An interview with Allen Wyler

The author of Deadly Odds talks about how he comes up with his story ideas, his protagonist, on choosing Vegas as his setting, on the attraction of the thriller genre, on the upcoming sequel, on the book’s cinematic potential, and more.

A review of Act of Fear by Michael Collins

All the characters are terrific, utterly convincing; there is an authentic sense of place: Chelsea, N.Y., a blue-collar neighbourhood where authority figures, police officers most of all, are treated with suspicion; and there’s Fortune’s voice, streetwise but by no means hard-boiled, compassionate yet missing nowt. And with a nice line in epigrams: ‘A man in prison needs a human word.’ ‘Unanswered questions are like lurking monsters.’

Shakespeare As the Father of Us All: On Romeo & Juliet, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, and At Any Price, Bamako, Cesar Chavez, The Darjeeling Limited, Prisoners, Thurgood, and The Wolf of Wall Street

Shakespeare writes about human emotion and impulse in a heightened realm, a realm of people with liberty and power, people of mind and passionate expression. Shakespeare gives us a language that is complex, eloquent, and true, a language to savor.

A review of We Walk Alone by Mariah E. Wilson

The poems in We Walk Alone by Mariah E. Wilson, remind me of the great writer John Edgar Wideman’s description of one of his characters in his Damballah. Wideman writes, “He has the gift of feeling. Things don’t touch him, they imprint.” Wilson, too, has the gift of feeling. Things don’t touch her, they imprint. For evidence, read her poetry.

A review of On Leave By Daniel Anselme

Anselme’s approach is to dig deep into the attitudes and motivations of three soldiers who are home on leave, let loose in Paris for a week or two.  He shows us the distance between civilians safely ensconced at home and combatants who are fighting an unpopular war – a situation we have since come to know only too well.  For sure, there is no sanctuary: these three guys may as well be ghosts, they’re on their own.  Adrift from lovers, friends and family.

A review of A World Elsewhere by Sigrid MacRae

At six, newly arrived in the United States from Germany, young Sigrid von Hoynigen-Huene was called a “Nazi” by a schoolmate. As a child and teenager, she blamed the father she had never known for her feelings of not belonging. Although Heinrich von Hoynigen-Huene, who died in July 1941, was an “iconic presence” when she was growing up, the “family lore” about him troubled her.

The Free Mind of a Man in Captivity: Twelve Years A Slave, Book and Film

The director Steve McQueen has turned the book Twelve Years A Slave into the film 12 Years a Slave, interpreting Solomon Northup’s story with accuracy, exquisite craft, and significant understanding.  What makes 12 Years A Slave remarkable are the consciousness, skill, and experience of Solomon Northup, his being an embodiment not of potential but of actual value—value (valued formed by liberty, knowledge, accomplishment, and family relations) that was denied by those who captured him. 

A review of Vanishing Point by Jeri Kroll

Kroll_VanishingPointFront COVER copy At no point does the book lose its dramatic momentum. In fact, so compelling is the plot at times that it takes some effort to slow down and read the poems fully as poetry should be read, rather than racing on to see what happens. Vanishing Point is quick and easy to read, but the poems repay second and third readings where the complexity of the work begin to unfold. Diana’s self-awareness grows viscerally and sensually as she comes to accept the sensations of her adult body through the final section.