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The Adding Machine by William S. Burroughs - Book Review

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The Adding Machine Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802121950
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Published: Grove Press - October 22nd, 2013

One of my favorite essay collections. Burroughs zips between topics like the speed junky he was known to be. Whether discussing linguistics and social issues or space travel and mind control, Hemingway and Fitzgerald or Beckett and Proust, he approached the page with a zany, freakish exuberance that both reflects and, paradoxically, sets him apart from the rest of the Beat Generation authors with whom he’s so commonly lumped. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau

Night Film: A Novel by Marisha Pessl - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780812979787
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - July 2014

A visual masterpiece of contemporary mystery, both literary and experimental. Pessl sprinkles webpages, news articles, clippings, photos, message board threads, and text messages throughout. Cordova, an underground film director and notorious provocateur whose disturbing films inspire cult-like devotion, is proving reclusive in the face of his daughter’s unexplained death. The pairing of an investigative journalist with two of the last people to have seen the missing daughter alive makes for an unlikely trio of would-be detectives. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau

Alien vs. Predator (Penguin Poets) by Michael Robbins - Book Review

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Alien vs. Predator (Penguin Poets) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143120353
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Published: Penguin Books - March 27th, 2012

Robbins’ poetry is a mash-up of references, as the title alludes. Hip-hop and heavy metal lyrics, movie quotes, Bible verses, commercials, pop psychology, cliches, and nursery rhymes are all fair game. He blends them with wry bits of humor, sexuality, and encyclopedic bombast. The result is pure vulgar brilliance. His follow-up, The Second Sex, is fantastic as well. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - Book Review

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The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Five Novels in One Outrageous Volume Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345453747
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Published: Del Rey - April 30th, 2002

Don’t panic! This volume contains all five books in the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy—yes, you read that correctly. Join Arthur Dent (still in his bathrobe), Ford Prefect (who, in trying to blend in on Earth, mistakenly named himself after a car), Zaphod Beeblebrox (the deviously spontaneous two-headed President of the Galaxy), Trillian (an astrophysicist Arthur recognizes from an Earth party), and Marvin (a highly intelligent, highly depressed robot) as they encounter the third worst poetry in the galaxy, sentient mattresses, the importance of towels, and the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Brilliantly goofy.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig - Book Review

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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060589462
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: HarperTorch - April 25th, 2006

The title is a bit of a misnomer: this is a philosophical inquiry that explores the narrator’s introductory interests in Western philosophy, his brief “lateral drift” into Eastern philosophy, but mainly and most frequently, his metaphysical musings on Quality. It is also a beautifully reflective father/son road trip novel that delves into the narrator’s troubled past. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman - Book Review

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Leaves of Grass (Word Cloud Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626863903
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Published: Canterbury Classics - July 2015

One of my all-time favorite collections of poetry, this influential volume went through many revisions, expansions, and reprints. Any version is a good one. From the miniscule to the universal, Whitman set his ever-widening lens on the world around him in a fresh way, pushing the boundaries of free verse. Try “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” for a quick one, or my favorite, “Song of the Open Road.” ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau


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