Tag: Doug

Feb 06 2006

Premature Evaluation: On the Brink: The Trouble with France

What to do when you haven’t finished a book but find yourself with something to say about it? Convention dictates that one should finish a book before reviewing it (although I have my doubts about any number of published reviews), but on the other hand, the market for reviews of revised editions of books on …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2006/02/06/premature-evaluation-on-the-brink-the-trouble-with-france/

Dec 18 2005

Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single quotation on the cover of a book is not a reliable guide to its contents. Nevertheless, when the quotation clearly comes from a review, and the review comes from a reasonably reputable newspaper, for such I imagine the Independent to be, some credence could be allowed.… …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/12/18/terence-this-is-stupid-stuff-2/

Dec 18 2005

Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single quotation on the cover of a book is not a reliable guide to its contents. Nevertheless, when the quotation clearly comes from a review, and the review comes from a reasonably reputable newspaper, for such I imagine the Independent to be, some credence could be allowed. …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/12/18/terence-this-is-stupid-stuff/

Nov 24 2005

The System of the World

Sorry, this is not a post proclaiming a political theory of everything. It’s a note saying “‘Tis done!” I picked up Neal Stephenson’s The System of the World sooner than I thought and finished it up right quick. Previous posts on the Baroque Cycle are here, here, here and here. The argument of the trilogy …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/11/24/the-system-of-the-world/

Nov 11 2005

In the Blink of a T-Shirt

Malcolm Gladwell tells great stories. In Blink, his latest book, he relates how the Getty Museum nearly bought an amazing forgery, why Warren Harding became US president, how to tell if a married couple will divorce and why coronary care can improve if doctors have less information. The thesis is that humans have sophisticated systems …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/11/11/in-the-blink-of-a-t-shirt/

Oct 12 2005

The Con-fusion

I’m probably the last blogger still reading Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, and chances are good that I won’t take on the third part, The System of the World, immediately after finishing the second, The Confusion. Not because the books aren’t good, just that it is a lot to read consecutively. The good news is that …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/10/12/the-con-fusion/

Jul 20 2005

Stasiland

Don’t pick of a copy of Stasiland, by Anna Funder, if you have work to do. I did the first time, and I nearly missed a deadline. I did it again this morning, intending to write a review, and my productivity dropped like a rock again. Consider yourselves warned. It’s not exactly the kind of …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/07/20/stasiland/

Jul 18 2005

Two on Turkey

With Turkish accession one of the most important issues facing the European Union, people interested in the question could do much worse than read these two recent, and reasonably short, books that focus on the country: Crescent and Star, by Stephen Kinzer, and The Turks Today, by Andrew Mango. Both illustrate and explain contemporary Turkey, …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/07/18/two-on-turkey/

Jun 24 2005

Joseph Vissarionovich and the People Who Loved Him

Because some of them undoubtedly did, even people who knew him quite well. In his heyday, millions professed their love, sang his praises. Even those he had condemned in show trials, or in no trials, wrote to him of their devotion, wrote of their faithfulness, wrote of their belief. Perhaps they meant it, perhaps it …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/06/24/joseph-vissarionovich-and-the-people-who-loved-him/

Apr 22 2005

Catching up with Greatness

Not mine, of course, the 50 novels from the Sueddeutsche Zeitung‘s list. Since several of my recent book reviews have been negative or lukewarm, I’ll say here above the fold that the latest batch has indeed brought me in touch with literary greatness. In the order I have read them, not of publication or anything …

Continue reading »

Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2005/04/22/catching-up-with-greatness/