All We Need of Hell by Harry Crews

If you like books about eccentric characters, you could do worse than All We Need of Hell (1987, Harper & Row) by Harry Crews.  I am not giving it a ringing endorsement but it was a fun read, containing characters that feel human, full of faults and frailties. The book is a telling of a […]

Steps by Jerzy Kosinski

After seeing it referenced so many times, I have long had Jerzy Kosinski’s Steps (1968, Random House) on my reading list.  It was not boring, and that to me is praise that, while maybe not effusively positive, is essential.  A book needs to at least keep the reader wanting more and wondering where things may […]

Rebirth of the Cool

The phonograph was invented in 1877, the year after the telephone and the year before the advent of electric light.  It is said that Thomas Edison may have been as fond of the phonograph as any of his many inventions.  His fondness for this method of delivering recorded sound was largely shared by the American […]

Tennessee Writer William Gay

I’ve just finished my first William Gay book, the posthumously published Little Sister Death (DZANC BOOKS).  The haunted tale is a fictional play on the Bell Witch, the enduring Tennessee ghost story of a malefic and mischievous spirit’s terrorizing of the John Bell family in the early 1800s. Gay’s take on the persevering poltergeist involves […]