Reviews (Thomas Pynchon, W.O. Mitchell, Jose Cardoso Pires, Kurt Vonnegut, Martin Walser), a curious essay on the history of the New Left…and a little mystery story.


Other People’s Books - Martin Walser

MARTIN WALSER: NO MAN’S LAND Martin Walser is one of the most important contemporary German intellectuals; in 1998 he was awarded the Peace Prize established by the German Bookseller’s Association, his acceptance speech sparking the famous “Walser-Bubis” debate. He’s written about forty books in German, perhaps a third having been ...

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Other People’s Books - W. O. Mitchell

W.O. MITCHELL: THE BLACK BONSPIEL OF WILLIE MACCRIMMON W.O. Mitchell (1914 – 1998) was a remarkable Canadian novelist and playwright. His novel, Who Has Seen the Wind? is a true classic and his Jake and the Kid stories, broadcast on CBC radio, formed part of the childhood of a generation ...

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Other People’s Books - Kurt Vonnegut

KURT VONNEGUT: BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE Kurt Vonnegut’s writing was never important to me; he began as a humorist, and with the exception of P.G. Wodehouse and Thurber, it’s not a genre that’s much appealed. But of course he later developed a cranky, imaginative style that led him to several fine novels, ...

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Other People’s Books - Thomas Pynchon

VINELAND: THOMAS PYNCHON To say anything briefly about Thomas Pynchon is silly. He was born in 1937, is still alive and, so far as I know, still writing. Few pictures of him exist; he prefers not to be involved with the media, or to live the life of a celebrity: ...

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Legacy of the New Left

Our Generation began life as Our Generation Against Nuclear War, and was the theoretical journal of the Canadian peace movement. The magazine was edited—nurtured, cajoled, muscled, and otherwise kept alive—by a remarkable radical, Dimitrios Roussopoulos. Dimitri asked me to speak at a meeting he organized at Canadian Socialist Studies Conference ...

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Other People's Books - Jose Cardoso Pires

JOSE CARDOSO PIRES: BALLAD OF DOG’S BEACH Jose Cardoso Pires (1925-1928) was one of the most important modern Portuguese writers; a Marxist, and long-time opponent of the Salazar dictatorship, he lived in exile in London, teaching at King’s College. As with the novel I’m reviewing here, he often used popular ...

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Other People’s Books - Book Reviews

I’m a professional writer. This means that no matter what I write, even a trivial note, I bring the level of the writing up to a certain minimum level. Is this a virtue or a character defect? I’m not sure. In any case, it means you ultimately become resentful of ...

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Something For Everyone

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE originally appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, April 1974. It was anthologized in Allen J Hubin’s series, Best Detective Stories of the Year—1975 and has been reprinted several times, including in the Peter Sellers anthology, Cold Blood: Murder in Canada (1987). As a story, it’s a little ...

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