always thought of Clint Eastwood as the King of the Grade B movie. One sure sign of Grade B is prolonged footage of a car driving somewhere, and there was ample such footage in Play Misty for Me, the first movie … Continue reading Glug Glug
The Sympathizer a novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Grove Press. 385 pp. $16.00 This novel won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and is a remarkable work of art—I’m stunned at the way this younger novelist projects himself back into this tumultuous time—but I’m more interested in it as a human document than as … Continue reading Who Are Your People?
Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice. By Kosho Uchiyama, Translated and Edited by Tom Wright, Jisho Warner, and Shohaku Okumura. Wisdom Publications. 205 pp. $16.95. Factoids that I’ve picked up about Kosho Uchiyama through years of being obsessed with him: He was an expert at origami, as his father had been, … Continue reading Greatest Zen Book Ever
Wo Es War, Soll Ich Werden, the Restored Original Text by Guy Davenport. The Finial Press in Champaign, Illinois. $525.00 Once before on this website I reviewed a book that I was sure none of my readers would ever see, an obscure Buddhist text that had been out of print forever and that I was … Continue reading Where the Boys Are
Hell or High Water, a film by David MacKenzie, written by Taylor Sheridan. With Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham, Chris Pine, Ben Foster. ***** Sometimes people take a genre movie, which has elements that many movies have, and take it to a whole new level. Sometimes that movie is overlooked for that very reason. Hell or … Continue reading Banks Robbing Men
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Doubleday. 306 pp. $26.95 This is one of the most wrenching and difficult books I’ve ever read. It’s a work of art, and its sheer artistry gives pleasure. At the same time, I didn’t look forward to reading it every night. People will say the subject is slavery, or … Continue reading Train to Nowhere