The Interesting Question Raised (and Left Unanswered) by Dan Brown’s Inferno

The Interesting Question Raised (and Left Unanswered) by Dan Brown’s Inferno

The explosive success of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code made him unfathomably wealthy but it also indirectly made him a punching bag for a certain type of literary snob. Yes, that includes me. It's not interesting, especially in 2020, to note that Dan Brown's prose is stilted and awkward, that his descriptions of female [...]

Niche Periphery: Tolkien’s The Silmarillion

Niche Periphery: Tolkien’s The Silmarillion

Before reading The Silmarillion, there are some questions that you should probably ask yourself: Do you know the basic stories of Gil-Galad and Beren One-Hand? Do you recognize names like Barahir, Grond and Fëanor and want to know more about them? Have you figured out, through context alone, what (fictional) words like dagor and ithil [...]

4 Times When Tides of Man Should Be the Soundtrack to Your Life

4 Times When Tides of Man Should Be the Soundtrack to Your Life

When it comes to post-rock soundtracks, the focus is usually on Explosions in the Sky because their music has been featured in several films while Tides of Man is often overlooked because, well, they haven't. But just because Tides of Man hasn't written the soundtrack for a film doesn't mean they can't write the soundtrack [...]

A Far, Far Better Thing: Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

A Far, Far Better Thing: Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

Though its opening line is among the most famous in all the Western canon, it's the closing lines of Charles Dickens' revolutionary classic A Tale of Two Cities that resonate with unshakable beauty. (For what it's worth, we don't even seem to know that opening line quite as well as we like to think because [...]

Fiction Is Coming

Fiction Is Coming

Over the past six months, I've posted two new articles on this site every week (save holidays) and, barring a few digressions into other topics, they've mostly alternated between discussing music and books. (Sometimes both.) But over the next month, things are going to be a little bit different. Sticking to my two-posts-per-week schedule, I'm [...]

Christmas Is a Lot of Things: On Linus and Owen Meany

Christmas Is a Lot of Things: On Linus and Owen Meany

It's one of the most famous moments in syndicated Christmas special history. Linus, wearing a green beanie and carrying his trustworthy blue blanket, steps to the front of the stage in an empty auditorium. A single spotlight illuminates him as he recites scripture from memory, describing to his best friend, the constantly beleaguered Charlie Brown, [...]