Monday June 7th, 2010

The Beat

A weekly roundup of noteworthy reviews from other sources.

three-delaysAnthony Doerr says that Charlie Smith’s new novel, about lovers who “spiral through a demonic and cataclysmic romance that incinerates most everyone around them,” is “as blissed-out and excessive and aimless as its protagonist. It is both beautiful and disastrous. And its absolute apartness — in its gasping energy, in the ravishing excess of Charlie Smith’s prose — is something to be celebrated.” . . . Michael Agger says that Nicholas Carr’s latest, about the way the Internet is changing our brains, is “a Silent Spring for the literary mind.” And Daniel Menaker calls the same book “required reading for anyone who wants a cogent, comprehensive, and thoroughly researched statement of the techno-fears that, in however inchoate a way, many of us have harbored for going on a few decades now.” . . . Michael Kimmelman, a bit belatedly but intelligently, writes about two tennis books: Andre Agassi’s memoir and a history of the 1937 Davis Cup. . . . Paul Batchelor is impressed by Simon Armitage’s Seeing Stars, “a wildly inventive mix of satire, fantasy, comedy and horror,” saying that “there is more wit and adventure on display here than you’ll find in many poets’ careers.” . . . Laura Miller wonders why young readers are so interested in dystopian fiction.