Monthly Archives: June 2017

Serve Lots of Wine

Beatriz at Dinner a film by Miguel Arteta.  With Salma Hayak, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Chloe Sevigny.  ***1/2 “Why have an ending that negates everything that happened in the whole movie?” my wife said to me as we left Beatriz at Dinner?  I’d been troubled by the ending, though I wouldn’t have put so strongly.  … Continue reading Serve Lots of Wine

He Cared Too Much

Stories by John O’Hara.  The Library of America.  860 pp.  $40.00 John O’Hara was an Irish Catholic and doctor’s son from Eastern Pennsylvania who believed—apparently for much of his life—that he would have been a happy man if he had just gone to Yale.  That didn’t keep him from getting booted from three prep schools, … Continue reading He Cared Too Much


The Happiness that Takes Some Time to Ripen We had sat down for the reception at my niece’s wedding—tables of eight arranged all around the room—when I realized how my brother had seated us.  It was the three living siblings from my generation—Bill, Rusty, and me, with our wives—along with our sister’s oldest child Tade … Continue reading Overwhelmed

The Wonder of Women

Wonder Woman a film by Patty Jenkins.  With Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright ***1/2 Arrival a film by Denis Villeneuve.  With Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker ***** A Quiet Passion a film by Terence Davies.  With Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff ***   I’m as happy as everyone else that we finally … Continue reading The Wonder of Women

Academic Hack

Straight Man by Richard Russo.  Vintage Contemporaries.  391 pp. $14.00. **** I read this book because of Jennifer Senior’s review of Richard Russo’s latest book, in which she called Straight Man a better academic novel than David Lodge’s Campus Trilogy.  I was so impressed by that remark, and the general tenor of Senior’s review, that … Continue reading Academic Hack