‘It Was the End of Solo Singing’

The Cypresses Believe in God by José María Gironella. Ignatius, [1953] 2005. Paper, 900 pages.When Eric Hobsbawm suggested that the period 1914–1991 could be called “the short twentieth century,” he not only defined an era but separated it from our own. Few conflicts...

To Paradise, By Way of Kensal Green

The English Way: Studies in English Sanctity from St. Bede to Newman Edited by Maisie Ward, introduction by Bradley J. Birzer. Cluny Media, [1933] 2016. Paperback, 366 pages, $19. You might expect a book called The English Way: Studies in English Sanctity from Bede to...

A Return to the Thought-Murders

Ravelstein, by Saul Bellow. Viking, 2000. 233 pages.Ravelstein, Saul Bellow’s roman à clef about the last years of philosopher-provocateur Allan Bloom, may be the best post-9/11 novel published in the year 2000. Ravelstein has as many virtues as its subject has...

The Convict-Bourgeois

Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann. Melville House, 2010. Paperback, 544 pages, $17.There’s a four-page passage early on in Hans Fallada’s masterful 1937 novel Wolf Among Wolves in which we meet a policeman. At first Leo Gubalke is a...

The Uncozy Christie

A reflection on the underestimated Dame Agatha Christie at 125. Eve Tushnet Agatha Christie’s name is practically synonymous with comfort reading. Her publishers used to promise readers “a Christie for Christmas,” and her works are the inspiration for the mystery...

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