Thursday, April 28, 2011

Murder, Man Crushes, Misogyny and More

Here's what some of our great men of letters have been saying lately. Honest, it's verbatim.

Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly, 4/22/11
At the end of a review of the Broadway play "War Horse," Geier wrote:
The evocative message of 'War Horse' lingers: Even as we seek to slaughter our foes with ever more ruthless efficiency, we need not lose our humanity.
Let's read that again:
...Even as we seek to slaughter our foes with ever more ruthless efficiency, we need not lose our humanity.
Well, that's reassuring.

Michael Kinsley, New York Times Book Review, 12/19/10
Under Sam Tanenhaus' editorial direction, the Book Review has become a haven for mindless man crushes and misogyny. In a review of "Decision Points" by George W. Bush, a good deal of which focuses on trumped-up wars and excuses for incompetent leadership, Kinsley noted Bush's "pugnacious determination" and opined:
It's poignant that even as a former two-term president, Bush should feel the need to strut the way he does.
Then, this obtuse crack (which is actually the last line in the review!):
Although Bush is admirable for stopping, he probably was more fun when he drank.

Terrence Rafferty, New York Times Book Review, 11/28/10
Rafferty reviewed Stephen King's "Full Dark, No Stars," a collection of four -- just four -- stories. After noting that "Serial rape and murder figure prominently in two of these stories; in another, a man kills his wife and forces his teenage son to help him..." Rafferty wrote that the "naked pleasure" of King's writing
makes his work -- good or bad -- weirdly irresistible, even addictive. And it disarms criticism, as boyish enthusiam often does.
Ah, boyish enthusiasm!

Jon Meacham, New York Times Book Review, 11/12/10
In his review of "Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War," Meacham wrote:
As a child, I would feed ducks in a pond outside the house from which Chief John Ross was driven, and more than once I found Minie balls from the battle of Missionary Ridge in our yard.
Excuse me, did you find Minie balls two times, ten times, or a thousand times, Jon?

Jon Meacham was recently named Executive Editor at Random House.