Saturday, February 10, 2018

WSJ Review --- February 10-11

It has been said here before that the Wall Street Journal Review section on weekends is surprisingly well balanced and interesting.  They may not have the most distinguished writers or reviewers but the books and topics reviewed are well chosen. This week's issue is packed with reading entertainment, and the following are just a few highlights.

A review of "The Rub of Time", an anthology of Martin Amis essays from the 1990's and beyond(being read in pieces here now), is titled "Famous Amis".  That's worth the price of admission.  While there is not total agreement here with all of the self centered reviewer's commentary, that's fine. The effort is made and the book will attract knowing readers if not newbies.
On the same page is Sam Sacks' "Fiction Chronicle".  On the smart, cute, ugly, stupid spectrum, at times Sacks come in as cute and stupid, but at least his reviews are short and give a hint as to whether the books could be of interest.

There's a review titled "Existentialists and Expatriates" that comments on "Left Bank", a book about the famous writers, artists, and expats around the Blvd. St.Germain area in the 1930's to 1950's.  The book, writer, and reviewer are not familiar, but it does seem like something of interest.  The photo of Simone de Beauvoir at Deux-Magots works.  There's an article about a famous Matthew Brady photo of Abraham Lincoln and his son reading a book.  That was new here.  Lincoln was concerned that the book as prop might be mistaken for a Bible and the pose regarded as "a species of false pretense".  Times have changed since Honest Abe.

That's a sample.


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