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001 I've Got Milk, the DVD, starring Sean Penn
002 Watching Mamma Mia! Won't Get You Laid
003 Taxi Driver Still Floors Me
004 Being John Malkovich
005 Classic Cinematic Smack Downs
006 2001: A Space Odyssey
007 Zodiac
008 Lars and the Real Girl
009 Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner:  A Summary Outline
010 The Straight Story by David Lynch 


001 2112 by Rush
002 Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga by Stephen Davis
003 "I Told You I Was Freaky" by Flight of the Conchords
004 Led Zeppelin One to Ten: A Fan's Ranking of Their First Ten Albums, 1969-1982
005 MTVs First Ten Videos Aired: Can You Name Them? 
006 Radio Waves: Life and Revolution on the FM Dial by Jim Ladd
007 The Best Heavy Metal Songs of All Time You've Probably Never Heard (and Never Wanted to Hear), Part I
008 This Is Spinal Tap and Not a Colonoscopy
009 Rock: Practical Help for Those Who Listen to the Words and Don't Like What They Hear by Bob Larson
010 High Voltage (?) by AC/DC
011 The Go-Go's: Cool Jerks Who Left Skidmarks on My Heart
012 Relentless: The Memoir by Yngwie J. Malmsteen
013 The Butterfly Ball and The Grasshopper's Feast by Roger Glover
014 Ghost Rider: Travels Along the Healing Road by Neil Peart
015 THIN LIZZY Post for the Uninitiated Who Only Know "The Boys are Back in Town"

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A Brief introduction to the Novels of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas

The majority of the material for this post is taken from Contemporary Novelists, 3rd Ed., Edited by James Vinson, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1982

Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914-1987)

There's only eight books of K.A. Abbas cataloged in LibraryThing (five or six different works).  He's virtually forgotten in the United States, though still revered in Indian literary circles.

On highbrow literary critics in India, Abbas said they "have sometimes sneeringly labelled my novels and short stories as 'mere journalese'. The fact that most of them are inspired by aspects of the contemporary historical reality, as sometimes chronicled in the press, is sufficient to put them beyond the pale of literary creation.

"I have no quarrel with the critics. Maybe I am an unredeemed journalist and reporter, masquerading as a writer of fiction. But I have always believed that while the inner life of man undoubtedly is, and should be, the primary concern of literature, thi…

Guest Post: Farewell to Manzanar reviewed by Mac McCaskill

"Mountain now loosens rivulets of tears.
Washed stones, forgotten clearing."
 —Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

When my father was a boy, he learned that he’d been adopted by the man whom he’d thought was his father. Digging through a dusty trunk in his attic, he found legal documents that gave him the name he wore and the father he knew, but also uncovering an origin that had been hidden from him.

His mother was, by all accounts, a volatile woman — her siblings called her “the hornet” because her sting was quick and painful. She was a hard woman, and reticent to either acknowledge or divulge anything about his biological father. Over the years, he eventually learned from other relatives that she met Mr. Black — it was his name, but also a metaphor for much more — in a late 1920’s dance hall. He left her pregnant, taking whatever money he could get his hands hand on when he went.

Late in his life, after his mother died, my dad started quizzing other relatives for information about Mr…

Guest Post: Play It As It Lays reviewed by Joseph Brinson

You know, I began a try at this review writing about Iago in Othello and the nature of evil.

And about ennui and apathy.

And that the answer is: nothing.

And how I felt deep empathy for Maria.

And then I deleted it all.

This is my review: This novel depressed the fuck out of me.

That, and giving it four stars, should sum it up.

Joseph Brinson (a.k.a., "Quixada"), a poet and a longtime online pal, made me fucking howl when I first read his deadpanned piece on Play It As It Lays years and years ago.  Yes, it is brief — yet is playfully, skillfully thorough. His homage still slays me today.