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Mary Jo MurphyKrystal…for the most part is a friendly, learned and witty companion in this collection of essays…[that] ranges as widely as Krystal's reading. There is an essay about dueling, another about how Poe came to be the father of detective fiction and another about how F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn't write a screenplay to save his life. But in some ways Krystal is most revelatory when he writes about himself—or more particularly, about what he is not.
—The New York Times