Author: Jack Waters

Night Film

Marisha Pessl’s new book Night Film revolves around the mysterious, untimely death of Ashley Cordova, the piano-prodigy daughter of a reclusive cult-followed Lynch/Kubrick/Polanski-type film director, Stanislas Cordova. Although at a surface level it might seem to trot out the “Female Relative of a Male Professional” trope that an astonishing amount of novels deploy, the frictions of that dichotomy are what sustain the story. While “Night Film” is ostensibly about the many repercussions of artistry, Pessl did a wonderful job weaving each element into the story rather than just forming a collage of interesting ideas. For instance: I tried to...

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‘Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere: A Memoir’ by Poe Ballantine

“Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere” is one of those book titles pushed so close to ridiculousness that it is almost worth it to read it on account of the name alone. That way, you can boast to your friends that lately you’ve read, “Hamlet,” “Jane Eyre,” and “Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere.” It has a ring, and sometimes a book needs to scream at people for attention. The author, Poe Ballantine, has a tendency to be in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right place at the wrong...

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Finish It! “You shall know our velocity!” by Dave Eggers

It’s summer, so you actually can Finish It! Intimidation factors: You will come in with expectations too high. You are afraid of jealousy induced travel writing. You are over Dave Eggers–he was “so early 2000s.” (Elitist much?) Nothing. This summer provides an opportunity to kick back and read what you want to read, instead of the bank-busting dense textbooks you’ve been cramming into your young mind this semester. Here’s an enjoyable book for you to add to your summer list. “You Shall Know Our Velocity!” by Dave Eggers Dave Eggers, with “YSKOV!,” has written a moving and hilarious novel about two friends traveling around the world to give away $32,000 and free themselves from a profound loss. The book explains the grief of dealing with the death of a friend who was far too young to die — deep down it’s about friendship and love and all that you hold dear. But it’s also about living life and enjoying the time we have by living out dreams, or in the case of the two main characters Will and Hand, creating them as you go go go. Early on, “YSKOV!” pokes fun at the USA-centric viewpoint displayed by the characters, “What? No direct flights from Greenland to Rwanda? What is the world coming to?” The first part of the book shows the far-fetched fantasy of traveling the world, as if...

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Finish It – Fight Club (book + movie)

Finish It – Fight Club (book + movie) by Chuck Palahniuk, film by David Fincher starring Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. Attention Spring Breakers: Here is the best way you can spend your time if you aren’t traveling. Read the book “Fight Club,” and watch the movie “Fight Club.” The book is just over 200 pages, and the movie is incredible. So this is entirely doable, even if you aren’t a reader. “The first rule about Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club,” so I shouldnt really tell you about this book or movie. Breaking the first rule of Fight Club here is worth it — it’s a must-read. The movie is a much-watch. Most people saw the movie before they read it(myself included). It’s worth reading(especially) even if you’ve seen the movie. Overall, the movie is an angst-driven visual bible of counterculture anarchism that has inspired many. Fight Club, in the novel and movie, is the creation of Tyler Durden, an anarchic genius whose jobs as a projectionist and a waiter allow him to take part in his small and large instances of rebellion. Ultimately, his vision calls for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world. “Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.”...

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Finish It! Logicomix: an epic search for truth

Logicomix: an epic search for truth By Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou Art by Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna 352 pages Logicomix is a graphic novel which combines fiction and non-fiction elements to depict logician and philosopher Bertrand Russell’s struggle to discover the rigorous logical underpinnings of everything, especially mathematics. “A dramatic story of madness and reason, love and war,” so says the opening flap of the graphic novel, and is an apt description of the story in brevity. Early on in the novel, Russell is called upon in a lecture at the start of WWII to explain how logic can answer whether or not the USA should enter into the war. Cleverly explained by the authors via interludes of plot through flashbacks, part of the story is about Russell’s emotionally barren upbringing, the specter of madness seemingly surrounding him, and the many struggles that he had throughout his life. Simultaneously with his personal struggles, there’s a theoretical struggle Russell wrestles with — whether there can be a firm foundation to logic and how logic relates to language, truth and the world. Russell is presented as a classic, typical hero — orphaned, struggling in childhood with overbearing adults, moving on to his quest (for the foundations in logic), struggling with monsters (a streak of mental illness in his family, also found frequently among his colleagues), and coming...

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