The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

The Lessons of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Deep in an ancestral crypt, a group of wizards gathers to uncover a nefarious plot. That sounds like an exciting premise, right? Spooky and mysterious and full of ambiguous power. Except that when that exact scenario unfolds in the latter half of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it falls completely flat. There are a [...]

Christmas Is a Lot of Things: On Linus and Owen Meany

Christmas Is a Lot of Things: On Linus and Owen Meany

It's one of the most famous moments in syndicated Christmas special history. Linus, wearing a green beanie and carrying his trustworthy blue blanket, steps to the front of the stage in an empty auditorium. A single spotlight illuminates him as he recites scripture from memory, describing to his best friend, the constantly beleaguered Charlie Brown, [...]

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

When asked to describe what kind of music his band plays, Andy Dwyer—the kindhearted lug played by Chris Pratt on Parks and Recreation—states that he "doesn't like to define" their sound but that they sound like Matchbox 20 and The Fray. "So ... rock," someone responds. "Well, again," explains Andy, "I don't really like to [...]

Internet Famous: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Internet Famous: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Roughly halfway through Hank Green's debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, protagonist April May steps back from her story of alien statues, cable news blowhards and contagious dreams to evaluate and identify the varying tiers of celebrity. It's an instructive moment that allows Green to examine his own position in the hierarchy of the famous [...]

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

In his short story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” Jorge Luis Borges—that miraculous, mind-fucking Argentinian—proposes an unusual premise. The titular Menard is shown to be obsessed with unusual literary feats and, as such, he decides to take it upon himself to rewrite Cervantes' classic, Don Quixote. He's not planning to translate the book or [...]

We Are the Library: Borges and the Search for Meaning

We Are the Library: Borges and the Search for Meaning

This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. - Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” In one of his most famous stories, Argentine metaphysical author Jorge Luis Borges positions his narrator in the fictitious and eponymous Library of Babel, wherein [...]

2014: What I Read

Following up on Monday's musical retrospective, it's time to award some superlatives to the books that I read in 2014. Straying even farther from release dates than with my musical entry, this list reflects books that I read in 2014, not necessarily books that were released this year. Most Hyped Book (That I Didn't Really Like) - [...]

Let It Snow

Let It Snow

At this point I've read all of John Green's books and enjoyed each of them immensely. I've also become a big fan of the VlogBrothers as I slowly make my way through their massive catalog of videos. Despite my age placing me slightly outside of the group's target demographic, I am proudly a Nerdfighter. If [...]