BOOKS

The Specialty of the House

STANLEY ELLIN: THE SPECIALTY OF THE HOUSE

Stanley Ellin’s short story, ‘The Specialty of the House’, about a New York restaurant with a special gourmet menu, was published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1948

Childhood's End

ARTHUR C. CLARKE’S ‘CHILDHOOD’S END’

Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End is the example without peer of a highly acclaimed novel that grew from a novella. So successful, in fact, has the novel been that few readers even know of or remember the shorter form from which it came.

John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men

Censorship In Literature: Of Mice And Men

Of Mice and Men earned the dubious prestige of being the second most frequently banned book in the public school curriculum of the 1990s. Censors claim that the novella contains crude heroes who speak vulgar language and whose experiences exhibit a sadly deficient social system in the United States.

Philip K. Dick

“EXPENDABLE” BY PHILIP K. DICK

Here’s a wry little story—but one with a sting in its tail— that demonstrates that sometimes our worst enemies, as well as some unexpected allies, can literally be right under our feet…

Birdman of Alcatraz Illustration

THE BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ

There is a man in Alcatraz who has been in isolation for thirty-seven years. This is probably longer than any other Federal prisoner has ever been kept in isolation. Steel doors shut behind Robert Stroud in 1909. Prison, in the Arabian phrase, is engraved on his eyeballs.

John Updike

John Updike: At War with My Skin

This article records the personal observations of John Updike, a highly regarded, perceptive twentieth-century American writer, on how moderately severe psoriasis has affected his life and also his thoughts about his disease and its treatment.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Confession of Faith

In this famous chapter of Dostoyevsky’s classic novel The Brothers Karamozov, Ivan and Alyosha—two of the book’s four brothers—meet at a restaurant. Though both in their early twenties, the brothers possess dramatically different personalities. Alyosha has just asked Ivan the question: “Will you explain why you don’t accept the world?” What follows is Ivan’s answer.

Why War Books Are Popular

Sir Herbert Read was a British art historian, poet, and critic. His book of poetry, Naked Warriors (1919), reflected his own experiences in World War I. In the following viewpoint, written as a review of a half-dozen war books, he discusses why, ten years after the end of the war, people had so much interest in war literature.

Erich Maria Remarque: What All Quiet on the Western Front Means

When Remarque’s English publisher sent an advance copy of the novel to Sir Ian Hamilton, a British general, Hamilton wrote a letter to the publisher thanking him and telling him how true he felt the book was and how deeply it had touched him. The publisher forwarded the letter to Remarque, who responded with the letter below.

Il Dr. Jekyll e Mr. Hyde – Saggio introduttivo di Vieri Razzini

Nati dalla fantasia degli scrittori e fatti vivere nelle pagine di un libro, certi personaggi della letteratura hanno un destino singolare: col passar del tempo assurgono all’altezza di caratteri universali e, tralasciata del tutto la loro matrice artistica, cominciano a vivere una vita propria e imbarazzantemente perenne, fino ad entrare nel linguaggio di tutti i giorni.

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Feminist ‘1984’

A gripping suspense tale, The Handmaid’s Tale is an alle­gory of what results from a politics based on misogyny, racism, and anti-Semitism. What makes the novel so terri­fying is that Gilead both is and is not the world we know.

Nicolai Fechin - The Slaughterhouse, 1919

UPTON SINCLAIR: THE JUNGLE – ESSAY BY RONALD GOTTESMAN

As Ronald Gottesman points out in this discerning introduction, Upton Sinclair was a passionate believer in the redemption of mankind through social reform. His expose of the interlocking corruption in American corporate and political life was a major literary event when it was published in 1906, and caused an almost immediate reform in pure-food legislation.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Review by Paul Gray [Time]

Canadian Author Margaret Atwood’s sixth novel will re­mind most readers of Nineteen Eighty-Four. That can hardly be helped. Any new fictional account of how things might go horribly wrong risks comparisons either with George Orwell’s classic or with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.