I didn’t write the book because the thought of it made me feel vaguely ill at all times. Even when I wasn’t thinking about it directly I was thinking about it. None of the thoughts were good.
I didn’t write the book because it was a book about betrayal that could only be facilitated by my betrayal of other people, many of whom had already been betrayed. This wouldn’t have been a clever metatextual commentary on the nature of betrayal; it would have just been really quite mean of me, and sad.
I didn’t write the book because I thought that in the end it would not [...]
In 1969, a psychologist named G. Harry McLaughlin published the results of a number of experiments he’d made on speed readers in the Journal of Reading. His fastest subject was Miss L., "a university graduate with an IQ of 140" who had taken a speed reading course and claimed to have achieved speeds of sixteen thousand words per minute "with complete comprehension." He hooked her up to the electro-oculograph, a device that measures eye movements, and let her rip.
Miss L. read Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust at 10,000 words per minute [...] When she was half way through I asked her for a recall [...] Miss L. recalled [...]
It has been more than a full moon cycle since one was able to purchase books published by Hachette in a reasonable manner from Amazon, which—despite selling books largely as an accident of history, and now essentially vestigially—has a forty percent share of new book sales in the U.S. But this hostage situation will apparently see only one resolution: the complete and utter capitulation of Hachette to whatever Amazon is demanding. Russ Grandinetti, a Kindle executive, told the Wall Street Journal that Amazon "was willing to suffer some damage to its reputation and was simply doing what is 'in the long-term interest of our customers.'" Books were [...]
I barged into the men’s, and felt stares burning hard like reading or noon, felt them looking me up and over, felt them looking me over and down, and all the while just holding their pens, they do it different oh no they don’t, they do it standing up
It’s a bit uncanny how these lines in “The Feeling of Needing a Pen” a poem in Patricia Lockwood’s new book, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, echo recent criticisms by a handful of discomfited reviewers. “They make me feel like the guy who ruins all the fun,” wrote Jonathan Farmer in Slate, in his review. Adam Plunkett, writing for the [...]
"My copy came with CONFIDENTIAL stamped on every page and a nondisclosure agreement that expires today." Thus arrived the new book by Glenn Greenwald, the most unrelenting man on the planet, on the doorsteps of reviewers.
The book, No Place to Hide, does a few things: It recounts how Greenwald and Laura Poitras met Edward Snowden in Hong Kong to begin the process of exposing the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs; it provides mix of familiar and fresh details—to the public, anyway, having been squirreled away by Greenwald for nearly a year—about those programs; and it excoriates "the establishment media" for their complicity with [...]
The End of the Tour is a movie currently in production based on David Lipsky's 2010 book, Although of Course you End Up Becoming Yourself: a Road Trip with David Foster Wallace. In 1996, shortly after Wallace’s sudden burst into literary superstardom with the publication of Infinite Jest, Rolling Stone had sent Lipsky to conduct an interview with with him. The magazine spiked the interview, and years later, after Wallace's suicide, Lipsky incorporated the material into his book—to my mind, the best about David Foster Wallace that anyone has yet written.
There is every reason to anticipate that the movie will be great: It stars Jason Segel [...]
A couple of weeks ago, Adam Begley was in town to publicize his biography of John Updike, which is, as Louis Menand put it, “an extended essay in biographical criticism, an insight into the man through the work and the work through the man.”
I’d intended to talk to Begley, who I’ve known for years, about a scene towards the book’s end. Updike is dying at home, surrounded by his wife, Martha, and ex-wife, Mary. It’s a vividly rendered paragraph and I wondered: Had Begley been present?
He was still at home when Mary telephoned Martha and said she’d like to come see her ex-husband. Martha suggested that [...]