The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy. Grove Press. 338 pp. $16.00. The Ginger Man was one of the famous dirty books from my youth, published by Olympia Press and occupying the shelves alongside Tropic of Cancer, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and My Life and Loves. My freshman college roommate in 1966 showed up with everything trendy … Continue reading Grad Student from Hell
A Buddhist Reads the Bible (and Finds the Buddha): The Gospel of John One of the more interesting reactions to my piece on Jesus the Jew was from my brother Bill, a scholar of languages and the Bible who reads in both Greek and Hebrew. He said that the Synoptic Gospels were about the Galilean … Continue reading The Father and I Are One
Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Library of America. 638 pp. I’ve recently expressed my admiration for the Library of America and its beautiful editions, but I was disappointed by the Melville Chronology in this volume, which seemed positively paltry. Elmore Leonard gets 27 pages and Herman Melville gets five? My brother tells me there’s a … Continue reading The Whiteness of the Whale
Victoria and Abdul a film by Stephen Frears. With Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Tim Pigott-Smith, Eddie Izzard. *** I found this movie captivating. The story of an unlikely friendship between an aging Queen Victoria (Judy Dench) and an Indian servant named Abdul (Ali Fayal), it shows the lonely old woman—who has let herself go to … Continue reading They Couldn’t Just Run Off in Her Prius?
Jesus the Jew: A Historian’s Reading of the Gospels by Geza Vermes. Fortress Press. 286 pp. ***1/2 “Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me.” –Leopold Bloom to a group of hecklers, in Ulysses. This book is another suggestion from my friend Laurie, the mysterious woman from New Zealand who wrote a … Continue reading Hasid from Galilee
Battle of the Sexes a film by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. With Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Elizabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman. ****1/2 The only tennis game I ever watched in its entirety was the Battle of the Sexes match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King in 1973. In those days when all … Continue reading Bewildered Old Man Stumbles (Not Even All That Old)