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September 6, 2008


The Washington Post reviews Neal Stephenson's new novel, Anathem.

Oh, Anathem will certainly be admired for its intelligence, ambition, control and ingenuity. But loved? Enjoyed? The book reminds me of Harold Brodkey's The Runaway Soul from 17 years ago -- much anticipated, in places quite brilliant, but ultimately grandiose, overwrought and pretty damn dull.

The New York Times reviews Suze Rotolo's book, A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.

Dating a voice-of-a-generation rock star probably sounds like fun, but ex-girlfriend memoirs are generally filled with put-downs. Rock stars cheat, they fabricate, they flex their egos and they steal your grooming products. Or worse: for Suze Rotolo, dating a young Bob Dylan even contributed to a “crackup” she describes in “A Free­wheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.”

The Montreal Gazette reviews Haruki Murakami's latest book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley talks to Billboard about her second solo album, Acid Tongue (out September 23rd).

The Nation reviews Salman Rushdie's latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence.

Billboard examines the growing trend of pop music concerts after professional baseball games.

Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog interviews Brad Meltzer about his novel, The Book of Lies.

To some people, the idea of blending a Biblical story with a comic book one might seem kinda apples and oranges--

But Superman is just as much a mythology story as Cain and Abel. It's just two mythologies and me playing with the overlaps between them. Because like it or not, that's all comics is, it's our modern day American mythology. You can't discuss Superman without discussing America....[But] in truth, the book is about my own father-son story. That's all I'm writing about here. Cain and Abel and the Bible and comic books, are all curtains in the room, but it's not the heart of the room; it just dresses it up nice.

The Charleston City Paper reviews Chuck Klosterman's debut novel, Downtown Owl.

Pitchfork offers an mp3, "Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle," from John Darnielle & Kaki King's Black Pear Tree EP collaboration.

io9 lists the best future dystopias where the liberals have won.

The A.V. Club interviews author Paul Auster.

The A.V. Club: The story of A Man In The Dark begins literally with a man in the dark, telling himself a story to cope with his insomnia. How did this story come to you? Do different stories come to you in different ways?

Paul Auster: It's always a mystery to me, I have to confess. I've never been able to witness the birth of an idea. It seems as if one second, there's nothing particularly going on, and the next second, something is there. It's coming up out of my unconscious, up from places that I don't even know where they are. If it's compelling, if it throws me against the wall, then I get interested in it and start exploring it. If it seems to keep holding up, I go deeply into it and try to write it.

At DVD Talk, Jamie Rich reviews The Big Lebowski: 10th Anniversary Edition (out next Tuesday).

Movies like The Big Lebowski are one-time deals. There are no films that precede them that anticipate their arrival, and none after that can touch on their unique greatness. In creating the Dude, the Coens Brothers have given film fans a lasting character whose world is our own, just refracted through the residue at the bottom of tumbler full of Kahlua and milk. This new 10th Anniversary Edition brings together the previously released DVD features with some new ones to finally give the film's fans a more comprehensive package. Well worth an upgrade.

WNYC's Soundcheck features an interview and in-studio performance by Gabriel Kahane.

NPR offers excerpts and reviews Dash Shaw's excellent graphic novel Bottomless Belly Button.

Thao Nguyen plays a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

T-shirt of the day: "I'm the grammar snob about whom your mother warned you."

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases


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