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Ty Burr's Gods Like Us


Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr's provocative new book Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame (Pantheon) traces the evolution of screen idols from Florence Lawrence (the Biograph Girl of 1909 — remember?) to Snooki. But he himself had a rough introduction to the celebrity world.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 09, 2012
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Twenty-nine-year-old Buddhist teacher Lodro Rinzler is the cool kid's Buddhist.

The sound of one hand clapping
In his new book, Rinzler spells out mindful compassion for the millennial set, making room for one-night stands and cocktails on the weekend.
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  February 08, 2012
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Erin Byers Murray digs for Duxbury bivalves

Shucking, but not jiving
The first time I ate an oyster it was swamped with a tangy mignonette to avoid any hint of unpleasant squishy sea-creatureness.
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  November 22, 2011
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Donald Ray Pollock's over-the-top gothic

Biblical fury
Donald Ray Pollock's first novel is called The Devil All the Time , and that's exactly what's wrong with it.
By CHARLES TAYLOR  |  July 06, 2011
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Daniel Orozco gets to work

On the jobs
"Temporary Stories," the eighth entry in Daniel Orozco's debut collection, Orientation (Faber and Faber), is a gem and a killer.  
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  August 08, 2011
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Chris Adrian's tragic enchantments

Magic night
Chris Adrian's novels puff you full of delight, then rip your heart out. Adrian's a sadist, maybe. Or maybe he's got the biggest heart of any living writer, so big that it can hold the sweetest thoughts alongside shame and also death — real death, in all its devastation and splendor.
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  May 10, 2011
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Jonathan Hayes knows whereof he whiffs

Murder most foul
Forensic scientists, bit players in crime fiction since the era of Sherlock Holmes, became bestseller material in the 1990s with Patricia Cornwell's cut-and-slice procedurals featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.  
By JUSTINE ELIAS  |  April 19, 2011
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David Foster Wallace's The Pale King

Final words
All I can do is tell you how I read the book.
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  April 13, 2011
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Mankell says goodbye to his hero — and his readers

No fun
Henning Mankell has no respect for his readers. That's the only conclusion possible after finishing his latest, The Troubled Man , but it has been a long time coming.  
By CLEA SIMON  |  April 19, 2011
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Lawton and le Carré share their information

Data basics
Information is dangerous currency.
By CLEA SIMON  |  October 05, 2010
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Review: Tattoos and Tequila

Oh Crüe world! Vince Neil lets us down — hard
I bought The Dirt , Mötley Crüe's 2002 autobiography, the day it was published. I got home from the store, sank to the floor, had a nice cry (it had been hot out and my finger hurt), and started reading.
By STUART ALLEN  |  September 22, 2010
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Maximum pleasure

Ann Beattie hasn’t been sleeping
Ann Beattie emerged in the 1970s in the pages of the New Yorker with a cast of post-grad characters who smoked pot, bummed around, fell in and out of relationships, and faced the world with a shrug and the latest rock and roll on the stereo.
By JON GARELICK  |  July 05, 2010
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Dutch courage

David Mitchell's Jacob de Zoet revises historical fiction
When you've already written a novel like Cloud Atlas , which travels from 1850 to the apocalyptic future and back again, writing a historical novel might be redundant.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 22, 2010
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Girls talk

Sloane Crosley and Emily Gould tell all
There's only one thing more dangerous than being an ambitious, attractive twentysomething female stumbling through the publishing industry, attempting to secure quantifiable career success and, also, a fantastic boyfriend: the impulse to write about it.
By SHARON STEEL  |  June 20, 2010
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Role model?

John Waters gets up close and personal
John Waters gets up close and personal
By SHAULA CLARK  |  June 07, 2010
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Echo chamber

Men are from Martin Amis, women are from . . . ?
As Under-Secretary of the Ted Hughes Rough Riders (Boston Chapter), I have been delighted by two recent developments.
By JAMES PARKER  |  May 04, 2010
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Interview: Daniel Clowes

On going from Enid to Wilson
"If you had told me then that there would be cute girls coming to comic conventions in 15 years, I would’ve told you you were out of your mind."
By MIKE MILIARD  |  April 27, 2010
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Tired sleuth

Can Walter Mosley kick the crime-novel habit?
Has Walter Mosley gone off crime fiction? With the creation of Easy Rawlins in 1990, Mosley perfected the African-American side of the genre — along with a poetic and insightful take on post-war LA up through the 1960s — in 11 consistently solid books, the most recent coming out in 2007.
By CLEA SIMON  |  March 16, 2010
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Booking it

Fiction, non-fiction, poetry
Spring fiction goes international, starting with a whiff of the Caribbean.
By BARBARA HOFFERT  |  March 11, 2010
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Review: The Good Guy

As much fun as chlamydia
Writer/director Julio DePietro's first effort is every bit as obvious as it sounds, thudding from one symmetrically perfect cliché to another.
By BRETT MICHEL  |  March 02, 2010
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Infinite pleasure

John Banville's playful universe
Admit it, fellow scribblers. You'd sell your soul to come up with an opening sentence like "Of the things we fashioned for them that they may be comforted, dawn is the one that works."
By ED SIEGEL  |  February 16, 2010
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Romney's new character: Macho man

In his new book, Mitt makes himself over as a muscular defender of America
Few things are more predictable than a GOP presidential candidate posturing as a he-man protector of America, and depicting his Democratic counterpart as an effete, appeasing girlie-man on the dangerous world stage.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  February 10, 2010
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God of love

Amy Bloom once more into the breach
Amy Bloom is known for her psychological acuity, especially as it bears on the subject of love. In her new collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out , her characters — often very knowing — are nonetheless surprised by the undertow.
By SUSAN CHAMANDY  |  January 19, 2010
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God of love

Amy Bloom once more into the breach
Amy Bloom is known for her psychological acuity, especially as it bears on the subject of love. In her new collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out , her characters — often very knowing — are nonetheless surprised by the undertow.
By SUSAN CHAMANDY  |  January 19, 2010
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Searching for Stephen King

A new biography presents facts but not a full story
In 1983, Doubleday published yet another book from the increasingly renowned Stephen King, whose Carrie and The Shining (to name just two) were already popular books and movies.
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  January 13, 2010
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Walk hard

Joshua Ferris abandons the office and hits The Road
In Joshua Ferris's unsparing second novel, Tim Farnsworth doesn't know why he walks, but nothing but exhaustion can stop him.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 13, 2010
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2009: The year in books

True stories - fact and fiction
Here, listed alphabetically by author, are 10 of the best books the Phoenix reviewed in 2009.
By JON GARELICK  |  December 22, 2009
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Review: A Single Man

Colin Firth stands alone
Christopher Isherwood published his novel about a middle-aged homosexual grieving for a lost lover, the frank depiction of gay desire scandalized some readers.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 22, 2009
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GI blues

A former Army medic tells his story
"I think to an extent all soldiers come back with PTSD. If you do what we do and see what we see, if you're not affected in a deep way, then that's a problem."
By CLEA SIMON  |  December 01, 2009
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Interview: Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall on her new book, North Korea, and Bible-thumping conservatives
If only there were more trees to be torn down, we could utilize them . . . to fill newspapers with the endless depressing stories out there about the environment and all its hapless inhabitants.
By LANCE GOULD  |  September 23, 2009

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