Filtered By - Book and film Reviews

  • National Post Listening to a good book Tuesday August 9th, 2016
    Only one of my eyes has ever worked well enough to read. Besides that, in my 20s I was diagnosed with a chronic ophthalmic inflammation that requires daily cortisone drops to control. Some versions of my condition can lead to blindness, but I’ve been lucky. Gratitude for the gift of sight, along with a skulking dread of going blind, has therefore been a constant mental c...
  • National Post Review of Culture Wars: Volume V by Barbara Kay Tuesday January 26th, 2016
    Way Stations on Marxism’s ‘long march through America’s institutions’ in the 20th century. By Barbara Kay Some months ago, joining an online discussion initiated by a gay Facebook friend on the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, I countered a bitter remark about Ronald Reagan’s “homophobia” and his primary role in causing so many deaths by (as tactfully...
  • National Post The conservative movement’s lion in winter: David Horowitz’s new memoir Tuesday June 16th, 2015
    Towards the end of his new memoir, You’re Going to be Dead One Day, David Horowitz reprises a vividly remembered incident that he had previously recounted in Radical Son (1996), his eloquent manifesto of liberation from his family’s hermetically sealed ideological prison. Horowitz’s parents had come to California to see his new home. At the time, approaching early...
  • National Post The enduring lessons of Mad Men survive beyond its denouement Tuesday May 19th, 2015
    Didn’t Mad Men end just perfectly? Yet it’s indisputably over. I’m nostalgic already. Mad Men was my formative era. The show brought so much back for me: everyone smoking like chimneys; the physically uncomfortable bullet bras, girdles, hoop skirts and hair rollers; the rigid social rules that made any fate for women other than married with children susp...
  • National Post Adolescent fiction has undergone a sea of change since Nancy solved the Mystery of the Old Clock Tuesday May 5th, 2015
    Last week Nancy Drew, teen detective, celebrated her series’ 85th anniversary of continuous publication. In the 1950s, Nancy still wore demure dresses, drove a snappy blue convertible and called home from a telephone booth. Today I’m told she wears jeans and t-shirts, drives a hybrid car and carries a smartphone. Nevertheless, I am sure the clever sleuth is still the upright...
  • National Post Writers and their strange compulsions Wednesday December 3rd, 2014
    Art and music are practiced by hobbyists or professionals, and are unnecessary skills for others. But we all need minimal writing skills in order to work and socialize. Consequently, the line between mere writing and (a hush falls) writing is often blurred. For many people — bloggers, particularly, who have a point to make and nothing else — writing comes easy...
  • National Post P.D. James is forever ensconced in the Great Canon of British crime writers Friday November 28th, 2014
    Although it can hardly have come as a surprise to her adoring readers, the great British crime writer, P.D. James (the initials stand for Phyllis Dorothy, I have learned for the first time, as I never thought to wonder while she was alive) has died at the ripe old age of 94. She had all her wits about her and had never retired, so one may regret her passing, while hoping one’s own ...
  • National Post Watching a literary chicken come home to roost, in novel form Wednesday September 17th, 2014
    This is a story of chickens coming home to roost in the nicest possible way. In the early 1980s, I founded and edited an annual anthology of creative writing by Montreal and area high school students called First Fruits. Cash prizes for winners in the categories of poetry, fiction and essays attracted some excellent writing over the 25 years of its lifespan. In 1985, then in ...
  • National Post The slow, tentative return of women’s lost sense of sexual honour Friday September 12th, 2014
    The sexual revolution seems to be running out of steam in the West.  The Post’s September 11 editorial informs us that many indicators, such as a dramatically diminished interest in topless bathing in France, the bellwether of female sexual liberation, point to a return of relative conservatism in women’s attitudes to sex.  In North America, teens of all...
  • National Post Galunker, by Douglas Anthony Cooper, reviewed by Barbara Kay Wednesday July 23rd, 2014
    Up until now, the charm offensive by intellectuals in the pit bull advocacy movement (PBAM) has been confined to publications targeting people capable of reading them. Now Canadian novelist, Huffington Post blogger , and pit bull enthusiast Douglas Anthony Cooper has taken pit bull rescue activism to a brand new level of advocacy hutzpah.Cooper’s latest boo...
