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Latest Articles


Scout's honor

Burn Notice ’s honest con job
In the popular imagination, the spy is always cool, sophisticated, elegant — in other words, European.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  August 26, 2008


War stories

Mailer on the ’68 conventions
“We will be fighting for forty years.” Reading those words at the end of Norman Mailer’s 1968 Miami and the Siege of Chicago , you can’t help but feel a chill.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  August 19, 2008


Working girl

In Plain Sight’s straight talk
On USA’s nifty summer series In Plain Sight , Mary McCormack, as federal marshal Mary Shannon, joins the select league of those who’ve made jeans, tank tops, boots, and leather jackets into an American fashion statement.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  July 15, 2008


Masterful mysteries

Rendell and Nabb transcend genre
Not in the Flesh is Ruth Rendell’s 21st Inspector Wexford novel since she and the character debuted in 1964.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  June 10, 2008


Past and present

Andrew Motion's is a memoir to savor
A book as scrupulously observed and beautifully wrought as Andrew Motion’s In the Blood can provide a shock of recognition. This, you think, is what memoir was meant to be.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  May 27, 2008


War of words

Is reading good for you?
Freelance writers are often the recipient of unusual opportunities.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  April 15, 2008


Paradis found

The chanteuse is loose
Must we still make the case for French pop?
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  April 15, 2008


Werewolf’s song

Toby Barlow’s verse novel has teeth
The story, the emotion, and the beauty and precision of Barlow’s language can convince you that new writers who want to experiment are not all zombies risen from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  March 18, 2008


The cyborg and the sistah

Janet’s Discipline and Badu’s New AmErykah
What’s in a fantasy world?
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  March 17, 2008


Cover girls

Cat Power and Shelby Lynne
On Cat Power’s second album of covers, she might be traveling the same territory Elvis did in “Kentucky Rain” — a country road with low clouds on a chill, gray afternoon.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  February 04, 2008


Tough thrill

Household justice
People who love this book tend to talk as if reading it were experiencing something terrible and necessary.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  December 31, 2007


Nerd noir

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ’s Black Dossier
This volume, the first published solely as a graphic novel, is the comic as fetish object.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  December 03, 2007


Covering Dylan

From Newport to I’m Not There
Dylan is his own cover band.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  November 20, 2007


Superbad: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Teen movies have long used the funkiest black music to throw into relief the shenanigans of the nerdiest white guys.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  September 05, 2007


Star power

Deneuve demystifies — and enchants
Deneuve has been in the public eye long enough to know that only damn fools reveal themselves to the public.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  August 07, 2007


Fabulous fakes

Charmed by the Traveling Wilburys
If “The Basement Tapes” had been conceived for the Top 40, it might have sounded much like the Traveling Wilburys.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  August 10, 2007


Holding out Hope

Mandy Moore does it her way
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a bar having a quiet late-afternoon cocktail when I became aware of an insistent, irritating noise.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  June 19, 2007


Before and after the Riot

Sly Stone’s lost utopia
When Sly Stone sang “Listen to the voices,” who could have known that, in just three years, voices of an entirely different sort would take him over?
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  June 12, 2007


Singin’ the trues

Martina McBride shows what she’s got
I’d be lying if I said I’ve liked every song I’ve ever heard Martina McBride do.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  May 22, 2007


Mary Weiss

Dangerous Game | Norton
“I don’t write hits,” sings Mary Weiss on her first — at 58 — solo album.
By: CHARLES TAYLOR  |  May 18, 2007
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