Category: Biography

Mar 09 2019

The Bridge by David Remnick

Because I am all about timely reading, I have just finished The Bridge, whose subtitle is The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, and which was published in 2010. As Remnick explains in the acknowledgments, his “hope was to write a piece of biographical journalism that, through interviews with his contemporaries and certain historical actors, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/09/the-bridge-by-david-remnick/

Feb 10 2019

Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Don’t Panic, subtitled Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy began as a labor of friendship in 1987 when Nick Landau of Titan Books, which had Adams’ agreement to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy companion book, called up Neil Gaiman “and asked if I was interested. I wanted to write this …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/10/dont-panic-by-neil-gaiman/

Dec 17 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

May 12 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine — Halftime Report

One of the unexpected pleasures of The House of Government is Yuri Slezkine’s occasional playful way with words. Given the subject matter, and particularly given Slezkine’s argument that Bolshevism can best be understood as a millennarian sect that gained control of the state, a reader would be forgiven for thinking that his prose would range …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/12/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-halftime-report/

Feb 13 2018

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

When it was built, the House of Government — maybe better known in English as the House on the Embankment thanks to the book by Yuri Trefonov — was the largest residential building in Europe. With The House of Government, Yuri Slezkine gives the building, its people and its first era an equally enormous treatment. The main …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/13/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine/

Jun 22 2017

Celine: A Novel by Peter Heller

I always love an older female crime solver, and Celine is hopefully the first in a series featuring such a heroine, loosely based on the author’s mother, who was also a blue blood debutante turned private investigator, handling primarily cases of family reunion. Hired by a beautiful middle-aged woman to investigate the disappearance of her …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/22/celine-a-novel-by-peter-heller/

May 24 2017

Traveler of Worlds by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

The important information on this book’s cover is the subtitle, Conversations with Robert Silverberg. Traveler of Worlds is entirely a set of interviews with Silverberg, who recently passed 80 years of age. He’s one of the grand old men of science fiction; he has attended every Hugo award ceremony; he was incredibly prolific back in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/24/traveler-of-worlds-by-alvaro-zinos-amaro/

Jun 20 2016

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter is three hundred pages of wonderful, unadulterated squee. It’s a companion to the musical that I’ve been listening to nearly non-stop since last September, a documentation of the development of a show that’s clearly going into the canon of American theater and has already burst the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/06/20/hamilton-the-revolution-by-lin-manuel-miranda-and-jeremy-mccarter/

May 11 2016

Einstein — His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

“Did he have an interesting life?” asked a friend when I mentioned that I had started reading Einstein — His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson. Yes, he did, very interesting, and Isaacson is an able chronicler. More interesting than previously known, in fact; Isaacson used sources that were newly available at the time of writing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/05/11/einstein-his-life-and-universe-by-walter-isaacson/

Feb 08 2016

Aylin by Ayse Kulin

First of all, this book is presented as fiction but is really the life story of the remarkable Aylin De Vrimel (Radomisli-Cates, tho she’s never referred to as such,) written by a cousin who clearly hero-worshipped her. The prologue, presenting Aylin’s funeral after her mysterious death, is written in an embarrassingly maudlin way; fortunately, the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2016/02/08/aylin-by-ayse-kulin/