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A fantastical story of how seaman, novelist, and failure Herman Melville came to write Moby Dick, the greatest American novel about a white whale. A literary heavweight in his own right, Giorno translated the book into French during the 1930s and composed this "novel" as a preface. He pays tribute with a rapturous poem about creative freedom. Paul Eprile's translation carries the reader away like an ocean swell. Beautiful and inspiring. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
Blade Runner flopped in theaters in 1982 but went on to become one of the most influential films of the century. Sammon was there from the beginning, reporting from the set for Cinefantastique. Packed with insight from Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford and more, this isn't just the epic history of a scifi masterpiece, but a must-read about Hollywood movie-making. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
How to tell the story of Russia transformation from crumbling Communist empire to global supervillain? Putin biographer Gessen uses the lives of a handful of Russians born in the 1980s, waking up to freedom only to retreat into an intolerant nationalism. It can feel like reading science fiction, but the horror is very real. Revelatory and astounding, it's this year's most essential book. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
On the night he was due to ship out to Iraq, U.S. Army Ranger Alex Blum instead robbed a Tacoma bank. His cousin Ben investigates why in this compelling story. Part memoir, part true crime, Games is ultimately a unique look at the complexities of family and the demands of our fighting forces. It will keep you gripped until the last page. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
An American epic teeming with life; warring brothers, eccentric families, small-town characters and, looming over it all, the menacing miracle of fracking. Like Richard Russo meets Lauren Groff!! ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley