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Failed Poets

From First Thoughts

Roberto Bolaño neatly captures the spirit of The Savage Detectives in an establishing scene early in the book. Seventeen-year-old Juan García Madero is the beneficiary of an unexpected sexual favor in the back room of a restaurant. When he is close to experiencing la petite mort, a waitress pokes . . . . Continue Reading »

A Gallery of American Dreams

From First Thoughts

Though only the first act of Denis Johnson’s Angels takes place in transit, the book has the feel of a road novel—specifically, an American road novel. The story is straightforward: Two people, Jamie Mays and Bill Houston, meet aboard a Greyhound. One is in flight from an unfaithful . . . . Continue Reading »

Germanwings and Evil

From First Thoughts

In the days since audio was extracted from the black box recorder of crashed Germanwings flight 4U9525 suggesting that copilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately downed the plane, investigators and journalists have rushed to find an explanation for his actions. Continue Reading »