Category Archives: fiction

Gentlewoman of the Road: Moll Flanders

If you go into a church in Rome and see a mosaic of the BVM or St. Catherine of Alexandria or whoever, the pieces that make up these pious icons were most likely cannibalized from some extremely un-Christian image decorating … Continue reading

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Oh Have You Seen Lydia?

Herodotus It may seem odd that Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BCE about the war between Greeks and Persians that took place in his father’s lifetime, should trace the conflict back to the Trojan War, which, to the extent … Continue reading

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Initials B.B. The curious mangling of Benjamin Button

I almost skipped Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” when I came to it in an anthology of “terror and the uncanny.”*  I am not the biggest Fitzgerald fan, and I had not liked the movie.  “Didn’t like” doesn’t … Continue reading

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The Descent of Man: H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine

Did you know that H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is a cautionary tale about the evils that will follow if we don’t start sterilizing or killing the weaker members of society?  It came as a surprise to me, though I … Continue reading

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Dr. Tung’s Evil 3-D House of Shrubbery

Terry Brooks’ Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold begins with an intriguing premise: a depressed lawyer from Chicago sees an ad for a magic kingdom in an upscale Christmas catalogue and decides he has little to lose. The scenario isn’t super-original … Continue reading

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La Mano de Dios

At one point in the novel Cold Mountain, the young heroine takes time out from trying to survive in Civil War-torn Carolina for some auto-erotic activity. She fantasizes about a certain man she knows, and author Charles Frazier explains that, … Continue reading

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His Master’s Voice

John Banville and Colm Tóibín, the two most brilliant contemporary Irish novelists*, make something of an odd couple.  Banville habitually puts us at the mercy of a narrator who might be crotchety and cantankerous (The Sea or might be a … Continue reading

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