Jonathan Lethem seems the ultimate New Yorker: Born and
raised in Brooklyn, the 45-year-old writer first earned literary cachet with
his 1999 crime fiction novel, Motherless
Brooklyn. His 2003 The Fortress of
Solitude is a semi-autobiographic work, also set in Brooklyn. Now, Lethem's
touring to promote his newest New York novel, Chronic City, in which narrator Chase
Insteadman (a former child actor) befriends an eccentric, marijuana-pumped culture writer named
Photo by Boston Book Festival via Flickr
It was hard not to feel cheerleaderish during Saturday's inaugural BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL, which crammed 90 authors into 40 or so hour-long programs in and around Copley Square, and drew lines-around-the-block crowds for . . . well, people talking about and reading from books.
Malcolm McDowell at Rock & Shock 2009Starting tomorrow,
metal worshipers will be descending on the House of Blues for two
nights of "mind-throttling chasm-fording riff salad" (as Daniel Brockman so elegantly put it in last week's show preview) with High on Fire, Mastodon, and hometown-pride-instilling acts Converge, legendary hardcore heavies from Salem, MA, and Dethklok (the essentially fictional but wholly brutal cartoon band fronted by Berklee/Comedy Studio alum and Metalocalypse creator Brendon Small).
If you ever happen to find yourself in England and you run into a
neurotic middle-aged Londoner, a kid who asks strings of naive
questions, and a music nerd who defines himself by his favorite band,
then you’ve probably stumbled into a Nick Hornby novel.Anyone who’s cracked the spine of High Fidelity or About a Boy won’t be surprised that Hornby’s new book Juliet, Naked
contains his signature set of lovable, music-obsessed neurotics, as
well as liberal dollops of his wry humor.
James Ellroy, the self-described demon dog of American crime fiction, has been pulling the same literary-Crazy-Eddie schtick for years -- he was doing it, for instance, way before Jim Cramer borrowed the act for Mad Money. The schtick is at once a useful mask and, at base, exactly what it appears to be: a meticulously cultivated, nakedly needy, vastly narcissistic self-promotional vehicle whose sole purpose is the further economic enrichment of James Ellroy.
If you track 26 year-old writer Tao Lin’s
literary trajectory via his Internet presence and self-promotional
stunts, it’s easy to get the sense that he’s on the brink of something
really big. The Brooklyn-based author’s follower-to-followees ratio on
Twitter is steadily climbing, his MySpace account was recently
purchased for a ludicrous sum of $8,100 by an investment banker, and
the buzz surrounding his latest work, a novella called Shoplifting From American Apparel, appears to trump that of his prior writings (two poetry collections, a book of short stories and a novel called Eeeee Eee Eee) in both sheer volume and praise.
Whenever Chuck Palahniuk comes to town, you know you're in for something weird. After all, the man is a card-carrying member of the Cacophony Society (the jolly culture jammers who gave us the Santa Rampage) and claims to have caused some 40 public faintings with his gruesome reading of "Guts," the grim saga of a boy who turns his own colon inside out with a pool filter.
Last week, two young women were arguing about the color of zombies in a waiting room at Mass General. When a doctor appeared, they asked her for an opinion on whether zombies should, by rights, be green or gray. The doctor thought for a second and said, "I don't know, but I'll ask my friend Dr. Schlozman -- he's been driving us nuts all week trying to get us to watch zombie movies."
Former Phoenix contributor Kelefa Sanneh's profile of the legendary KATT WILLIAMS is behind the New Yorker's subscribers-only firewall -- an indication that it's likely as good as you think it's gonna be, or better -- but the multimedia teasers are live and free. The video (above) is a NSFW highlight reel of Katt in his element.
Comediennes Giulia Rozzi and Margot Leitman host "Stripped Stories," a night of sexual storytelling that regales titillated audiences with tales of wet/hot/sweet/sweaty/awkward lovin'. The show hit Mottley's Comedy Club last month, featuring Rozzi, Leitman, Jess Sutich, and Mindy Raf.
World renowned journalist and staff writer for the New Yorker Adam Gopnik spoke yesterday on his new book Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life at the Brookline Booksmith.Full mp3 audio of his reading after the jump . . .
Last night eight brave souls (myself included) bared their teenage angst as part of the (now monthly) Boston chapter of Mortified, the "comic excavation of the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids." The Phoenix was there - at Mottley's Comedy Club - to catch Mortified in all its excruciatingly awkward glory.
This would have been Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, if he had not gotten himself shot and if humans had, in the intervening years, discovered how to keep from dying so much. Regardless, the bicentennial seems to be worth celebrating -- that is, if having another young Illinois ex-congressman in the White House were not celebration enough.