Seeing Catch-22 Twice

By Ron Rosenbaum Slate August 2, 2011 Now, my father wasn’t a big reader and rarely wrote letters, much less to authors. But when I went through a phase in high school of constantly carrying Catch-22 around and quoting from it and writing things like, “There was only...

The Last of the Iron-Assed Loners

By Brad Darrach Penthouse September, 1972 Robert Mitchum slipped into his slate-gray shades and glared warily at Yale University. “A cat like me in a place like this,” he muttered, “could get busted for mopery with intent to gawk.” As he scowled back at the scowling...

Scroll Man

By Stephen Fried The Washington Post Magazine May 10, 1992 It began, like too many change-of-life stories do, with an uncompleted novel. This novel was about King Saul, and, lo, it was bad. In fact, it was very bad. “It was abominable,” recalls its author, “an...

Fear of Reading: Lexical Anhedonia Sweeps the Land

By Marcelle Clements The Baltimore Sun May 19, 1992 Although this is the era in which flaws in the emotional and psychological development of every man, woman, child and dog have been scrutinized in the most minuscule detail, there seems to be no organized interest in...

The Day the Soul Train Crashed

By Stephen Fried Philadelphia Magazine June, 1983 The Sound: A tight, simple rhythm, pulsing, throbbing. A smooth, cool guitar lightly plays a handful of notes, but just the right notes. The feel is subtle, complex; a combination of what is right about jazz, what is...

Stone Free

By Fred Schruers Premiere May 1993 “I have to straighten out my karma,” says Sharon Stone. “I’ve become a sex symbol, which is an absurd thing for me. Particularly since I symbolize a kind of sex I don’t believe in.”  That swirling girl-on-top, biting, moaning,...

Rex Reed Doesn’t Speak to Anyone

By Helen Dudar Esquire January, 1976 Before she became Pauline Kael, before she was much more than a wonderful surprise occasionally encountered in obscure journals, before she was canonized as America’s best critic of film, Pauline Kael took an ax to the work of...

The Ghosts of Ole Miss

By Willie Morris Inside Sports May, 1980 I finally came home. It was not too late. I always had home in my blood—Mississippi—but with this final homecoming the love I had for home stunned me.  Much of it has to do with the land, its sensual textures—one’s memory...

Bruce Springsteen and the Secret World

By Fred Schruers Rolling Stone February 5, 1981 Bruce Springsteen, in the abstract, is just the kind of guy my little New Jersey hometown schooled me to despise. Born seventy-seven days apart, raised maybe fifty miles apart, this beatified greaser and I grew up...

The Stacks Chat: Levi Stahl

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter October 14, 2014 Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of our most prolific and entertaining writers. Now, we’ve got this posthumous treat: The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany, published by the University of Chicago...

It’s Mostly the Voice

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader November 2, 2020 Know this: The Village Voice website is now a curated trove of stories from their vast archives. Has been for a while, too. Praise is overdue. The site is terrific and for this we are grateful.

Making It!

By Seymour Krim The Village Voice September 9, 1959 When has an inside phrase like “making it” or so-and-so’s “got it made” shot with such reality through the museum of official English? In this terse verbal shorthand lies a philosophy of life that puts a gun in the...