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Walter Kirn

October 19, 1998 | The Book Review
Updike at Ease

In "Bech at Bay," John Updike takes aim at German tourists and literary-world pomposity, among other targets. He's a good shot -- but they're still fish in a barrel.

October 5, 1998 | The Book Review
Well Red

Philip Roth revisits the Red-scare fifties and finds the same old stories of passion and disillusionment -- but told in rhetoric that's a weird American poetry.

September 28, 1998 | The Book Review
Last Year's Model

Jay McInerney's "Model Behavior" is a retelling of a certain eighties novel about Manhattan high life -- but with book critics as villains. Mere coincidence?

August 10, 1998 | The Book Review
As L.A. Dying

In "Ecology of Fear," Mike Davis takes cruel pleasure in describing the disasters -- natural and man-made -- awaiting the Pompeii of the Pacific.

June 15, 1998 | The Book Review
Commercial Fiction

In Richard Powers's "Gain," capitalism itself is the main character, and selling soap has never been so interesting.

June 1, 1998 | The Book Review
Best Western

Just when it seemed his "Border Trilogy" had thundered out of control comes Cormac McCarthy with a novel that lassoes the first two neatly.

May 18, 1998 | The Book Review
The Norman Heart

"The Time of Our Time" is Mailer's compelling, exhausting anthologized account of Mailer's boxing match with history.

May 4, 1998 | The Book Review
Boyish Smarm

There's wit and good writing aplenty in Nick Hornby's "About a Boy." But the plot is a well-worn homily of emotional growth.

April 6, 1998 | The Book Review
Buyer's Remorse

The products have forsaken the consumers in Douglas Coupland's oddly old-school dispatch from the McAbyss.

March 9, 1998 | The Book Review
She's Gotta Have It

In her strange new novel, "Spending," Mary Gordon has taken the themes of Jackie Collins and transposed them to the Upper West Side.

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