by Sam Krowchenko

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris

Ferris approaches his protagonist like a kid in a guitar shop who only knows three chords: self-pity, self-loathing, and self-righteousness.

Both Flesh and Not – David Foster Wallace

Suddenly anything the author wrote, even lists of words he wanted to use but never got around to using, are fair game so long as the publisher makes a buck.

The Way the World Works – Nicholson Baker

Baker considers everything worth looking at, and The Way the World Works reminds us that these thoughts, from investigative to whimsical, are worth preserving.

Windeye – Brian Evenson

It achieves in a sentence what entire horror films and novels and stories strive to do.

The Sugar Frosted Nutsack – Mark Leyner

When attempts to completely reconfigure our idea of the novel don’t wind up working, one starts feeling all the more pained by the absence of the fundamentals of fiction.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank – Nathan Englander

The greater profundities emerge before Englander tries so hard to reach them.

Moore Adrift

Alan Moore was simply dead wrong when he stated that prequels and sequels diminish a work’s literary quality.

The Angel Esmeralda – Don DeLillo

It is that journey from not knowing what other people want to not knowing what oneself wants, a journey into greater depths of uncertainty, that brings all of DeLillo’s talents and perceptions into fruition.

On Endless Malleability

The “sense” of books as “finished and complete” or “self-contained” is precisely that — a sense and nothing more.

A Flurry of Rituals

Fans in hysterics over the death of Michael Jackson or Kim Jong-il may conjure the closest primal echo of early mourning, but within the columns of newspapers and magazines, mourning most consistently resurrects former public rituals.