  • National Post We all know about John Updike. But what about his mother? Wednesday July 9th, 2014
    My friend David, an evolving short-story writer, spends a week every summer at the Iowa Writers Workshop. Last year, one of his fellow students in a class taught by novelist Robert Anthony Siegel was Siegel’s own 75-year old mother, Frances. David recently sent me an article by Siegel the younger published on The New York Times’ online site, “Draft” (dedicated to ...
  • National Post The Black Book of the American Left: Volume 2 — The Progressives Thursday May 22nd, 2014
    
[To order The Black Book of the American Left: Volume 2 -- The Progressives, click here. We encourage our readers to visit our new website --  BlackBookOfTheAmericanLeft.com – which features David Horowitz’s introductions to Volumes 1 and 2 of this 10-volume series, along with their tables of contents, reviews and interviews with the author.] google_ad_cl...
  • National Post When the ‘choice’ isn’t her own Friday March 7th, 2014
    Australian celebrity Charlotte Dawson seemed to have it all: beauty, brains, success and, for a time, “the love of my life” in ex-husband, elite swimmer Scott Miller. Last week the 39-year old former model and TV personality hanged herself in her apartment. Various mainstream media accounts link Charlotte’s suicide, and a previous 2012 suicide attempt, to depressi...
  • National Post A reformed leftist’s enduring shame Wednesday January 29th, 2014
    In Los Angeles tonight family, friends and admirers will celebrate the 75th birthday of David Horowitz, the most formidable scourge of the American left since Whittaker Chambers. Horowitz’s accomplishments run wide and deep. Scholar, polemicist, much-laureled author of many books (several with friend and collaborator Peter Collier), he is also the founder and overseer of the ...
  • National Post The Black Book of the American Left: Volume I: My Life and Times Thursday January 9th, 2014
    To order David Horowitz’s “The Black Book of the American Left, Volume I: My Life And Times,” click here. In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn observed that Shakespeare’s tragic protagonists are content to murder only a handful of people. They stop killing, he explained, because “they have no ideology.” One instantly comprehen...
  • National Post How a critic of Islam ended up in the check-out aisle Wednesday August 7th, 2013
    As the topic for its popular annual debate last May, the Oxford University Union proposed that “This House believes Islam is a religion of peace.” Considering the venue — Oxford is, like many Western universities, marinated in political correctness — it’s hardly surprising that the motion passed 286-186 (as described in Robert Fulford’s July 27 c...
  • National Post The fine line ‘between hoarding and retailing’ Thursday July 25th, 2013
    It’s because of people like me that the antiquarian book trade is in peril. I’m a lifelong reader. During the Golden Age of used books – mainly paperbacks – from the 1960s to the 1990s, I delighted to browse in used bookstores, finding treasure at absurdly low prices. But the Internet changed all that for me and millions of other readers. Where there were on...
  • National Post Four rabbis walk into a bar Wednesday June 19th, 2013
    .npBlogs #npHeader .npPgHeading { padding-bottom: 0; border-bottom: none; } .npGallery.npRuleLight { padding-top: 0; border-top: none; } When I was young, our Toronto family – like most Jews who could afford to do so – occasionally spent holiday time in the Catskill mountains’ “Borscht Belt.” Grossingers and its arch-rival, ...
  • National Post Two great writers converge to publish epistolary of their e-mail correspondence Saturday June 1st, 2013
    Two of my favourite writers have published a book of e-mail correspondence: Distant Intimacy: A friendship in the age of the Internet. Joseph Epstein is America’s finest essayist and amongst America’s finest short story writers. Frederic Raphael is English, a prodigiously gifted man of letters in the fullest sense: fluent in many languages (including ancient Greek), nov...
  • National Post Barbara Kay on Brigid Quinn: A crime-solving role model for women of a certain age Wednesday March 20th, 2013
    If you’re attending Toronto’s “Authors at Harbourfront Centre” event tonight, I recommend to your attention one Becky Masterman, debut author of the new Penguin mystery/thriller, Rage Against the Dying. I read it during my vacation last week and loved it for its racy, fat-free writing and seamless dual plot. But also because the book’s author and her protago...
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