Monday July 19th, 2010

The Beat

A weekly roundup of noteworthy reviews from other sources.

kglettersRobert Faggen says that a new collection of correspondence between Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg is not to be missed: “The depth of their development as friends but especially as writers has never been shown more clearly than in this stunning new collection. The letters are sometimes long but almost infallibly interesting.” . . . Dennis Lehane says that Nic Pizzolatto’s new novel, Galveston, ranks with the best of the noir genre, partly because “[it] empathizes with its characters to a degree I’m hard pressed to recall in another recent novel.” . . . Laura Miller reviews Geoffrey O’Brien’s latest, a true-crime story about an esteemed New York family undone by an 1873 murder. Miller calls it “part Victorian family saga, part creepy gothic, full of haunted people drifting through rooms filled with dark, oversize furniture as immobile and dominating as the past they can neither revive nor escape.” . . . Wendy Smith says that in her new novel, Allegra Goodman “has rediscovered her sense of humor.” The book is set during the dotcom bubble, and in it, Goodman “works on a larger social canvas than ever before, armed with an awareness that to comprehend all the scheming and the sorrow, wit is indispensable.” . . . Jackie Wullschlager on four books about photographers and the role they play in defining the art form’s history. . . . James Meek writes about the relationship between Leo and Sofia Tolstoy.