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Books

Volume I, Issue 22
November 3 - November 10, 1997

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Anne with the Plan
The Queen of the Damned Keeps New Orleans at the Center of Her Expanding Horizons. [2]
Maura York

Apocalyptic
Ira Levin's "Son of Rosemary" is a one-trick novel, but it's a good trick. [3]
Ted Drozdowski

J.M. Coetzee
South African novelist J.M. Coetzee keeps his distance in a stark, elliptical memoir. [4]
David Kurnick

Man Possessed
Get spooked by "Alienist" author Caleb Carr, in his new book "The Angel of Darkness." [5]
Sam Jemielity

You Bet Your Life
To hell and back, via Paradise, in Frederick Barthelme's new novel. [6]
Leonard Gill

Romancing the Past
History comes alive with cowboys and indians. [7]
Blake de Pastino

Lost In Wonderland
O.B. Hardison, Jr., waxes estatic about the budding information age. [8]
Gregory McNamee

Que viva Mexico?
Photos by Helen Levitt and performance art by Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Roberto Sifuentes confront Mexican culture. [9]
Fred Turner

Abandon Hip
Writings from "The Baffler" explore how the culture biz wants to colonize your imagination. [10]
Tom Scocca

Once Upon a Tune
A new book delves into Music City's surprisingly rich big-band history; Michael Sims reviews a new bio of Louis Armstrong. [11]
Marc Stengel and Michael Sims

Flippin' A U-Turn
How do you cram a lifetime of hell into 24 short hours? Check out Stray Dogs by John Ridley. [12]
Tom Danehy

Off Camera
A glossy new book called "Winona" harvests the profiles written in Us and Rolling Stone magazines about the young Ms. Ryder. [13]
Ray Pride


A










re these writers possessed by evil forces, or are they just having a really good time? I couldn't say, but Anne Rice and Ira Levin sure have done well for themselves by exploring the dark side. Anne Rice, who speaks here about all of her latest pet projects, has turned the "Interview With the Vampire" series into a veritable cottage industry; while Ira Levin, best known for "Rosemary's Baby", may hit paydirt if his new sequel "Son of Rosemary" gets picked up for the big screen. What I want to know is, could Lucifer be behind their luck? Have they been "nursing at the teat of Beelzebub?"

I'm also convinced John Ridley is the spawn of Satan. What else would explain the author's ability to cram a lifetime into 24 hours, then have the story turned into a film by Oliver Stone? That's downright demonic. Then there's Frederick Barthelme's "Bob the Gambler," which takes its protagonists to financial and moral hell as they lose everything at a casino called Paradise. If the Angel of Death isn't involved in that one somehow, I don't know who is. And don't even get me started on Caleb Carr's new book "Angel of Darkness."

Satan not only possesses these writers, he inhabits our whole advertising, marketing, and consumerism-based culture. Or at least that's what these essays from "The Baffler" claim. They confirm what I'd always feared: that rebellion has been commodified, so even the good, pure souls eventually get tainted by the poison of Old Hornie. We're all swimming in Satanic waters whether we like it or not: even here on the Internet, says O.B. Hardison, Jr. in "Disappearing Through the Skylight," technology erases our individuality until we're all one faceless, flagitious mass. Okay, maybe I'm drawing my own conclusion, but the fact remains that there's no stopping the Dark Master! If only Rosemary hadn't had that baby!


Media Mix
Lots of stuff... [14]

Speed Reader
"There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" by Jim Hightower; "Violin" by Anne Rice; "Mad About the 50s" "SPIN Underground USA" by Duncan Bock. [15]
Stephen Ausherman, Jessica English, Devin O'Leary, Benny Villalobos


Now What?
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. [16]


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