Chicagoans in exile will feel all the more homesick, while Wilco fans, already well-served with music, concert footage and...

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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING TOUR OF CHICAGO

A splendid bit of orchestration by everybody’s favorite alt-rock sextet, giving a view of performances in the City with Big Shoulders from backstage and the cheap seats alike.

The Rolling Stones are from London, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it to listen to their songs post-1966. Foo Fighters are global, from everywhere and nowhere. Gnarls Barkley live inside our heads. But Wilco, headed by a benevolent, latter-day Woody Guthrie–ish dictator named Jeff Tweedy (see the 2002 documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart for more on all that), is resolutely a Chicago band, at home in many of the city’s clubs—but also in places like the Civic Opera, where, in the opening tune in this package, “One Sunday Morning,” the walls ring in joy. (The song is subtitled “Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend,” hinting at Tweedy’s bookishness.) It’s also the opening tune in that performance of December 12, as readers learn from the set list. A gallery of razor-sharp photographs of the band in action accompanies the show, with a professorial-looking Nick Lowe and Mavis Staples joining the proceedings for a revelatory reading of The Band’s song “The Weight.” The “incredible shrinking tour” moves from downtown only as far out as Lincoln Park’s Lincoln Hall, which just goes to show how rich in musical venues Chicago is. The app opens with a video sequence of the city as an El train zips along the Blue Line, with a convenient stop not far from that venue.

Chicagoans in exile will feel all the more homesick, while Wilco fans, already well-served with music, concert footage and photographs from various sources, will absolutely want to have this in their collections. The price is right, too.

Pub Date: May 25, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: dBpm Records

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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ANIMAL FARM

A FAIRY STORY

A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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