The Phoenix Network:
Being the true story of how I found myself in China with my black-sheep cousin and his mail-order bride, skirting the law to get him a transplant — and save his life
In this nonfiction account pretty accurately described by the book's subtitle, Daniel Asa Rose accompanies his nebbishy but mobbed-up relative on a mission for a Chinese two-fer: to get the organ he desperately needs and — why not, as long as we're here? — a wife, to boot. In this excerpt, the author first hears about his cousin's dubious — and, according to Chinese law, illegal — plan.
DANIEL ASA ROSE
| July 22, 2009
It Feels So Good When I Stop
In this excerpt, the protagonist recalls his post-college years, in which he worked a crappy job at a restaurant owned by a racist.
In the winter of 1994, I graduated from UMass after four and a half years with a BA in English. I did pretty average; a lot worse than I might have done if I had given the tiniest of fucks about school. I decided to dick around until the summer and not think about my limited prospects, my withering University Health Insurance, and the looming crush of student-loan repayment.
| July 22, 2009
The Accidental Billionaires
The founding of Facebook: A tale of sex, money, genius, and betrayal
In this nonfiction account of the Harvard origins of the social-networking phenomenon, the author boils down the essence of why Facebook — orginially called thefacebook — was created and the root of its power: nerds obsessing over sex. In this excerpt, undergrads Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg begin to realize that Facebook is indeed their golden ticket.
| October 04, 2010
The Market Messiah
How Sam Walton changed America
Many Americans feel as if they'd been living helplessly amid the handiwork of extraterrestrials, as if a spaceship had suddenly blown in and zapped the landscape with suburban sprawl while sucking up middle-class wages in exchange for low-paid service work.
| July 07, 2009
K is for clown
The lighter side of global annihilation
The lighter side of global annihilation
| June 30, 2009
Mainstream life, good read
Among Shawn Levy's books is one of my favorite film bios, King of Comedy , with crazy-guy Jerry Lewis, so show-off goofy and schmaltzy, spilling all on every exuberant, excessive page.
| June 24, 2009
Summer-Book Therapy Sessions
Beach reading . The very phrase is abhorrent to book lovers, connoting as it does cheap paperbacks, tumescent with air-dried seawater and crunchy with sand, paragraph after paragraph of poorly written pulp meant to be read as fast as the passing of summer itself.
| June 17, 2009
Michael Stein Examines The Addict
Providence author and physician Michael Stein has an uncanny ability to make a medical case history read like a novel in his newest book, The Addict (William Morrow, 288 pages, $26). It's not only that he makes us care about the patients whose lives he describes; it's also that he puts himself into the narrative.
| June 16, 2009
Review: Bad Cop
Life as one of NYPD's not-so-finest
Title a book Bad Cop and brain-basher types like Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta spring to mind.
| June 05, 2009
The best in summer reading
Hot town, summer in the city. . . . or in the country. . . . or at the beach. Wherever you are, don't forget your books.
| June 08, 2009
Love and friendship (Rhode Island-style)
An excerpt from Sarah Rainone's new novel, Love Will Tear Us Apart , in which six friends let the music do the talking
Cort is whispering something to me but she's trying to be all respectful or whatever so I can't make out what she's saying.
| May 22, 2009
Interview: Sarah Rainone
Welcome to Galestown, RI
Sarah Rainone on growing up in Cranston and getting in touch with her inner author.
| May 21, 2009
A lyrical turn in the South
Tim Gautreaux writes of a South that never changes. Dense, humid, with a fecundity that is more than a match for any human development, his South is largely a no man's land where the trees close off the sky, their roots rise "from the soppy mud like stalagmites," and the calm is broken only by the "stout windings of water moccasins."
| May 13, 2009
Mary Gaitskill carries on
People tend to make much of what they think of as Mary Gaitskill's fictional realm, a place of sexual transgression, of violence, violation, rape, and sado-masochism, and her female characters, the violated, the used, the users.
| April 28, 2009
Review: The Rocket that Fell to Earth
Roger Clemens's fall and rise and fall
On July 18, 1992, in a celebrated post-game meltdown at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, the pitcher formerly known as the Rocket expressed his displeasure over a column I had written.
| April 01, 2009
Review: The Kindly Ones
Inside the Reich
Those put off by the soft-pedaling of the SS in the movie adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's The Reader might be wary of Jonathan Littell's memoir of fictional war criminal Maximilien Aue.
| March 11, 2009
Review: Lark and Termite
"Language Immersion" is the name of a program set up by the US Army in Korea just prior to the North's invasion of the South.
| January 29, 2009
Novel idea: Twitter fiction
Post-modernism, post by 140-character post
Inauspiciously, Tom Scharpling began his Twitter novel with a typo.
| January 14, 2009
Review: Appetite for Self-Destruction
How the record industry killed itself
Like any good murder mystery, Steve Knopper's Appetite for Self-Destruction keeps the tension high and the action swift as the search for a culprit drags on.
| January 13, 2009
More sex, more Lincoln
A hefty reading season, from Jayne Anne Phillips and T.C. Boyle to Pablo Neruda
The subject of Lincoln is like catnip to publishers (and readers), but the only things missing from our winter list are actual cat books.
| December 30, 2008
Year in Books: Word plays
Of werewolves and wastelands
Here, listed alphabetically by author, are 10 of the best works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that the Phoenix wrote about in 2008.
| December 22, 2008
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