The Joy of Submission

The Joy of Submission – Quadrant

A review of Submission by Michel Houellebecq

More than a year after its publication, the worth of novelist Michel Houellebecq’s Submission shines ever brighter, its synthesis of cynicism, seriousness and sadness a jaded reminder that fiction remains stranger than fact, but only just.

Read this review at Quadrant

Book Review: Birth School Metallica Death Volume I

Book Review: Birth School Metallica Death Volume 1 by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood – The Big Smoke

This biography reads like an extended schoolyard discourse on why Metallica is the greatest band ever and why all other bands suck . . .

If the authors had excised just some of the more congratulatory sentences, the book’s length could have been significantly reduced, rendering unnecessary Volume 2, which was released last year. I will not bother to read it. I couldn’t stand to be informed that really, honestly, after the 12th listen, St Anger isn’t all that shit. It is.

So is this book.

Read this review at The Big Smoke

The Masochists Who Defend Sadists: The Regressive Left in Theory and Practice

The Masochists Who Defend Sadists: The Regressive Left in Theory and Practice – Quillette

The regressive left is a new term that encompasses a much older way of thinking about the world, our place in it, and what to do about it. It is a brilliant and evocative term: it brings to mind a Stalinist-left that has survived the twentieth century; it cleverly subverts the progressive label that such writers usually wear; perhaps most importantly, it is a term that will always be pejorative. When the socialist intellectual Michael Harrington called some of his ex-comrades neoconservatives, it was an insult that its targets transformed into a badge of honour. There is no risk of that here. It’s unlikely that the Art of Mentoring publishing house will commission Glenn Greenwald to write Letters to a Young Regressive. And that’s a good thing. The regressive left will discredit itself.

Read this essay at Quillette

On Afghanistan and Indifference

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – Writer’s Edit

And The Mountains Echoed surpasses Hosseini’s other novels, from a literary standpoint and by its ability to illuminate and make real Afghanistan’s modern history. If you want to know Afghanistan – that is, know more than each day’s revised body count – imaginative literature might just more closely resemble real life

Read this review at Writer’s Edit