BY NICO VREELAND
[In this feature, we highlight a handful of the best book reviews appearing over the weekend in major newspapers.]
Joseph Anton, by Salman Rushdie. Reviewed by Zoe Heller in the New York Review of Books.
This review has already made the Internet rounds: Zoe Heller calmly excoriates Salman Rushdie for his “lordly nonchalance” among other hubristic crimes. Our own nonfiction critic, Marc Velasquez, put Joseph Anton into his best books list just yesterday, stipulating that “Salman Rushdie is a pompous dick.” If you don’t mind pomposity, read the book. If you do, read the review. As for myself, as soon as I found out he’d written the book in third person, I took it off my to-read list.
The Revolution Was Televised, by Alan Sepinwall. Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times.
I know Alan Sepinwall best as the TV critic who sometimes calls into Bill Simmons’s sports podcast to talk about Breaking Bad. This new book (which he self-published, notably), tackles a dozen “millenial dramas,” like Breaking Bad and The Wire, and analyzes how each one was made and how it changed television. Kakutani fairly gushes over it, so if it sounds halfway interesting, take the plunge.
The Legend of Broken, by Caleb Carr. Reviewed by Elizabeth Hand in the Washington Post.
Tailor-made for fans of The Song of Ice & Fire (i.e. Game of Thrones), this epic fantasy novel weaves history into fantasy fiction. It takes place in the Dark Ages, in 745 A.D., in northern Europe, and seems to a good balance of depth and entertainment.
In brief: Arthur Conan Doyle’s diary about his term on an Artic whaling ship in 1880. … This review of two dueling memoirs (by M.I.A. and hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams) is pretty great. … Gabby Douglas already has a memoir out. … The L.A. Times scrambled to review Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, after it won the National Book Award. … A powerful entertainment lawyer has written a sci-fi graphic novel.