Bob Mehr photographed by Kevin Scanlon.
I have a long personal history with the Replacements, the legendary Minneapolis-rooted band that played hard, stayed true to their lack of ambition, and left lots of carnage in its wake. Led by singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg, rooted in the brotherhood between guitarists Bob and Tommy Stinson, and propelled by drummer Chris Mars, the group is still considered one of the last great rock ‘n’ roll bands, even if it cost a few lives in the making.
The first record ...
Peter Guralnick photographed by David Har
Writing about the storied American record producer Sam Phillips might seem like a natural fit for music journalist Peter Guralnick (Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, etc.), and to a degree it is. After writing a celebrated two-volume biography of Elvis Presley and a dozen other books about American roots music, Guralnick is steeped in the era that gave birth to rock 'n' roll. In a starred review, Kirkus’ reviewer calls Guralnick’s latest, Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented ...
Larissa MacFarquhar photographed by Philip Gourevitch
When I first got a copy of novelist Chuck Wendig’s new book, Zeroes, I thought I was in for a pleasant surprise. I’ve known the writer for his vicious horror novels, big-thinking sci-fi excursions, sidebars into gaming and multimedia, and the blunt and effective advice on writing that he doles out on his blog. Zeroes is nominally about a group of unrelated underground hackers who are co-opted by a government black ops project. It all sounded very mainstream.
But sadly ...
Austin Grossman photographed by Marka Knight.
So you’ve dreamed up a sweeping thriller based largely on historical fact that starts off as a brittle spy novel set in the most agitated years of the Cold War but also happens to throw in some unimaginable Lovecraftian horrors. Now the question is: who should be the hero in this nightmarish alternative history of the United States?
Of course it’s Richard Nixon.
And so emerges what has to be one of the weirdest novelistic entries in what was already ...
Ernest Cline photographed by Dan Winters.
For a guy operating under some dangerously high expectations, Ernie Cline is surprisingly cool and collected when I reach him at home in Austin, Texas, although his inner fanboy is too animated to stay quiet for long.
To recap his origin story, Cline came to prominence as the screenwriter of the 2009 indie film Fanboys. Then in 2010, he sold his first novel, Ready Player One (hereafter known as RPO), which inspired a fierce bidding war for both the publishing ...
Carl Safina photographed by Michael Lutch.
Carl Safina is used to writing about the ocean but in his latest, he turns his attentions to elephants, wolves, and whales to ask big questions about the nature of the lives of animals and man’s place in the natural world. In a starred review, Kirkus calls his new book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, “a profound, scientifically based appeal for recognition of the kinship of all living things.”
In the first segment of the book, Safina ...
Fred Goodman photographed by Janet Goodman.