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Original Essays | August 20, 2014

Julie Schumacher: IMG Dear Professor Fitger



Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point... Continue »
  1. $16.07 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Dear Committee Members

    Julie Schumacher 9780385538138

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Customer Comments

Joshua Okrent has commented on (9) products.

Sidetracked: Kurt Wallander Mysteries # 5 (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Henning Mankell
Sidetracked: Kurt Wallander Mysteries # 5 (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Joshua Okrent, January 5, 2011

I began reading this celebrated series in 2007 or so and have been going through them in order. This one, the 5th, is my favorite so far and while I have enjoyed them all, this is the first which really thrilled me. The compelling narrative is told from the points of view of both our trusty detective, Kurt Wallender, and from the deranged and methodical killer. The killer himself is an inspired creation, truly awful yet powerfully sympathetic.
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The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Joshua Okrent, January 5, 2011

An absolutely stunning collection of short stories, nearly every one of which can take your breath away. All the more notable for the fact that many of them are as short as a single page or even shorter. Sharp observations of moments of deep resonance in ordinary lives. I often found myself reading single stories again and again to understand what made the austere descriptions of friends and family relationships so powerfully affecting. I came up with no easy answers, I think it must be dark magic.
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nada (Modern Library Classics) by Carmen Laforet
nada (Modern Library Classics)

Joshua Okrent, January 5, 2011

A sad and beautiful coming-of-age novel from 1945 in which a girl, orphaned by the Spanish Civil War, travels from the country to live with her relatives in Barcelona. The luxurious house she remembers from her childhood has been reduced to a dark and dusty prison populated by her odd and unpredictable family, physically and psychologically devasted by the war. It would read like a gothic horror story if the details weren't so beautifully observed and historically accurate. "Cities, my child, are hell. And in all of Spain no city resembles hell more than Barcelona . . . A young girl in Barcelona must be like a fortress. Do you understand?"
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Nightmare Alley (New York Review Books) by William Lindsay Gresham
Nightmare Alley (New York Review Books)

Joshua Okrent, January 5, 2011

A tormented tale from the 1940's of a travelling carnival worker driven by ambition to become a manipulative mentalist. A gripping ride of a circus novel with many sidetracks into murder, addiction, lust and madness. Features several memorable scenes of geeks reduced by poverty and alcohol to a subhuman existence. Disquieting.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Warlock (New York Review Books Classics) by Oakley Hall
Warlock (New York Review Books Classics)

Joshua Okrent, January 5, 2011

An absolutely epic novel which is ostensibly a morality tale set in the wild west, but which evolves over many pages into a deeply thoughtful meditation on good and evil. Not only a damn good story with many complicated characters, but also a cynical look at a national myth, ending as a damning report on human society in general. Riveting.
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