Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles’ 1964 Tour

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles 1964 Tour That Changed the World by Larry Kane Backbeat Books / October 28, 2014 / 978-1480393042 / 272 pagesIn conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' 1964 tour of America, Backbeat Books has republished Larry Kane's insider's view, Ticket to Ride. Just 21 years old, Larry was the only American reporter to accompany the … [Read more...]

A Review of Joseph Ridgwell’s Cuba: In Search of Hemingway

Turning the first page on the handsewn binding of Joseph Ridgwell’s Cuba: In Search of Hemingway feels like something special. Like discovering the splintered edges of a treasure chest through sand. Or something you might unexpectedly luck on at the bottom of a box of Cuban cigars, holding it up and being wondrously captivated by it. But that’s all part of the charm. Like other … [Read more...]

Book Review – Alex Preston’s In Love and War.

In Love and War is the third novel from Alex Preston, following 2010's This Bleeding City – which won The Edinburgh International Book Festival Readers’ First Book Award, and was chosen as one of Waterstones’ New Voices of 2010 – and its follow-up, The Revelations, which was released in 2012 to much critical acclaim.The novel follows Esmond Lowndes on a journey from an … [Read more...]

Book Review – Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe (trans. Laird Hunt)

Vacant Lot by Oliver Rohe, translated by Laird Hunt. Counterpath Press, 2011.“Then I was king and now I’m no more than a ghost,” says the narrator in Oliver Rohe’s novel Vacant Lot. Now “I pass haggardly through trenches at the periphery of agitation and take refuge in a penumbra that is menaced from all sides.” Translated from the French by novelist Laird Hunt, at its … [Read more...]

Paul Maher Jr. considers Kerouac’s Haunted Life

The Haunted Life and Other Writings / Da Capo Press / March 11, 2014 / 208 pp.Seventy years ago, in May 1944, Jack Kerouac toiled over a novella-length work set in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was written at the prompting of his two newest friends, the mischievous nihilist Lucien Carr and the budding poet, Allen Ginsberg. He titled it The Haunted Life and it was never … [Read more...]

(Book Review) The Book of Duels by Michael Garriga

The Book of Duels by Michael Garriga / Milkweed / 2014 / ISBN: 9781571310934Code Duello; or, How an Author Teaches You to Die, Rise, and be Born AgainHe greets you with a sly smile and a twinkle of the eyes that suggests mischief, leans into you like a conspirator while shuffling you toward a scarlet cooler in the middle of the room, and whispers, “Grab a beer. … [Read more...]

Kerouac Before the Jazz: a review of “The Haunted Life”

There are some great lost manuscripts in American literature and some are truly lost. Ernest Hemingway famously lost the only draft of the first short stories he ever wrote on a French train. Most writers have "lost" manuscripts, conspicuously placed in quotes because those stories for whatever reason the writer has are socked away until after their deaths (interestingly, … [Read more...]

Liberty Ltd.: Trespassers Prosecuted – A Review of Liberty Limited by Károly Sándor Pallai

Liberty Limited is a collection of poems of great passion and compassion, of wonders and shame, of bodies and souls. It is a voice for and about the voiceless, for and about those who used to have some limited liberty, but who have lost it long ago: victims of human trafficking, child prostitution, war. It is a voice not easy to attend to, it is both profane and metaphysical, … [Read more...]

Book Review – IR 30: Indigenous Visions In Dub

I guess it's appropriate that blockades have gone up again on the Tyndengia Mohawk reservation in South Eastern Ontario Canada as I begin to write this review. Here in Canada the First Nations people are usually out of sight and out of mind unless they manage to capture the media's attention with some event which inconvenience the population at large. While the fact that the … [Read more...]

The Opening Line – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."And so begins the first sentence to Hunter S. Thompson's seminal 1971 book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, a book, which give or take a few missed opportunities, I have endeavoured to read once a year since first picking it up at … [Read more...]