Reviews & Essays

Beethoven’s Eroica: The First Great Romantic Symphony

MUSIC

Beethoven’s Eroica: The First Great Romantic Symphony

Reviewed by Michael O'Donnell ×

Beethoven's 3rd symphony was a seismic event in the history of music, and its impact can still be felt.
Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Life in Letters

LIVES

Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Life in Letters

Reviewed by Anna Mundow ×

The legendary traveler and lover of adventure was also a lively correspondent.
Radio Free Vermont

FICTION

Radio Free Vermont

Reviewed by Mark Athitakis ×

The environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben imagines a grass-roots resistance to dystopia in his new novel.
They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

MUSIC

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us

Reviewed by Robert Christgau ×

A poet and music critic's boundary-smashing new collection proves to be one of the year's most vital documents on an America in crisis.
The Extra Woman

LIVES

The Extra Woman

Reviewed by Rachel Syme ×

She was a leading light among the dedicated "bachelorettes" of 1930s New York City and penned the bestselling "Live Alone and Like It." Then came love.
The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

BEYOND CATEGORY

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Reviewed by Tess Taylor ×

The author of "Will in the World" and "The Swerve" turns his historical imagination to the story we tell about the origin of everything.
God: A Human History

HISTORY

God: A Human History

Reviewed by Hamilton Cain ×

A scholar of religion looks across faiths to grapple with the question of how our conceptions of divinity are shaped.
Smile

FICTION

Smile

Reviewed by Mark Athitakis ×

In the new novel from the author of "The Commitments," a middle-aged man finds that his defenses against the traumas of the past may no longer hold up.
Up the Masthead

AMERICAN LITERATURE

Up the Masthead

Essay by Melissa H. Pierson ×

A writer takes a turn in Herman Melville's chair -- or the next best thing -- to find inspiration, and courage against the blankness of the page.
Nightmare in Berlin

FICTION

Nightmare in Berlin

Reviewed by Anna Mundow ×

In Germany after the fall of Hitler, Hans Fallada's novel confronts the "horror upon horror" of the past....
Calder: The Conquest of Time; The Early Years, 1898−1940

LIVES

Calder: The Conquest of Time; The Early Years, 1898−1940

Reviewed by Hamilton Cain ×

The first volume of Jed Perl's life of Alexander Calder follows the artist into the bustling world of expatriate Paris. Review by Hamilton Cain.
Lou Reed: A Life

LIVES

Lou Reed: A Life

Reviewed by Tom Carson ×

A new biography of the musician and cultural icon attempts to give us the man beyond the myth of "Heroin" and "Walk on the Wild Side." Review by Tom Carson.