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Tuesday, 06 March 2018 16:28

The art of war - ‘Bring Out the Dog’

From every war comes art inspired by that war. The pressures and pains of conflict have proven fertile ground for creators since the days of ancient Greece and Homer’s “Iliad.” There’s loads of room for disparate feelings and emotions - hurt, heart, humor, hubris and much more – in tales from the battlefield.

America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no different; some remarkable art has sprung from those fallow fields. Music, movies, literature – all have found ways to reflect the people, places and ideas of our country’s lengthy hitch in the Middle East.

With his debut collection “Bring Out the Dog” (Random House, $27), Will Mackin has produced something that holds up alongside the very best war literature of the 21st century. These remarkable stories – 11 in all – are inspired by Mackin’s time deployed with a special ops task force in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They began life as notes jotted down on torn-off flaps of cardboard boxes or even on his own forearm. From there, these thoughts and observations made their way into Mackin’s journals. And those journals served as the foundational material to build this book.

Published in Style

The best short fiction embraces the limitations of the form and turns them into foundational strengths. There’s a power in brevity that many writers can never fully harness, their work coming off as either overwritten or clumsily truncated.

But when someone displays a true mastery, literary brilliance often follows.

And so it is with “The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” (Random House, $27), a quintet of stories from the late Denis Johnson that explore the writer’s longstanding fascination with the freaks and fakes that exist on the fringes of society. Each one of these five tales can be held up as a masterpiece and a masterclass, powerfully evocative and poetically emotive even as the unsavory seediness and/or deliberate disconnect displayed by the characters bubbles and oozes to the surface.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 20 September 2017 11:53

American dreams – ‘The Golden House’

Rushdie’s latest novel a sharp and engaging epic

Published in Style

Book explores commonalities between the greatest teams in sport

Published in Sports

Elizabeth Strout’s latest an exceptional, engaging literary feat

Published in Style

Saunders novel captivating, compelling and utterly incredible 

Published in Style
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 10:46

The year in books - 2016's recommended reads

This year has been a phenomenal year for the written word. So many brilliant works – fiction and nonfiction alike – appeared on bookshelves in 2016.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 11:25

In Such Good Company' a sweet showbiz memoir

New book peeks behind the scenes of 'The Carol Burnett Show'

The list of names that would warrant discussion for inclusion in the pantheon of television comedy is a relatively short one. And the list of women on that list would be unfortunately (and undeservedly) far shorter.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 13:08

High society - A Brief History of Vice'

Book explores the role of vice in the growth of civilization

Our lives are filled with vice.

Published in Style

Evocative debut novel offers different take on the end of the world

Considering the glut of end-of-the-world stories that we've seen in recent years, you could be forgiven for thinking that there aren't any new tales to be told in that vein.

Published in Buzz
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