Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book report" "The Castle In The Woods" by Norman Mailer

The Castle in the Forest: A NovelThe Castle in the Forest: A Novel by Norman Mailer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Norman Mailer, at the top of his game, is really good.  The problem with Norman Mailer is that for too many years he was his own biggest fan. It took him 10 years to get this one written, but it was worth waiting for.

The form of the book is a study of the young and adolescent Hitler and his family, as narrated by a demon assigned by "The Maestro," to make him really evil.  But the book really is a religious meditation on the nature of good and evil, the struggle between "The Maestro" (the devil) and "The Dumkopf" (God) and the extent to which our fates are determined by ourselves and forces external to ourselves.

Mailer never forgets in this book that the purpose of a novel is to tell a story, and tell a story he does, in all its unsavory details.  This is not a book for persons easily offended.  It is a book for persons who enjoy a well-told story.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

JACK Report: You Can't Buy Better Publicity Than A Feature in the New York Times

Son Number Two and fellow violinist playing with JACK

I've been eagerly checking Google for a week now, looking for the feature I knew was coming in the New York Times about JACK Quartet, the group of talented young musicians of which Son Number Two is a part. I usually go buy several of the newspapers when they run a review of JACK, which they frequently do, just for the archives. Finally, last night, the article showed up on-line. But, alas, the print version was published the day before, on Thursday, and all of those papers are off the shelves. I am tempted to go to the library and smuggle a copy out in my briefcase. Read the article here. It is very flattering and it even mentions the expected arrival of my new grandson in several weeks. The photographs are from the NYT and hopefully this acknowledgment gives me permission to post them. If not, and the Times notices, I may have to take them down.

JACK Quartet at The Stone in NYC several weeks ago