It Comes At Night

Beautifully shot with horrific claustrophobia, unfortunately the narrative is more snoozefest than thriller.

’80s Teen Movies

Life moves pretty fast. Sage advice of a hallowed teen from the mid-1980’s, when Reaganomics’s voodoo charmed ideologies, a generation of kids were being raised at the shopping mall, and Huey told us to get back in time. Hollywood noticed these changes and, like John Bender piercing his ear in triumph, transformed pop-culture into the…

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original mashup of genres. A “what if” concept mixing elements of Quantum Leap and Groundhog Day written as an Agatha Christie mystery. The conception is compelling, the story more-than-intriguing, and the fast-paced read irresistible. Congrats, Stuart Turton, on one incredible debut. Set in the early 20th century, Aiden Bishop…

The Sisters Brothers

The American West of the 1850s is allotted to history as wild, gritty, untamed, and messy. According to Patrick DeWitt, it is also, well, quirky, at least concerning his picaresque characters, the titular hombres that make up The Sisters Brothers. Eli and Charlie Sister are two assassins sent by their boss, the Commodore, to commit…

Escape Artist

New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer returns with his latest thriller that easily contains everything one would expect from the author, and from the genre. Like any disaster movie from the 70s, The Escape Artist is heavy-handed for the first full half of the book. Packed with character development (A divorced military mortician with…

The Greatest American Hero

I finished reading Nancy Schoenberger’s introduction – a well-crafted, passionate account on masculinity from a woman’s perspective, mostly derived through cinematic heroes such as John Wayne westerns, although with the obligatory nods to her father – and immediately turned to my wife stating she had to read this primer. In this world of Wonder Woman…

Into The Water

Full props to Paula Hawkins; she knows how to craft a good mystery. Look at her debut novel, The Girl On The Train. The tale was full of dead-on despicable characters, but the compelling narrative unfolded itself into a highly enjoyable whodunit mystery of grief, lies, and murder. Hawkins does the same with her follow-up,…

Everything I Never Told You

Initially reading through Everything I Never Told You, those other players in the great American family drama genre game can quickly come to mind. And not those pseudo-comedic slices of live stories that Parenthood and Grand Canyon were so fantastic at portraying, rather, something much more Americana – the family tragedy. An Ordinary People, or an American…

The Town

Let’s admit to a solemn truth here: heist flicks are as formulaic as any other genre film. One grand heist leads to another, more often than not there is at least one car chase, the alpha male falls for a woman, said male decides to leave his life of crime, which leads to his final…