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Body Copy: A Novel
Body Copy: A Novel
by Michael Craven
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.87
64 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The rare combination of style and substance..., April 25, 2010
This review is from: Body Copy: A Novel (Paperback)
This rarely happens, but I immediately went back for a reread. The reason? Protagonist Donald Tremaine. He's smart, but not stuffy. Confident, but never pompous. He takes you all over LA like you wish a good host would. Body Copy has a compelling story line, engaging characters, and vivid scenes that link up masterfully. The overall style of the book is that nuanced kind of cool that most writers (and people in real life) wish they could so effortlessly achieve. Craven's writing is tight and poetic in its aptly clipped way. I anxiously await his next book.

The Average American Male: A Novel
The Average American Male: A Novel
by Chad Kultgen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.59
191 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars clearly a thinly veiled autobiography..., November 12, 2008
I happened upon this book at my sister's apartment. She told me that I would be sickened by it, and well, I tried so hard not to be. It definitely reminds me of some guys I know; especially ones I dated before I knew better. I didn't finish the book because, well, there was nothing really artistic about it. I feel bad for the author because of what his mother must think of him now...he will never go down in history as one of the greats. Henry Miller he is not.

All the Sad Young Literary Men
All the Sad Young Literary Men
by Keith Gessen
Edition: Hardcover
120 used & new from $0.01

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enough rehashing of the plot line..., May 14, 2008
What you want to know is whether or not the book is good enough to spend your hard earned wages on. It is. I toyed with the idea of not buying it and just reading it at Border's, but once I got 75 pages into it, I decided it wouldn't be a waste of money. It is not overly high brow like I thought it might be (I harbor a little resentment toward Ivy Leaguers), and even the parts that are crying out for a back slap from Mr. Intellectual don't detract from the book's entertaining qualities. I laughed out loud about three times. And that rarely happens when I read. I enjoyed the interplay of nuances and gross oversimplifications as they related to the characters' personal relationships, but grew a little bored with the obscure historical Russian references that were thrown in here and there. Also, I agree with Gessen on his take of being single in New York and under thirty: it is all about getting drunk and having sex. Whether or not you choose to over intellectualize it.

Justine (Alexandria Quartet)
Justine (Alexandria Quartet)
by Lawrence Durrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.16
206 used & new from $0.01

118 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the DaVinci Code, this is NOT for you..., October 24, 2004
I have never read a book as well penned as Justine. It is the type of book that could send an aspiring writer into a bout of deep depression as they are confronted with a tapestry of words ostensibly woven out of gold. My only consolation is that L.D. wrote this in a time where there was no Cable TV, Internet, MSN messenger, cell phones, etc. I read the other reviews and was apalled when I read how other "book fanatics" found this book to be complete rubbish. My advice to them is learn how to really communicate with a requires a lot more concentration, intention, and commitment than watching Sex in the City.

It is not an easy read. It is not full of banal dialogue or easily digestible platitudes. It is composed of mellifluous and thoughtful utterances, indelible landscapes, and psychological/metaphysical nuances (yes, nuances!). This is a book that all writers need to read. It offers you a porthole into the headspace of a fellow artist, tormented, self deprecating, yet proud at the same time.

Arabs, Jews, Copts, and Kabbalists collide, coexist, and sometimes even influence eachother in the Alexandria Quartet. Watching the way these religions served as cultural molds instead of moral guidelines served as a barometer for the times juxtaposing the religious extremism that has made such a comeback in the Middle East today. Egypt has been written about since the beginning of time, and the Middle East is the origin of civilization as we know it. Alexandria is the backdrop for a pre/post WWII drama and is rife with adultery, prostitution, STDs, alcoholism, foreign affairs, and most importantly to me; the loyalty that unifies family and friends.

This book tops my Great Books List...a list that includes Tolstoy, Joyce, Proust, etc... If you are willing to put in the time and effort required for this masterpiece of English literature, you will be handsomely rewarded.
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