Skip to content

THE DEATH OF A PEOPLE’S DREAM: Two remarkable books, Black Elk Speaks and Born in Tibet

These are cautionary tales in that they suggest that we should “awake, awake, take heed,” as the Buddhist evening mantra goes, and confront the destruction before it swells to flood stage. Failing that, these stories are also an affirmation that all is never lost. There is gold to be woven from the dross of persecution; we’ve seen it over and over again. Look inward to find it.

Review of ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, A Story of Suicide and Survival, by Donald Antrim

Antrim breaks all the rules in this just-published memoir, achieving a result that is unique and profoundly moving, fascinating, and informative. The story that holds it all together issues from an addled mind where reality is mixed with passion, memory, and illness. Of the classic storylines, this is a man takes a journey, or perhapsContinue reading “Review of ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, A Story of Suicide and Survival, by Donald Antrim”


In assessing his worth, Hardy writes, “A man who sets out to justify his existence and his activities has to distinguish between two different questions. The first is whether the work…is worth doing; and the second is why he does it, whatever its value may be.”

Wise and Wonderful Words: William Least Heat Moon, BLUE HIGHWAYS

William Least Heat Moon is the modern deTocqueville, traveling the country, observing America. The next few posts will be short excerpts from his book BLUE HIGHWAYS, published in 1982, called by some, including me, a masterpiece. Moon avoids main highways, and tiring of the desert, decides to head into the mountains toward Cedar Breaks, ColoradoContinue reading “Wise and Wonderful Words: William Least Heat Moon, BLUE HIGHWAYS”

BOOK REVIEW: My Brilliant Friends & the Neapolitan Quartet, by Elena Ferrante

The scorching eye of Ferrante does not spare us the pain – “pain” is not the right word. Pain is sharp, localized. The poverty in this book is the relentless force of the rack, slowly tearing apart normality, perpetrated by the victims as fully as the torturers. Nobody escapes responsibility in this book.


Edward Feathers, known as Old Filth (it is said that he invented the term F-ail I-n L-ondon, T-ry, H-ong K-ong), or Dear Old Filth in his dotage, is the epitome of the British character, stiff upper lip, impeccably and appropriately dressed, reliably well mannered, takes his licks without complaint, and keeps his secrets to himself.Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: OLD FILTH”