Paul Bowes

(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
 
Top Reviewer Ranking: 439
Helpful votes received on reviews: 89% (1,394 of 1,570)
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

 

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 439 - Total Helpful Votes: 1394 of 1570
Works (French Literature Series) by Edouard Leve
'Works' is a translation of Edouard Levé's 'Oeuvres' (2002). Presented without comment on its form, it is a bald list of 533 numbered descriptions of art projects "conceived but not executed". The first of these projects describes, paradoxically, the book itself.

The reader has a choice of strategies. The book may taken straight, as a list of proposed projects conceived by a writer who had already produced work in the general area of conceptual art: as a conceptual artwork in itself; as a parody or pastiche of such a work; as a work of fiction, postmodernist and ludic in its formal choices; or as a form of disguised autobiography. In truth, 'Works' is all of these… Read more
Paris After the Liberation: 1944 - 1949 by Antony Beevor
This book manages a difficult task: to make a serious historical account readable for the non-specialist. The authors have achieved this by narrowing their focus - making Paris central to the narrative and depending heavily on diplomatic, intellectual and artistic sources - and by relying fairly heavily on a limited range of personal accounts.

Nonetheless, 'Paris After the Liberation' is real history, and a useful pendant to general histories of France or Paris during the Occupation. Beevor and Cooper do a fine job of explaining the politics of the period, while humanising a potentially dry subject by weaving personal stories in and out of the detailed explication. For the most… Read more
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I read this short novel, or novella, by an author previously unknown to me, on a recommendation. At such, it was a disappointment. It combines a dumbed-down version of the mosaic narrative style of Renata Adler's 'Speedboat' with featherweight reflections on young love, young motherhood and a marriage turning sour: something that has been done to death almost everywhere, and too often better than here.

Inoffensively competent, but really no better than a speedy summer read for an idle morning at the beach. Look to Adler or Didion for something in the same general style, but with greater intelligence and bigger, sharper teeth.