Tuesday August 2nd, 2011

The Beat

A most-often weekly roundup of noteworthy reviews from other sources.

Woody Haut says that “Richard Hallas’ You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up remains one of the most evocative and subversive novels of its time,” a book that reads “like James Cain filtered through Thomas Pynchon.” . . . Philip French writes about a film editor’s “revealing, funny, devastatingly frank account” of his career. . . . Donna Rifkind reviews Lee Siegel’s new book about how to be serious in the “Age of Silly.” (“His book would be a charmingly old-fashioned effort, if it were charming. But Are You Serious? is a brief work that feels much longer, an unlovely book that’s hard to love.” . . . James Gleick on four new books about Google that assess the online giant’s “power and intentions.” . . . David L. Ulin reviews a collection of stories by the late Gina Berriault, who Ulin says “has much in common” with Chekhov and Isaac Babel.