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...

… Thomas Pynchon on the Run …

By Helen Dudar Writers Bloc April 1984 Picture this: your dinner guest is Thomas Pynchon, the writer much of scholarly America considers our best living novelist. He is also a tantalizingly shadowy figure; a generation of fervent readers has fantasized meeting him,...

b. 1975

By Marilyn Johnson AARP February 24, 2006 After a few decades, you get accustomed to picking up a Joyce Carol Oates book without marveling at its existence—another inspired, ingenious, and compulsively readable tale from someone whose books flow past in a glittering...

The Connoisseur of Scoundrels

By Ron Rosenbaum Manhattan Inc. May, 1987 The scene: an informal dinner party on the rooftop of a brownstone in the East Seventies. The people (with one exception): congenial, civilized, charming. The conversation: charming, civilized, congenial. Until … until someone...

The Last Celluloid Desperado

By Grover Lewis Rolling Stone March 15, 1973 After 20 years of playing a comic strip character called Superstud, Mitchum at last is being recognized as the gifted actor he has always been. He is a master of stillness. Other actors act. Mitchum is. He has true delicacy...

Prince of the City

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader August 10, 2020 Pete Hamill was not in great health the last few years of his life but when word came that he died last week at the age of 85, it was hard not to stop and take a moment to appreciate the passing of something bigger than...

A Hollow Venue

By Steve Oney New York July 29, 1996 The most telling news to come out of Atlanta during the days leading up to the opening ceremonies of the centennial Olympic Games had nothing to do with the erection of a 165-foot-tall statue of a Coca-Cola bottle—in a city of...

“May I Kiss You on the Forehead, Sam?”

By Jon Bradshaw New York December 29, 1975/January 5, 1976 It was practically dawn and the weather, he noted with particular pique, was diabolic. On mornings like these, he preferred to rise late. He liked to walk down to the Yale Club and play a little squash. He...

Kim Philby and the Age of Paranoia

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine July 10, 1994 The Heart of the Matter The presence of the Philby papers in London was still a closely guarded secret when I stumbled on them through an inadvertent slip by Graham Greene’s nephew. I’d found him, the nephew,...