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Author Archives: The Banker

Book Review: On Beauty by Zadie Smith

It takes bollocks to model oneself on an acknowledged master of the English novel of manners, that too no less a personage than E.M. Forster, whose mastery of craft was equalled only by his erudition on the craft of literary masterpieces. It takes even bigger bollocks to then take Forster’s most accomplished masterpiece, Howard’s End, raze it to the ground, ... Read More »

Book Review: Guardian of the Dawn by Richard Zimler

A historical novel set in 16th century India tries unsuccessfully to whip up outrage against an iconic Christian saint. Read More »

Book Review: Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card

Here’s a Halloween read that I’d bet you don’t have on your list, and yet, you absolutely should, must, will check it out. Because it embodies the heart and soul of the season’s spirit. A ghost story, a supernatural thriller, with no gore, no horror fest over-the-top violence (actually almost no violence at all), and yet it creeps into your ... Read More »

Movie Review: Red Eye

Red Eye is a Hollywood Twin. That’s my term for those high-concept films that Hollywood studios always churn out in pairs each year (often, even each season). Two films that have a similar premise, or ‘concept’, but substantially different ‘development’ in terms of casting, mounting, screenplay, etc. For example, Armageddon and Deep Impact. Mission to Mars and Red Planet. Volcano ... Read More »

DVD Review: Halloween

Not many movies stand the test of time. Even fewer horror movies do. Horror movies are notoriously cheap on production and quality, and viewed ten or twenty years later, they’re often more campy than chilling. You could actually get a bunch of friends your age together at Halloween, sit down with a lot of beverages (I’m a teetollar but you ... Read More »

Book Review: Urban Shaman by C. E. Murphy

Urban Shaman is a wholly original debut by a very talented new author who's going to go places very soon. Read More »

Movie Review: Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key doesn't try to do too much, and what it does, it does damn well. That's its greatest strength. Read More »

Book Review: Ecstasy and The Ascetic of Desire by Sudhir Kakar

Indian author Sudhir Kakar’s first and best novel, The Ascetic of Desire was based on the life of Vatsyayana, the Indian spiritual guru best known for propounding the treatise known today as the Kamasutra. In fact, the book’s full title in its US edition was The Ascetic of Desire: A Novel of the Kama Sutra (Incidentally, this great ancient work, ... Read More »

Dispatches from Pod-istan: Part 2

KCRW’s BOOKWORM “Umberto Eco” “Nicole Krauss” “Bret Easton Ellis” “Identity” (Series of 10) This is where the big guns of literature come out to bat. Or to talk. KCRW’S Bookworm is a major literary podcast show. It features serious, detailed discussions on literary matters, featuring big-name authors. One of their longest, most fascinating series was the recent 10-part series on ... Read More »

Despatches from Pod-istan: Part I

So I finally got around to discovering the big bad world of Podcasting. And I got hooked in a hurry. Now, I can’t claim to know everything that’s being podcast out there. It’s a big Netiverse after all. (And an even bigger Nutiverse, if you know what I mean.) A lot of the podcasts seem to be news feeds from ... Read More »