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Showing posts from February, 2020

New Yorker Fiction Review #236: "With the Beatles" by Haruki Murakami

Review of a short story from the Feb. 17 & 24 issue of The New Yorker...

Sometimes I look back and marvel at the fact I was able to read and review every short story in The New Yorker for about five years. Sometimes it was a real chore, but I managed to do it. Then, somewhere in 2018 (or maybe 2017? A man loses track...), I missed a bunch of issues and gave myself "permission" to skip them and just start back up again with the current issue. Well, once you open the floodgates, things are never the same again. I will never have time to go back and read/review all the stories that I've missed, nor will I -- probably ever again -- make this project such a priority that I'll be caught up for anything more than a few weeks at a time.

What I do now is just grab my stack of New Yorkers and start flipping to the Table of Contents of each issue. When I see a story by an author I know -- or that looks remotely interesting -- I set it aside and (at least try to) review it a…

Book Review: "Wonder Boys" by Michael Chabon (1995)

Finally got around to reading Michael Chabon's second novel Wonder Boys. Much as I love Michael Chabon's writing, his ties to Pittsburgh, and my own personal connection to this book, I found it a bit of a slog. That said, Chabon, of course, has some priceless moments and turns of phrase that -- in the end -- made the book worth getting under my belt.

Brief Personal Note: They filmed the movie version of Wonder Boys (2000) on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University during the brief time I went to school there. In fact, I distinctly remember standing near the set for the "dog in the trunk" scene outside Margaret Morrison Hall, on a cold winter night, with two friends and a bottle of Bacardi limon, trying to catch a glimpse of Michael Douglas or Robert Downey Jr. or really anyone. We waited for like three hours for filming to begin before realizing what anyone in the film industry already knows: anything related to filming a big-budget movie takes a long, long, long ti…