Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue is an agreeable if ultimately frustrating shaggy-dog tale of a novel that slips its leash and lopes its discursive and distinctly unhurried way through the unkempt backyards of its characters' lives.
Iraq War veteran Brian Castner opens his new memoir, The Long Walk, with a direct and disturbing warning:
"The first thing you should know about me is that I'm Crazy," he writes. "I haven't always been. Until that one day, the day I went Crazy, I was fine. Or I thought I was. Not anymore."
More than 10 years since a new generation of Americans went into combat, the soldiers themselves are starting to write the story of war. Three recent releases show how their experiences give them the authority to describe the war, fictionalize it and even satirize it.
Yunior grew up tough in a poor neighborhood. He's Latino with African roots, an immigrant and a super nerdy kid who went on to teach at a university. He's gruff and masculine, but he's also an artist — as well as the creation of one.
Dreamworks' animated movie Puss in Boots was a big deal. It won an Oscar, and its swashbuckling, sloe-eyed kitty was voiced by Antonio Banderas.
The meticulous computer-generated animation took four years and something like $130 million to make. But another cartoon, Puss In Boots: A Furry Tail, was hand-drawn in six months for less than $1 million. It went straight to DVD — one of the many low-budget productions riding the coattails of Hollywood blockbusters.
And now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where guests of the program tell us the songs they're listening to for a little inspiration. Today is a very special, probably stressful day for "MasterChef" contestant Christine Ha. Why?
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MASTERCHEF")
GARY RHODES: The person joining Josh in the "MasterChef" finale, that person is Christine.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll talk about how a master violin maker holds onto his art form in this struggling economy. Talk about that in just a few minutes.
Now it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. And today a story about the business of music.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 8:46 am
T.C. Boyle's newest book is called San Miguel. It comes out this month.
When I was a teenager my reading was largely confined to liner notes (The Rolling Stones: England's Newest Hit Makers!), but at some point — later, rather than sooner — I stumbled across a book or two and got hooked. A whole panoply of things came rushing at me — Hemingway's stories, J.D. Salinger, Cannery Row,On the Road, Tolkien, Vonnegut — but it was Franz Kafka who really set my wheels spinning.